Writing Relationships into a Corner


Earlier this week, I was chatting with a friend about A.O. Scott's big piece on storytelling and the death of adulthood.  Scott discusses the tendency of male heroes to "light out for the Territory," escaping the feminized world of social expectations and perhaps a specific female person (be it mother or maiden).  While Huck stepped outside of society in order to critique it, men in modern stories, Scott claims, tend to be rebels in retreat; they've traded in Jim's raft for the stoner's c … [Read more...]

Economizing Not to Save but to Spend *Differently*


Yesterday, I was writing about ways to build mixed-age community in my large apartment building, and, today, the first day of a new month, I pulled out Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator and drew St. Paul of Thebes, believed to be the first Christian hermit.  His life was recorded by St. Jerome (who had his own feast day yesterday).Jerome's life of Paul closes with these words: I may be permitted at the end of this little treatise to ask those who do not know the extent of their possessions, w … [Read more...]

When’s the last time I spoke to a *real* adult?

modern family-wallpaper5

This weekend, when I was hosting a debate on "R: Send Your Children to Public Schools" one of the speakers said she thought the most destructive assumption of the public school system was that children should all be partitioned into same-age groups, moved about in those sets, and that any cross-age interaction is abnormal and disruptive.  (I'll note that this tends to hold for most non-public schools as well).  Critics of homeschooling tend to bring up worries about "not being socialized" but, a … [Read more...]

Mary Asks More than Détente [Pope Francis Bookclub]


In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's selection, Pope Francis discusses the way Moses is developed, morally and spiritually, through prayer, especially through the act of turning away from unworthy petitions. When God proposes to give Moses a new people t … [Read more...]

But Who Will I Take Care Of? [Desire of the Everlasting Hills]


Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing Desire of the Everlasting Hills at a screening hosted by the Catholic Information Center.  The movie, which is available for streaming, is a documentary about three celibate, gay Catholics.  Eve Tushnet reviewed the movie for The American Conservative and wrote: There are some fascinating theological contrasts: Paul’s most direct experiences of God come when he is being rescued or spared something he expected to be unbearably painful—the most intense examp … [Read more...]

I’m Speaking in Maryland (and possibly Austin, Memphis, and New Orleans)

pax cath

On October 15th, I'll be heading out to Maryland to speak at a Theology on Tap in St. Mary's County.  Pax Catholic has been running a series of talks on conversion, and I'll be chiming in with a talk titled: "Backed into Belief: A Journey from Atheism to Catholicism."The full logistical details are available at the facebook event page at the link.  If you're in the area, I'd love to see you there!It also so happens that, as part of my current job, I'll be travelling a couple times t … [Read more...]

As We Have Also Forgiven Our Debtors…

shana tova

This year's Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of a shmita year for Jews; the time, once every seven years, when the land is supposed to be left fallow, the poor are allowed to eat what does grow, and debts are forgiven.  The New York Times had an interesting piece this week on how rabbinical authorities have translated the tradition in the modern age, when few people (Jewish or otherwise) work on farms: Yossi Tsuria, a founder of NDS, a video-software company now part of Cisco Systems, has been … [Read more...]