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,...

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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...

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They Know Not What They Say

omewhere in the weary midwest, I drove past a billboard housing an advertisement from McDonald’s. Gluten and ground beef glared at me above an annotation reading: “100% Beef. 100% Bliss.” “Marge,” I screamed to my truck. “That's ground for a class-action lawsuit! How...

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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...

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Trading Fear for Anger

A recent study found that “more Americans [are] suffering from stress, anxiety and depression” than ever recorded. An article from Psychology Today described this increased anxiety as contributing to the fact that “between 1999 and 2014, the suicide rate increased...

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Silicon Valley’s Pornography Problem

he New Year is upon us: the search-engine giants of Silicon Valley have released their sparkling, end-of-year “what we searched for” videos. Watching these stirs up a spirit of solidarity and humanity -- they suggest that our dominant use of the internet was to...

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Why Our Superhero Movies Suck

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 our...

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Harrison Lemke

My friends and I came to admire the singer-songwriter Harrison Lemke after a morning listening-party of his album Fertile Crescent Blues. Over a great deal of coffee, we wondered how anyone not employed to write the sing-along section of a Protestant Kidz TV show...

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Soul-searching with Saintseneca

  ndie rock is waxing theological. Sufjan Stevens opened the door with his crooning tunes sung under the “shadow of the cross.” Mewithoutyou makes the problem of God’s existence the problem of their albums. Now Saintseneca provides a soundtrack for the post-Christian...

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