London is falling

By | June 4th, 2017|Categories: Culture|

Fans of The Clash will get the title's allusion. Another Islamic attack has unfolded before our eyes, this time at the iconic London Bridge. As of this writing, there are victims and scores injured. One man tried to describe a woman who stumbled into a nearby pub with her throat slashed, with her blood shining crimson [...]

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Notes on humor and women

By | June 2nd, 2017|Categories: Culture|

To say that "women (as a rule) aren't funny" may sound rude and blunt. But there is a way in which it makes sense and expresses a truth about the difference between men and woman. A better way to put it would be to say that comediennes (remember when it was permissible to call female professional funny [...]

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The Discipline Shortage Crisis

By | May 29th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Spirituality|

Discipline is an interesting virtue. There are thousands of books devoted to instilling it, working toward it, trying to gain it. A simple search on Amazon yields 446,614 book titles on the topic. The topic seems universal. There are books on disciple for athletes, for business leaders, for soldiers, for singers, actors, and other performers. Without [...]

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Catholicism is Weird

By | May 22nd, 2017|Categories: Culture, Spirituality|

Let’s face it. Catholicism is weird. This is true for ignorant outsiders and for dissenting insiders. Like the Hebrews of old, Catholics are a peculiar people, a people set apart (Deuteronomy 14:2; Psalm 4:3; 1 Peter 2:9). The ethno-hyphenated Catholics (“My sainted grandma was born in Galway and my son is at Notre Dame – so [...]

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An eclectic week in the news

By | May 8th, 2017|Categories: Culture|

This past week has been the picture of eclectic news items. Paris, France: Marine LePen (never described in the media without the prefix “far right” or “firebrand”) lost the French presidency to Emmanuel Macron, a “centrist.” I confess to knowing too little about the minutiae of the candidates’ positions but I do remember reading what M. [...]

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Transformed By Beauty ebook

By | April 25th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Spirituality|

The good people at Covenant Eyes have produced a thought-proving four-part ebook titled Transformed By Beauty, which points toward the antidote for compulsive (or causal) porn use. Edited by Sam Guzman and Amanda Zurface and strung across four interviews, I guarantee you haven't come across a treatment like this.  We dive deep with (in order) Father Thomas [...]

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When idols fall

By | December 28th, 2016|Categories: Culture|

  For those who care deeply about celebrities, no matter how "has been," the bloom was taken off Christmas this year with the one-two loss of singer George Michael on Christmas Day and actress Carrie Fisher just hours ago as I write this. Here is one of Carrie Fisher's  final TV interviews, only taped weeks ago. [...]

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Porn free!

By | April 19th, 2016|Categories: Culture, Spirituality|

A lot of effort is expended by Christians talking about the problem of pornography (we hear of the scourge of porn, the  and damages of porn ) and so little effort on what to do about it, at least on a personal level.       Last week on  Catholic Answers Live, I interviewed a young man [...]

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An unusually Catholic politician

By | April 12th, 2016|Categories: Culture|

Do you know how the Vietnam War started? Until last month, I hadn’t really thought about it. I knew the French were there before World War II; I knew (vaguely) about Ho Chi Minh in the North; and I knew that the Soviet Union and the United States were playing a game of Cold War chess by proxy. [...]

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A brief for balance

By | April 6th, 2016|Categories: Culture|

Polite society prizes moderation, doesn’t it? We’re told (in a maxim with various versions) that “in all things moderation.” This is commonly understood to mean that the alternative to moderation is extremism, which is unwise, either because a) it peters out quickly; or b) it’s is rooted in a volatile emotional impulse. Makes sense, right? Yes, but. Here’s [...]

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