July 16, 2019

I was inspired after reading Chris Arnade’s piece on “Back Row America” in First Things to reflect on the distinct styles of devotion among different socioeconomic and ethnic lines. Arnade writes that Like most in the front row, I am used to thinking we have all the answers. On Wall Street, there were few problems we couldn’t solve with enough smarts, energy, audacity, or money. We even managed to push death into the distance; with enough research and enough resources—eating right,… Read more

July 8, 2019

“Christmas was the only time I could be myself…with all the fun colors and the robes,” laments Damon (Ryan Jamal Swain), in the third episode of FX’s hit show Pose. “I played Melchior in the church nativity play and my mom took me to buy this big gold fabric that I would wear in the show. My dad, when I came out of my bedroom to show him [he strikes a pose], he laughed. I mean…any other day, and he… Read more

June 30, 2019

The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in midtown Manhattan will hold a “Pre-Pride Mass” on Saturday, the eve on New York City’s pride parade. This year’s celebrant will be Fr. James Martin, S.J. The parish website advertises the Mass as part of their “United In Love” celebration of “inclusion and prayer.” Even though “identifying as Catholic and gay or lesbian and can sometimes be a challenge,” the website continues, “we accept you #AsYouAre….Decorations will festoon our beautiful church and… Read more

June 19, 2019

Whenever I broach the topic of death with my mother, she never fails to remind me that my funeral will take place in a Greek Orthodox Church. She never fully came around to accepting my conversion to Catholicism. My friend John’s funeral made me look at the tension between ecclesial bodies in a new light. John also found himself caught between the divide of the Christian East and West. Though he, like myself, chose to enter into full communion with… Read more

June 13, 2019

I find this whole Drag Queen Story Hour debacle to be such a drag…to say the least. The very idea of a drag queen reading books to children in public libraries goes against the whole logic of the art of drag. (more…) Read more

June 11, 2019

So this just happened. And I couldn’t be more relieved. Now, before you alert the authorities of my transgression against the PC purity code, allow me to explain myself. When I was at least three years old, I remember going through the drive through at McDonalds with my dad. “Can I get a happy meal?” “For a boy or girl?” “Boy…but he wants the girl toy.” “Ummm…ok. $4.99, drive around to the window” [muffled comments, giggles]. For as long as… Read more

June 4, 2019

“Why is it that women are more suited to the con than men?” “Because no man can believe that a woman is smarter than he is.” A poorly written rom-com was the last place I would think to find an apology for difference feminism. With poststructural feminism rapidly pervading pop culture, I usually expect these types of movies to portray strong female leads who, liberated from socially constructed norms, embody a supposedly gender neutral image of the happy, liberated woman…. Read more

March 24, 2019

Several of my students came into my classroom last Friday to ask me if I saw the livestream of the massacres in New Zealand. My immediate reaction was that of shock, “are you crazy? Why would I ever want to watch that?” I took it for granted that anyone who watched that would be repulsed and horrified. The many students who watched it (before most major social media sites took it down) described is “crazy” and “insane,” while others described… Read more

March 18, 2019

The news that 49 people were shot and killed at two different mosques in New Zealand this morning left me baffled, to say the least. Almost as baffling  was the statement given by NZ’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in response to the shooting: We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages, and amongst said diversity, we share common values and the one we place the currency on right now and tonight is our compassion and the… Read more

February 22, 2019

From my new post at Ethika Politika: As much as I was moved by Fr. Tolton’s story, I couldn’t help but leave the play with a sense of disgust. “How could the Church have been so racist…so evil?” While the Church’s hierarchy has done much to overcome its racist past, it remains mired with other vices and evils. Most recently, I’ve been trying to understand how a hierarchy which attempts to cover up the sexual abuse of minors can claim… Read more

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