Audio: My current research on marriage, love, and friendship

This week I complete my M.A. in Catholic Studies, with my Master’s Thesis titled: “It Is Not Good for Man to Be Alone: Love, Marriage, and Friendship in the Catholic Tradition.” The paper is still undergoing major revisions and additions, but I recently gave a brief presentation on my work. If you’re interested, you can listen to the audio from my presentation below. Continue reading “Audio: My current research on marriage, love, and friendship”

The Emotional Affair of John Paul II

A couple of years before he became Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla wrote to a Polish woman: “God gave you to me and made you my vocation.” The letter was one of more than 700 saved letters between he and Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, a Polish-American philosopher he met in 1973. The year before Wojtyla’s letter, Anna-Teresa had supposedly written that “she desired to be in his arms and remain there in happiness.” He gave her a scapular he had received from his father at his first communion. She sent him pressed flowers and photographs from her home. Their deeply intimate relationship lasted his lifetime, continuing as she read to him on his deathbed. The whole time she was married to Harvard economist Hendrik Houthakker. Continue reading “The Emotional Affair of John Paul II”

My Friend the Carmelite

This fall, a friend began her life as a Carmelite nun. Becoming a cloistered nun is, in a way, like choosing your death. Though she’s just reached her mid-twenties, I may never see or hear from her again. She can only receive visitors a year after her entrance, six years after, and 25 and 50 after. In between, time stops, and our last contact gives a final imprint, our lasting memory of each other. Continue reading “My Friend the Carmelite”

Love in the Landfill

My education at Notre Dame focused significantly on the ancient and medieval world. More than fifty of my 132 credits were on languages, cultures and ideas prior to the modern era, and these classes shaped the way I viewed my own life. I suspect the ways in which I lived and spoke were countercultural, not necessarily deliberately, but because many of my intellectual categories and contexts for thinking about life predated those of the contemporary world by millennia. Continue reading “Love in the Landfill”

What’s Next for Love and Marriage?

The following column was published in The Observer on Thursday, December 11, 2014.

The first dozen times I came out I cried. For many of my friends, it was the first time they had seen me cry. Ever. A high school friend once told me that I had two emotions: happy, and more happy. She was wrong. I felt a lot of things, but I had to hide them.  Continue reading “What’s Next for Love and Marriage?”

On Being a Zoo Animal

When I started law school, I expected to get into all kinds of contentious debates. I do hold, after all, pretty extreme views. I agree with Catholicism’s teachings on… well… everything – abortion, birth control, marriage, etc., etc., etc. I always suspected that I would become a source of controversy. I never suspected I would become a zoo animal.  Continue reading “On Being a Zoo Animal”

A Theory of Sexual Attraction: Part 1

Over the years, various theories have been proposed as to how we might classify human sexuality. In popular discourse, a gay – straight spectrum is commonly used, such as this one:

That is, people are “scored” as to how “gay” or how “straight” they are, with bisexuality in the middle. This is a sharp divergence from the belief that people are either “100% gay” or “100% straight.” In 2012, Io Tillet Wright traveled around the country and asked people who didn’t identify as “100% straight” to give a percentage as to “how gay” they are. The majority of people said 3-20% and 70-90%. What this reveals is that most people who don’t identify as “100% straight” don’t identify as “100% gay” either, and that the human experience of sexuality is much more nuanced than many popular theories suggest…

The rest of this post can be found in my book, “I Desired You: An Intellectual Journal on Faith and Sexuality.” You can order a copy here



Losing to the Gay Rights Movement

It’s no secret that, state after state, advocates of “traditional marriage” are losing to advocates of “marriage equality.” This comes with great public support. Christians seeking to preserve the institution of marriage are coming to understand that they are losing to the culture. Those who oppose “marriage equality” are seen largely as homophobic, as bigots, as intolerant. People call the rejection of same-sex-marriage the  “last socially acceptable form of discrimination.” Continue reading “Losing to the Gay Rights Movement”

Catholicism, Consent, and Notre Dame Football

The following column was written for, though not submitted to, Notre Dame’s student newspaper, the Observer. I have copied it here, as I had originally written it in November 2012:

I was at a dorm party my freshman year, and one of my friends was dancing with a guy she had never met before. Both had consumed several drinks. After the party was over, everyone gathered in the hallway, and he asked her, “Hey, how about we go back to my room?” He held her by the hand and motioned down the hall. I grabbed her other hand and said, “Come on, time to go downstairs.” I don’t know if she would have been assaulted otherwise, but I do know that sexual assault happens at Notre Dame. Continue reading “Catholicism, Consent, and Notre Dame Football”