November 30, 2019

When I was a very little girl I used the word “real” to mean ordinary, commonplace; not numinous, fanciful. or even surprising. Things that surprised me or didn’t look the way I’d expected were “not real.” Real clowns at the circus wore cone-shaped hats and had red noses; clowns whose aesthetic deviated from this design were not real. The ponies at the petting zoo were real, but Clydesdale horses were not real. Cereal and waffles were real breakfasts; eating leftovers… Read more

November 26, 2019

As my regular readers know, I’ve been following the news on the situation in the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston, a stone’s throw away from me in West Virginia. I’ve been commenting with my usual bluster about the retired Bishop Bransfield, whose abusive and decadent behavior are so horrific as to almost defy description– though the Washington Post has been giving it the old college try for months now. Today, the current bishop of Wheeling-Charleston has announced some consequences for Bransfield’s… Read more

November 24, 2019

    A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke: The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, “He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, “If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.” Above him there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews.”Now one of the criminals hanging… Read more

November 21, 2019

People are still up in arms about Chick-fil-A. Conservative Christian commentators are furious. Rod Dreher may or may not have come to the end of his tantrum, but it lasted for over a day and something more than six thousand words. Yesterday, he shared the following true life story on Twitter– and remember, this is about a chain of fast food restaurants deciding to donate to another homeless shelter and give enormous amounts to local food banks rather than giving… Read more

November 21, 2019

  Hi guys, I’ve got a post worth reading that I’m working on in another tab, and I’m embarrassed to do this more than once a month again. But I just need to take a moment to awkwardly pass the hat and remind everyone that Steel Magnificat, and my family, run almost entirely on tips. I get very small paycheck from Patheos for clicks, and everything else I have to live on I get from gratuities from satisfied readers. Some… Read more

November 20, 2019

  We were reaching the end of a long page of multiplication problems. Rosie is officially in the second grade, but we’ve skipped to the third grade book because she has a good head for math. She’s understanding multiplication pretty well, for the most part. Her Achilles heel is that she is an incurable goofball. When she gets bored, she starts to make jokes. The jokes started two-thirds of the way down the page that night, with Rosie deadpanning that… Read more

November 19, 2019

  The first time I learned that our ecological choices can hurt people, I was in preschool. Back in the eighties, when I was a preschooler, I used to go to the mall with my mother. It was a good place to go for a walk indoors when the weather was cold. She packed my little brother and me into the double stroller and wheeled us up and down the aisles, window shopping; sometimes, we’d get an order of fries… Read more

November 19, 2019

  I remember full well when Christians decided that it was a work of mercy to support Chick-Fil-A. It was shortly after Rosie was born; I was still recovering from the childbirth disaster, Michael was trying to finish school, and Rosie had just learned to crawl. We were the poorest we had ever been. We had an EBT card and a gift from a relative that covered rent and very little else, and that was all. We lived in a… Read more

November 18, 2019

My Patheos colleague, Father Matthew Schneider, is an autistic priest. This summer he wrote a post about a priest in India, Father Dominic Valanmanal, who had preached some unbelievably disgusting lies about autism and how a person happens to be born that way. I’m shocked and appalled that anyone would have to refute a position as nutty as Father Valanmanal’s– Father Valanmanal was preaching that children are born autistic because their parents masturbate, consume pornography or engage in “homosexuality” and that… Read more

November 17, 2019

I’ve seen a lot of people balking at the idea of a “sin against ecology” lately. Our Holy Father has mentioned adding “ecological sins” to the catechism, and I’ve noticed people acting as though this is something new– a great big change totally out of left field for Catholicism. How can someone sin against ecology? But it’s not terribly difficult to me, to think about what a sin against ecology might be. It seems to follow from what we know… Read more

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