March 22, 2016

Nature is violent, but innocent. And it can’t be a basis for ethics. Read more

March 21, 2016

It’s a shame that the veneration of Mary often is embroidered with a subtle rhetoric of shaming of other women, because Mary is not our enemy; she is our advocate. She knows our suffering. In a way, every poor, isolated, unmarried, pregnant woman is for us an image of Mary Theotokos. If we are to see the face of Christ in everyone, where else is Jesus so clearly present in the paradox of his vulnerability, even his invisibility, as in the unborn child of an unmarried woman, in a culture that despises her? Read more

March 18, 2016

  We are taught from early on how to be women. And then, at some point, for some earlier, others later, sometimes having read a significant book, sometimes having had an epiphany, we realize that we have been training ourselves not to be ourselves. If being a woman is so natural, so universal, so absolute, why must we be taught these many subterfuges, hiding away the natural beneath the artifice? There is in the art of presenting “a woman” a… Read more

March 17, 2016

“He was a creature of his time.” Thus we excuse past slave-owners, war criminals, and wife beaters – so long as they are notable for having contributed significantly to art, politics, civilization, or religion. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, but we are encouraged by polite history to gloss over this, or to emphasize instead his interest in gradual emancipation. Jefferson may even be presented as a hero precisely for holding less extreme supremacist views than his contemporaries. Reluctance to tarnish national… Read more

March 16, 2016

One common criticism of public assistance or government welfare programs, that they are poorly managed, should be taken not as a rationale for scrapping all such programs, but rather as incentive to reform them. Also, the same criticism could be made of various charitable organizations, many of which are run by scandalously wealthy executives, while only a fraction of what they take in goes to the supposed recipients. See Charity Navigator for information on which organizations actually give most of their proceeds… Read more

March 14, 2016

“It takes a village.” Why do people frown on this idea, as though it were some liberal invention? It is actually a very old understanding, rooted in the understanding of Christian community. Perhaps our contemporary western idea of “family” is too rigid, too isolated. Read more

March 11, 2016

There are forms of piety that turn away from all things dirty or disgusting, emphasizing purity and emptiness, but these pieties are foreign to the Christian worship of Christ incarnate, Christ born of woman, Christ with a human body all organs and fluids, Christ bleeding on the cross. Read more

March 10, 2016

And why are we so accepting of the idea that men are reducible to tools of the state, that it is acceptable to send men out to fight, to destroy, to be horribly wounded, to kill, to be killed? Read more

March 9, 2016

  The topic of victimhood came up yesterday in two entirely separate groups devoted to Catholic feminism. In one group the emphasis was on “badass feminism” – in the other, it was on the irrelevance of words and images.  In both cases there was an insistence that refusing to be a victim is not only an option, but a morally superior option. This viewpoint I find untenable from a philosophical, from a feminist, and from a Christian perspective. Badass feminism… Read more

March 8, 2016

(image credit: pixabay) There’s been a lot of talk about intersectionality lately, not only in academic circles but in the mainstream corporate and social media. The term, coined by legal professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, refers to the way in which discrimination happens along a number of intersecting lines of power, privilege, and prejudice, and was initially introduced to talk about the particular prejudice directed against black women. The term is popular in identity politics, but has to do with social justice, too,… Read more

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