May 9, 2016

What I found reading the story of the Mother’s Day event, and perusing the comments, was part of a larger motif of disdain for the concerns of families that are not conventionally white, western, middle class, and “respectable.” Read more

May 4, 2016

If you are supporting Trump because of his stance on the economy, immigration, Muslims, or war, you are supporting him for reasons that run counter to Catholic thought, and at times, even counter to basic natural law ethics or humanitarian principles – and without even the slender excuse of a pro-life stance to justify it. If you defend this support because it is “practical,” you are jettisoning our Christian principles of defense of personal dignity even when it is not convenient. If you start contorting yourself to defend Trump now, we are watching you, and wondering what the hell you are thinking. Read more

May 2, 2016

We often hear sermons or admonitions against scanty dress in women, but rarely do we hear admonitions against the flaunting of wealth or power. If I get called out for my spaghetti straps, why isn’t that businessman being called out for buying yet another expensive sports car? Perhaps concentrating the meaning of modesty in sexuality is a good way for those in positions of religious power to deflect their own guilt for kowtowing to the wealthy, instead of treating every single person as a member of the body of Christ. Read more

April 27, 2016

I don’t advocate abortion as the answer to this impossibility. I advocate making better choices available – in a real, concrete, material way, not just as a pleasant theory. But punishing the woman who has had no access to these better choices is only going to tear apart families, provoke mental and physical distress, and deepen the problem of poverty which is a major root cause of abortion. Read more

April 26, 2016

To return to our original topic: can we say that the contemporary practice of veiling is fraught with a complicated past full of demeaning implications? Is there possibility today for the practice to be otherwise? Maybe. Could men find some meaningful gesture that does not depend on practices of women in order to be meaningful? Perhaps this is also possible. Is it clear that, even thousands of years after these words and cultures thrived, that the kyriarchical meanings and associations of ancient veiling still exist to an extent in the modern form? Read more

April 25, 2016

I still have no desire to veil myself, though I may occasionally sport a fedora, but I do intend in the future to be more respectful to women who find veiling enhances their religious experience, and to be wary about making assumptions about their beliefs or motives. Our religious experience is enriched and deepened when we learn from, instead of judging, one another. Read more

April 24, 2016

It is not possible to function in a whole and healthy manner if one is doing so with a fractured self, in denial of one’s past, and so my prayer for Michael Voris is that he consider retiring, for a time, from the public life. Maybe consider the whole true meaning of “ecclesia militans,” which is better translated as the “church struggling.” We are all sinners struggling against temptation, despair, and darkness – and this is a far more appropriate way to imagine the Christian life, than to be posing with a sword. Read more

April 21, 2016

There are artists that accompany us from the dark places to the bright, who give us the music we need for our hours of weeping and rejoicing, also for our laughing, and our anger, and our confusion. They give us the music we need to keep on dancing, dancing back from the outer rings of chaos. To these madmen and poets, these flamboyant graces, these complex and fluid multi-faceted souls, we owe perpetual gratitude. Read more

April 21, 2016

The term “feminist” was not invented yet, in Charlotte Brontë’s day, but I will permit myself this anachronism, and say that in both her life and her work she was a pioneer of Christian feminism. She was able to stand staunch in defense of her own vocation and integrity, against the human conventions of society and its religion, because she put her faith in God, who loves and sustains creation – the God she found in what I dare to call the sacramentality of nature, out in the free open spaces where the soul could soar. A room of one’s own is good, but a moor of one’s own is even better. Read more

April 20, 2016

For this Jewish Catholic, this challenge to believe takes one down a very strange path, a path into a Dark Wood where one confronts, not the allegorical beasts of sins, but real historical men and women whom we call monsters. How shall we confront them? Is it a legitimate act of piety, after all, to place anyone who ever has lived in hell, even in a mythic epic? I am not sure I want to be on this strange path; I want to be some place comfortable surrounded by the people I like. That’s how I want to imagine heaven, and I am content to accept that I won’t get there except for through purgatory, which is where all the cool kids hang out, anyway (all the best poets are there). Read more

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