March 19, 2021

It’s amazing, the ability of the Christian Right to create a problem, claim that the mainstream media is refusing to face the problem, and then blame the left for the problem. The Federalist has put out a very predictable article pointing out that the conscious motivation for the Atlanta killings wasn’t racism, but hatred of women who the killer blamed for his own sexual desires and behaviours. Apparently the left is very loathe to acknowledge violent misogyny because it somehow… Read more

March 16, 2021

The Vatican has decided to double down, yet again, on its commitment to homophobia and the exclusion of LGBTQ people. Yesterday, the Pope endorsed a statement from the CDF (Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith) asserting that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions. This is no surprise. It’s part and parcel of a sexual ethic that routinely prioritizes power over compassion, the Law over love. And until the Church learns that an institution which constantly calls for repentance needs… Read more

March 8, 2021

One of the most common (and frankly most offensive) responses that Christians give to atheists who have lost their faith is the smug rejoinder “You never really had faith in the first place.” Against this charge, defenses from experience are rendered void. If you say “I prayed every day, I read the Bible, I attended church every Sunday, I obeyed the commandments and submitted to the authority of church leadership” then you are told that you did not have faith,… Read more

February 28, 2021

There is a sense in which dogmatic faith renders philosophy impossible. I recall, several years ago, setting out on a project to “correct the errors of postmodernism.” I had read several articles by Catholic philosophers talking about the vacuity of deconstruction and the arrogance of Michel Foucault, and I wanted to address these dangerous ideas in a form that would be accessible to an audience with limited philosophical training. Fortunately, I had principle that I would not attempt to refute… Read more

February 19, 2021

One of the creepier aspects of being a Catholic were the recurrent, often impassioned reflections of adult men on the state of an adolescent girl’s hymen. The girl in question was usually Mary. Going back to very early in the Roman church, you find a continual current of fascination with the question of how, exactly, the virgin mother was able to give birth without losing that precious, intact membrane which confirmed her virginity. Theories varied in their details, and most… Read more

July 16, 2020

In the 17 years that I was a Roman Catholic, I heard exactly one sermon one domestic violence. I’d attended probably nearly a thousand Masses, and yet this was the first time I heard a priest speak directly about the suffering in my home. About a month later, I finally called the police on my ex. That one sermon made all the difference in the world. About one in three women, and one in four men, experience some form of… Read more

May 17, 2020

When it comes right down to, our attempts to reach out across the cosmic divide and touch the face of the Divine are always fraught with one very distinct danger: that when we reach that horizon beyond which our minds cannot pierce, we will see a mirage hovering in the distance. To souls thirsty for mystical contact, these mirages are easily mistaken for God. Most often, though, they are simply representations of aspects of our own psyches. Like the “demons”… Read more

April 25, 2020

Over the next little while, I want to talk about the spiritual life and in particular the ways in which our approach to God is shaped by psychological processes – by the process of creating gods in our own image and then wrestling with those gods, learning their weaknesses and inadequacies and, in the process, coming to greater knowledge of ourselves. I think our quest for God is, at bottom, motivated by a strong feeling or intuition that there is… Read more

March 25, 2020

Yesterday, Libby Anne posted pretty much the exact blog post that has been forming in my head over the past few days as I watch the spectacle of pro-lifers and conservative media railing against the injustice of having to make genuine personal and economic sacrifices in order to preserve human life. Every Possible Sacrifice For years, as a pro-lifer, I was taught that it was selfish, utilitarian, relativist, baby-hating, death-worshiping, evil to ever decide that the cost of a human… Read more

March 2, 2020

Since the revelations about Jean Vanier came to light, I have been mulling over the problem of heroes and saints. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the scandal, Vanier was the founder of L’Arche, a Catholic ministry to people with intellectual disabilities. He authored a number of spiritual books and was not only beloved within the Church but had also been honoured as a Campanion of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to society. Just… Read more

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