February 13, 2020

I. I haven’t really got out of the doldrums I described in my last post (or, indeed, that go back to Advent). I don’t know whether to attribute it to spiritual or natural causes—the latter seem likelier. God knows the incessant, cold, half-hearted rain that’s plagued the Chesapeake for the last month and some hasn’t put me in a better mood. The ongoing and thoroughly despicable corruption of the current presidential administration has been more than a little discouraging too,… Read more

January 29, 2020

I’m sitting at my desk, drinking a beer and listening to Dishwalla (shut up), and feeling lost. It’s one month until Lent starts, and I’ve been thinking vaguely about what I’ll do for it, but something feels sort of unreal about it. I’ve never felt as disconnected from the Church as I do now. Alienated, even. I’ve been wanting for a while to go to confession—I haven’t been since just before Christmas—but the brute fact is, I just don’t trust priests… Read more

January 23, 2020

I. Busy week, so I’ve put my series on Just War Theory on the backburner and hope to resume it next week. Meanwhile, I’d like to ask for some prayers: some friends of mine are having difficulty with a pregnancy they expect to miscarry; another friend recently lost his wife to cancer; I am considering getting involved in some activist work that might allow me to quit Starbucks and would be a lot more boots-on-the-ground leftist than I’m habituated to;… Read more

January 15, 2020

Intro; Part One Every life is sacred. The only reason the Church can even consider violence done in self-defense is that your own life is sacred, too; because of this, the amount of violence it takes to defend yourself can be permitted, (1) when only violence will stop an attacker from killing or injuring you. The same principle is applied to countries by extension, and this is essentially what Just War Theory consists in. The conditions laid down by JWT… Read more

January 8, 2020

Intro Violence is a bad thing. This basic truth—intuitive enough to most people that I don’t propose to attempt to prove it—is one of the essential elements of Just War Theory. Many people, including a lot of JWT advocates, think of it as a way of seeing how violent we’re allowed to be; but from a properly Catholic perspective, its function is to throw as many obstacles as possible in the way of the human impulse to resort to violence…. Read more

January 5, 2020

A nice easy set of topics to cover, but don’t worry, I’ll be 100% objective. The assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a major military leader of Iran, has gotten a lot of social media discussing Just War Theory, a branch of philosophy pioneered by St Augustine and which forms a part of the mainstream of Catholic political thought. It has gotten a lot of non-American social media pointing out the self-centeredness of American social media, which has been largely full of… Read more

December 31, 2019

Every New Year’s Eve, I do an arts review—good stuff that came out (or that I happened to discover) this year in film, music, books, TV, et cetera. 2019 has been kinda hit and miss, but I do have a few things I am quite excited about. First of all, Eve Tushnet has released her second novel! Punishment: A Love Story is set in DC in 2016, and explores the personal and spiritual lives of several members of a kinksters’… Read more

December 26, 2019

One rarely sees a film whose principal message to its audience appears to be “So you bought a ticket to this, huh? Fuck you”, but when one does,—well, truth be told I don’t know what happens next. But I sat through this wretched film unasked, and now I am going to make you all suffer with me. Merry Christmas. In defense of Tom Hooper (who directed the film) and Andrew Lloyd Weber (who created the Broadway musical the film is… Read more

December 17, 2019

I haven’t been able to write much for the blog of late. For the last few years, Advent has tended to be a season of spiritual and emotional doldrums: worry about January (consistently a bad month for me financially) and trying to get gifts taken care of tend to dampen my mood. Much more than that, the long series of holiday gatherings from Thanksgiving to New Year’s involves a lot of time spent with families with children, and, well, I… Read more

December 9, 2019

Part One Content warning: descriptions of sexual maturation, queerphobic slurs Honestly, this part was hard to write. To articulate this, you have to be really raw with the pain most queer people grow up with, something that affects a lot of us almost continually (1); for me personally, it’s a pain that has been almost physically oppressive lately. But, this is kinda what I do, so here goes. I said that imagination is an intellectual exercise, and it is. Imaginative… Read more

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