January 14, 2019

So a year or so ago, Dr. Stephen Lewis, who was, until this past Friday, the Chair of the English Department at Franciscan University, taught a class to students  in which one of the texts was written by an atheist who is deeply hostile to the Faith.  It included passages deeply insulting to the Blessed Virgin.  Lewis is a devout and faithful son of the Church, a good teacher, and a good man. As Emily Stimpson Chapman writes: I know… Read more

January 12, 2019

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January 11, 2019

Here is a guest column she asked me to run.  I do so with pride: President Trump is threatening to grant himself dictatorial powers. He is making repeated statements about declaring a national emergency at the border and overriding Congress so that he can build his wall. Let’s be clear about this. Whatever is happening at the border has been going on for many decades, so it’s hardly an “emergency”. The emergency powers he’s talking about are for situations like… Read more

January 10, 2019

As has now become obvious, the standard strategy of the GOP Christianist Cult of Trump is to its enemies of the very things it desires and intends itself. Back during the debate over universal health, a standard trope of the Cult was that people only advocated universal health care so that they could form “death panels” and exterminate the weak. Christianists shamefully defied the Church’s century old call for universal health care by joining in that lie with gusto. Now… Read more

January 8, 2019

…to the sexual abuse crisis. For a brief moment this past summer things began to come into focus for us concerning sexual abuse in the Church. When the PA report came out, the focus was where it should be: on victims. It didn’t matter whether the victim was male or female, or whether the abuser was gay or straight or his protecter and enabler conservative or liberal. What mattered was the victim and getting justice for the victim. Then, never… Read more

January 8, 2019

There is no crisis at the border and no need for wasting $5 billion on a wall to inflict sadistic punishment on refugees. There is no need for Trump’s sadistic and selfish shutdown of the government. None of this is necessary and everything Trump is saying to rationalize his stupid vanity project for the benefit of his base of bigots is a lie. No. Really: At a June 21, 2018, cabinet meeting, Donald Trump talked about “the illegal immigration crisis… Read more

January 7, 2019

The central flaw of the American conservative Christianist “prolife” movement is that it has managed to transmogrify its mission from “saving the unborn” to “saving the GOP and using the unborn as tools, props, and human shields while doing that.” Similarly, millions of those Christians involved in that endeavor have fallen prey to a little trick Uncle Screwtape described: About the general connection between Christianity and politics, our position is more delicate. Certainly we do not want men to allow… Read more

January 3, 2019

I offer a rousing toast and a deeply grateful word of thanks for your evangelization of my imagination when i was but a downy-faced youth starting out in life. Beyond this, Tolkien, more than any other man, helped to train my heart in a deep suspicion of the corrupting effects of power. I will be grateful to him till the day I die for innoculating me with the gospel against the antichrist Christianist Freak Show now careering around the world… Read more

January 2, 2019

Paul speaks of the “mystery of evil”. And Augustine remarks that when a creature sins (something only a rational creature such and humans and angels can do), it “asserts its nothingness”. I think this is why fascism is ultimately impossible to analyze and the evil that it does, while having a certain internal logic, ultimately makes no sense. So given the premisses of Nazism, which were fundamentally nonsense, the Holocaust played out “logically”. That is, having accepted the nonsense of… Read more

January 1, 2019

I like to meditate on the Presentation (when Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth to complete Mary’s purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn according to the Law of Moses) in conjunction with another incident involving the first time Jesus shed sacrificial blood on our behalf: his circumcision on the eighth day (Luke 2:21). Both are Old Testament rites of purification and both point forward… Read more

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