Stock Photo Blues

I am beset by faces I cannot trust. They glower at me from billboards, they simper at me from screens, and look! There goes one now! Baring her teeth in the room where I wait to have the tender center of my tooth drilled out. Poor, dental stock-face. Tanned,...

Reverence and Contraception

Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humane Vitae gave the perennial “no!” to the question of whether contraception could be used without endangering and degrading the human person.  Since its release and world tour in 1968, critics have characterized the encyclical as an...

The Cult of Affection

here is a kind of love that considers the beloved under the light of a shared history.  I am not certain that it has a name, but I’ll call it affection, a love that C.S. Lewis said was responsible “for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in...

Why Our Superhero Movies Suck

ur modern superheroes have sex. Super sex, I suppose, but otherwise they do it according to the basic ethical norms of liberalism: with consent and without any hangups about marriage. It’s hardly surprising — our superheroes are reflections of our ideals, and...

An Idiotic Hierarchy

I needed to make restitution for my sins. So I exposed my body to that combox anti-Catholicism that spits out the word “hierarchy” like it’s Greek for “storm troopers” or “really bad STDs.” I learned two things. First, one...

A Theology of Indie Rock

Indie-rock [1] musicians have a wonderfully strange fascination with the Church. I don’t mean to dunk them all in baptismal water — their overt flirtation with The Holy Catholic Faith ranges from “strained,” to “profound,” to...