Christian Stories for Atheists

When I first read “Harry Potter,” I secretly waited for a letter from Hogwarts. Part of growing up was realizing the letter would never come. It’s like the young C.S. Lewis said, when confronted with the confrontation between poetic myth and hard rationalism: “Nearly all that I loved I believed to be imaginary; nearly all…

Summary: Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution chapter 1, The Meaning of Revolution

This chapter summary is part of my reading summaries series. Click here for more information on the series. Click here fore more chapter summaries from On Revolution. I Antiquity knew well that “tyrants rise to power through the support of the plain or the poor people, and that their greatest chance to keep power lies in the people’s desire…

Video: Gay and Catholic

In October, I gave a talk at the University of Notre Dame on being gay and Catholic. Part one has the main talk, and part two is the Q&A.

The Church I Disagree With

The following column was published in The Observer on Thursday, October 30, 2014. I recently gave a lecture in which I tried to take a clever stab at the idea that one indeed can be a Catholic who disagrees with the Church’s teachings. I said something to the effect that I had realized, in my own life, that…

Friendship: The Foundation of Reason

The following column was published in The Observer on Thursday, October 16, 2014. “I will always consider the possibility that I might be wrong.” So states the commitment to humility in the Center for Social Concerns’ “Virtues of Discourse” pledge. As one of the seven “virtues” in the pledge, humility means, “When I realize that I have been…

Studying Death

The following column was published in The Observer on Thursday, September 4, 2014. When students first read how Athens put Socrates to death they either balk at the injustice of the Athenians or at the uncalculating stubbornness of Socrates. Socrates was charged with corrupting Athens’ youth and refused to yield when faced with death. I myself sided…

The Awkward Avoidance of Biblical Interpretation

In contemporary biblical interpretation, much emphasis is placed upon such questions as: Which book or chapter was written first? Which stories have greater historical credibility? What other biblical stories or texts was this book’s author aware of? How far back did the oral tradition of this text go, and, consequently, how true are the words…

Infantile Questioning and the Contemporary Theologian 

I recently attended a conference on women in the church. During one panel, two young Catholic women sought to present the Church’s teachings on women and gender through an orthodox perspective, offering advice and ideas on the roles of women in the Church. One woman stated that she would not be discussing the issue of…

Coming Out Christian (audio)

I recently gave a presentation on faith and homosexuality with Julie Rodgers. The audio is below. You can find out more about the event here. 

Compliance Questions

The following column was published in the Irish Rover on Thursday, March 20, 2014.  On February 12, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held an oral argument in Notre Dame’s case against the HHS mandate. Among the more surprising moments was Judge Posner’s question to Notre Dame attorney Matthew Kairis, asking whether the use of birth control…

Book Recommendations for Undergrads Considering Law School

Coming to law school has made me particularly glad that I decided to major in philosophy. In many ways, I’ve found many of the ideas I encountered as an undergraduate to be foundational to the way I approach the law. I could make a pretty long list of books that I think every student should…

A Theory of Sexual Attraction: Part 2

So, based upon my first post in this series, our “sexuality chart” might look something like this, with a different chart for each person: (If this chart doesn’t make sense to you, you may want to go back and read that first post.) In that first post, I divided off “same-sex-attraction” from “opposite-sex-attraction” and then…