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

April 18, 2016

Because eros is not the same as sex. Sex can be an aspect of the erotic, but there are aspects of the erotic that differ from sex. As Plato points out in Symposium, eros drives our longing for beauty, for truth, for justice. Sex outside the framework of the erotic might be, at best, a “zesty enterprise,” to quote Maude Lebowski. Read more

April 14, 2016

With all the complaints that are made – justifiably- about the hyper-sexualization of the female body by secular media, we need to consider the harmful way in which the elevation of this false idea of modesty hyper-sexualizes women, and teaches children to regard bodies as objects instead of persons. Read more

April 12, 2016

I am not a theologian, nor do I play one on the internet. I am a person who enjoys words, however, and when you spend time enough with words in a religious space, you can not avoid confrontations. In this case, I have in mind the confrontations between those of us who love Pope Francis, and the “rad trads” who can’t stand him. But before I get to that, let’s look at another inevitable confrontation: between desire for understanding, and… Read more

April 11, 2016

Because, as soon as I draw on the language that beautifies, I am pretending that wounds aren’t real, that suffering is all in the past, or, worse, that suffering is actually a blessing, because without suffering this or that rich happy person wouldn’t be rich and happy today. Read more

April 9, 2016

I dared to think, and to see Mary as a woman who thought, who contemplated, who pondered, who analyzed – who had an interiority, secret musings – “but Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart” Read more

April 7, 2016

An article from Crisis, entitled “The Misguided Compassion of Social Justice Catholics,” by Dana R. Casey, was making the rounds on the internet recently, and I tried not to read it, because I knew it would not make me happy. But, because I am an intellectual masochist, and because educated Catholics were sharing it, I did the thing, and clicked the link, and regretted it. I will probably regret responding to it also. I meant to write a piece on… Read more

April 6, 2016

Perhaps God does indeed work mysteriously through the turmoil of history, but the divinely comedic flowering of good from evil doesn’t lessen our responsibility for evil. It should just make us more humble. Read more

April 3, 2016

Training in sexual responsibility should not draw lines around most of humanity and signal with an arrow that “this alone is safe to see.” It should involve training in seeing the other not as an object, but as a subject herself Read more

April 1, 2016

we see the resurrected Christ make his appearance first to a woman, Mary Magdalene, and how different it is from the encounters of women with gods in other stories Read more




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