October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan is one of my earliest theological influences, therefore it gladdens me to see him awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. His interest in the great religious theme of suffering, as it is presented in the Judeo-Christian tradition, go back to his earliest albums, not only his brief Evangelical period. This has been convincingly argued by Stephen H. Webb–how I wish he were still around to see Bob get the Nobel–in Dylan Redeemed. I first “got” Bob Dylan… Read more

October 12, 2016

When I woke up this morning, I never thought I would get caught up in WikiLeaks drama. Prominent commentators have used a stolen e-mail thread from political operatives in 2011 (while I was a 21-year-old college student) about my organization, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, in an attempt to impugn both my integrity and my organization’s work. So let’s set the record straight: every day, my colleagues and I work tirelessly to promote the social mission of Pope Francis… Read more

October 8, 2016

$445,000.00 is nearly half a million dollars. Is Priests for Life budgeting almost half a million dollars for their 2016 election campaign? It would seem so. When you submit the terms “Priests for Life”, “Election”, and “Plan” for a Google search, the first result is Priests for Life’s “Election 2016 Plan of Action, End Abortion and Save America“. Oddly enough, the plan is described as “confidential” – but is neatly set up to be found by anyone interested in what… Read more

September 26, 2016

As I’ve remarked on occasion, I have social media “friends” of all kinds of political and religious backgrounds, though the majority are politically conservative and Roman Catholic. In some circles, it seems, talking about the reality of what is called “white privilege” in American society is treated with anger, derision, or worse. I find this truly puzzling, because, to me, the phenomenon is self-evident, or at least borne out by experience. Acknowledging the subtle and pervasive ways in which our… Read more

September 22, 2016

Damon Linker, who is best-known for defecting from First Things towards the center-left (you can read about his intellectual journey in this interview I conducted with him), made quite a splash yesterday by daring to question the left’s narrative about what Trump  followers represent in his column Liberalism’s Blind Spot: Underlying liberal denigration of the new nationalism — the tendency of progressives to describe it as nothing but “racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia” — is the desire to delegitimize any particularistic attachment… Read more

September 14, 2016

A religion is only plausible if it tells you what to do with your genitals. Thus, Humanae Vitae, Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical about artificial contraception, is where the Catholic Church forcefully asserted its legitimacy in the modern world. The criticism, especially from American theologians, was swift and very critical. It was documented in books such as Dissent in and for the Church: Theologians and Humanae Vitae. The only recent papal document to be met with similar resistance is Laudato Si. Benedict XVI is generally… Read more

September 3, 2016

Rod Dreher has been very generous to this blog throughout the years. Cosmos has been linked on a consistent basis by him. It owes a large chunk of its audience to him. Rod and I have had our disagreements, fallouts, and misunderstandings. We’ve managed to reconcile by the grace of God. I haven’t had a chance to write about his work much, because, well, I haven’t had a chance to write much recently–gainful employment does that to you. However, a… Read more

September 2, 2016

Last week, I wrote a reflection on the role of discipline in the Christian life. I concluded with the following: Likewise, each person on the path to the “narrow gate” must follow certain guidelines so as to not get caught in the underbrush or ambushed by wild animals. But how one travels the path is between you and God. I was quite pleased with the piece; it got many social media interactions. But pride goeth before the fall, as they say,… Read more

August 25, 2016

The problem of violence is an inherently human problem. It is unavoidable, because violence is part of the human condition. Even something as quotidian as eating food is based upon doing violence to plant and animal life. Some secularist ideologues claim to have solved the problem of violence by scapegoating religion. Their argument about the better angels of secularism is based upon the following premises: religion is violent if you get rid of religion then the world will become less… Read more

August 23, 2016

  The Pokémon phenomenon is inescapable. I might the only person who hasn’t played the game in my workplace, however, most of my co-workers–Christian, atheist, and everything in between–are avid players. Not that I’m dead set against it. I have so many other commitments that I haven’t had the time to launch the app, which is buried somewhere deep in the interface of my smart phone behind the Liturgy of the Hours, Flipboard, Twitter, and Feedly. Yet, my secondhand exposure is… Read more

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