Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 | 4 comments

The Liturgy of Political Discourse

The Liturgy of Political Discourse

The Big Lebowski is one of my and my friend Tyler’s favorite films. It takes very little provocation to get us to watch it, and I’ve even had viewings as close together as a week apart. A film that’s been seen so much reaches a place of comfortable familiarity–one begins to laugh even before the jokes land, and it’s perfectly possible to finish lines (if you want to be that annoying guy). There is something like this that happens in the morass of American political discourse, though it rarely involves laughter. As one grows older, one is bound to notice that American political discourse falls into patterns. That pattern may shift as certain ideologies ebb and flow, but by and large it’s so familiar one feels one really could finish the lines before they’re said. This is particular noticeable as we get nearer to the next American presidential race and political debate begins to move from constant background buzz to the foreground of American life (even for those of us not currently living on...

Read More

Posted by on May 25, 2015 | 2 comments

Romantic Idolatry: A Call for an Imagination for Singleness

Romantic Idolatry: A Call for an Imagination for Singleness

  The Church has a relationship problem. Sometime during my undergraduate years, studying Medieval philosophers who were perhaps a bit too much influenced by Neoplatonism in their denigration of the body, I looked around at my friends, Christian and non-Christian, and realized something was wrong. The thing was, between these two groups of friends there was no real discernible difference in their attitudes towards romance (beyond when they’d sleep with their significant other… or at least, when they’d admit to doing it). In both cases, romance was seen as a life cap-stone, a path to personal fulfillment, the source of love. If certain Patristic and Medieval thinkers had imbibed a little bit too many anti-material sentiments, my friends and I had taken in its near opposite almost whole-cloth.  It’s hard to imagine St. Paul, with his declaration that it is better to remain unmarried, or Jesus who praised those who would become eunuchs for the Kingdom, condoning such sentiments. Which is not to say that I think romance is bad,...

Read More

Posted by on Apr 25, 2015 | 0 comments

The Body at Work

The Body at Work

A pounding headache during the Easter Vigil, brought on by dehydration. Coming in late at night, cold and wet from a day out in rain and hail. A splatter of dog feces in the face. All of these things are realities of my new job. In the last month I’ve been mowing lawns for a company in Vancouver in order to pay for life in the post-school world. There are also other realities though: a sense of satisfaction, an enjoyment of the outdoors, and a new awareness of my body. One could hardly imagine a job more different from the work I did in school, but I’m glad I’m doing it. It’s the latter point about body awareness that I want to focus on in today’s post, however. It’s fairly well understood that academics aren’t always the best with our bodies. Afterall, our job involves sitting in libraries or behind desks all day, and so unless we consciously build in a routine of exercise or sports it’s very easy...

Read More

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 | 0 comments

The Promise of Death

The Promise of Death

In his last post, Lance pointed out that our culture exists within a paradox of constant denial of death and simultaneous embrace of death. We consume death and we look away from it, assuring ourselves that as we pile up our kingdom on the bones of the dead we will never die. As I said in my post last year, “The tension of death’s simultaneous presence and absence places us in a psychologically untenable place. We know we are dying, we know others die, yet we are unequipped to face it—we lack even the language.” As Lance says, Ash Wednesday speaks into this paradox, it “reveals an authentic death” and this death leads us through to life. This means, of course, that Ash Wednesday’s declaration of death is not simply to our culture, it speaks to the Christian, taming temporal triumphalism and situating our lives here within the promise of life to come. To the Christian tempted to think that our place as children of God means temporal fortune and favour, Ash...

Read More

Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 | 1 comment

Civil Liberties are for the Ones You Hate

Civil Liberties are for the Ones You Hate

Civil liberties aren’t for you. They aren’t for your friends. They’re for the people you hate. In the wake of the murders at Charlie Hebdo, many writers have pointed to the fact that it’s quite reasonable to detest the work of Charlie Hebdo and still believe they had the right to freedom of expression (and, even more fundamentally, the right to life.) These opinions recognize the fact that civil liberties come before the particularities of the people who receive those liberties. They recognize that liberty is enshrined in laws precisely to protect those whose ideas and lifestyles we might find detestable, but this is a point we too often seem to forget. You see, we make civil liberties into laws in order to protect the fragile dream of a pluralist society. Pluralist societies depend on people and associations of different creeds being able to work together for a common political good. The problem is that we humans are not by nature comfortable with such an arrangement. It’s easy enough...

Read More