Conducting Surveys at the March for Life

Friday afternoon, I went out to the March for Life to survey the protesters for FiveThirtyEight, and you can read about who came and what kind of post-post-Roe world they envision here:The majority of the marchers weren’t protesting abortion simply as an abstract, political problem. Seventy-two percent of the people I surveyed told me that they knew someone personally who had had an abortion. A number of times, although I hadn’t asked for any more details, they told me their friends’ names … [Read more...]

My Recipes for Scruffy Hospitality

An Anglican priest in Knoxville, TN has a great exhortation to offer scruffy hospitality to friends, instead of keeping your doors closed until you can be a startlingly excellent host.Scruffy hospitality means you’re not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home. Scruffy hospitality means you hunger more for good conversation and serving a simple meal of what you have, not what you don’t have. Scruffy hospitality means you’re more inter … [Read more...]

Audio is up from my Building the Benedict Option talk in Boston

I had a wonderful time in Boston last week, talking about some of our Benedict Option efforts here in DC, and some of my starter kit ideas for beginning to build closer ties in your own community.  (The simplest one: serve one more snack at the end of events, to give people an excuse to linger and chat after a lecture or other structured event).The Church of the Advent has the audio from my talk up now!And they've got the Q&A, too, which is always my favorite part of a talk.  I wind u … [Read more...]

7QT: Catapults, Chimes, and Cosplaying Kids

--- 1 --- I've been making some progress on the books I earmarked to read in 2016, but I had to make time for a book titled Catapult: Harry and I Build a Siege Weapon, which was pretty much everything I hoped it would be.  Here's a passage from early in the book: I got off the phone, surprised by the force of this whim to build a catapult. Where was that coming from? I wondered. I had never wanted anything like it. I had never even owned a weapon. I held onto the rock and wandered around the a … [Read more...]

Using Goodhart’s Law to Find Happiness

My parish kicked off its Adult Sunday School (taught by Dominican friars) this past week with a class on happiness. We started off going through a discussion of all the things happiness is not (wealth, power, fame, honor, etc) and I liked some of the reasoning given about how you could recognize these as not quite the answer to "What will make me happy?"I already knew the way the answer worked for things like wealth, power, influence, etc -- these are instrumental goods.  People only want … [Read more...]

Speaking on the Benedict Option in Boston & Two Questions

I'm in Boston tomorrow night (Jan 12) for a Theology on Tap on the topic of Accidental Stylites: The Benedict Option and the American ChurchI'm going to talk about the Benedict Option movement (ways for modern Christians to root their faith in community and friends so that they can wind up living it more fully and more joyfully) in theory and in practice.  Lots of people are talking about “the Benedict Option” these days — from the man who coined the phrase (Rod Dreher), to the guys at Mo … [Read more...]

Books on deck for me in 2016

According to my Goodreads account, I read 260 books this past year (that comprised a total of 81.203 pages).  And sixteen of those were books I specifically set out to read in last year's Books on Deck post.Overall, I think it worked out great to make a list of books I meant to get around to, even if I missed six of the ones I put on my list.  It helped give some urgency to the books I kept meaning to read, in general, but never picking up -- I finally had a reason to let them (sometimes) pre … [Read more...]