Sunshine, buttercups, and rainbow flags

I understand the idea of incrementalism. I understand accepting people where they are, accompanying them, and praying with them as they gradually become more open to the fullness of the truth, whether they’re deeply invested in a homosexual relationship or deeply invested in a contraceptive relationship. You can’t accompany someone unless they decide walk through the door, so you want that door to look as welcoming as possible. Plant flowers. Put a fresh coat of paint. Hang a rainbow flag. It is our job to be loving first, so as to make it possible for people to receive the law and then identify it as the same thing as love. I understand this.

But where do we draw the line between accompaniment and bait and switch?

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly.

Image by BookMama via Flickr (Creative Commons)

No, Tony Esolen, you can’t cure gay with football

I think he’s fallen prey to a dangerous fantasy, almost a fetish, of what the world once was: A world where fathers are always good, kind, and wise, where women are gentle and nurturing but not awfully bright, where the sun was always golden, sheets were always clean, and most of all, no one was ever, ever gay. (And if they were, it was because they accidentally talked to a gay man, who probably got that way by … not thinking about showering coal miners often enough … hmm.)

So here’s my advice to you, teenagers . . .

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly.

Image: Renee Olmstead via Pixabay (Creative Commons)

Why you should care about gluten-free Communion—even if you eat wheat

After watching many secular media outlets butcher these very ready facts about gluten in the Eucharist, though, and after seeing educated Catholics retreat huffily into their corners, I began to wonder if I have a dog in this fight, after all. Maybe we all do. Because maybe this is not the first time we’ve seen some version of this fight.

Read the rest of my latest for America Magazine.

Dolce and Gabbana + Catholics = The enemy of my enemy is FABULOUS

N0026050 Whiplash injury


‘Scuze me while I tape my head back on my shoulders. I gots me a bad case of Conservative Catholic Whiplash.


Yesterday, the True Enemies of the Church were the Knights of Columbus, because they briefly considered marching in a parade.


Last week, Eve Tushnet was anathema because she refers to herself as “gay and Catholic” without also constantly crying out, “Unclean! Unclean!”


Two weeks ago, “mercy” was a dirty word that only thug-loving bleeding hearts would use, and according to my prudential judgment, the fifth commandment calls for killing ‘em all, even the mentally ill, and letting God sort ‘em out.


Today, Dolce and Gabbana are here to save us with their breathtaking clarity about family life, so we need to extend mercy and tolerance and the benefit of the doubt and meet them where they are, because after all, we’re all on a journey here. Hell, let’s launch a petition supporting them against Elton John’s scurrilous boycott (eek, a boycott!), because we are always and everywhere in favor of supporting bitsy weensy scraps of truth from people who routinely use gang rape in their ad campaigns.


Before you sign the petition, can you please click here and ask yourself why they didn’t use this picture as their featured image? 


And can you explain to me why it’s okay for the world to see pro-lifers fawning all over a couple of guys who referred to human babies as “synthetic children”? Am I the only one who remembers when Catholics were openly debating whether or not “test tube babies” had souls? Is that the road we want to go down again?


I’m not saying “Stone the witch!” whether that’s Elton John or Dolce and Gabbana or anyone. I’m saying we need to calm the hell down, pick our battles better, and above all stay out of celebrity cat fights that have very little to do with us.


Kat has it right. Catholics need to stop being so desperate for crumbs of affirmation from the secular world. Or if we are going to give credit where credit is due, then we need to be a hell of a lot more consistent about it. If D+G are our new besties, then let’s see if we have any of this astonishing outpouring of mercy and understanding to spare for people who aren’t rich and influential.




Shame on you for not reading me

. . . says Steve Gershom, in a nice acknowledgement for the interview we did a couple of weeks ago.  Steve expands a little on his favorite parts, and remarks rather poignantly,

As a celibate gay man, I seem to spend half my time telling secular people that I’m just the same as other men, and telling Christians that I’m extremely different from other men. The truth is in the mean, I guess, but sometimes to make the stick straight (heh) you have to bend it too far in the other direction.

If you’re not reading Steve Gershom, you’re missing a lot of candor and insight, plus a good amount of heh.

If you missed our interview about the ex-gay movement and what we are really talking about when we talk about trying to change our orientation, here is part 1 and here is part 2.

“I’m not a homosexual. I’m a man.”

Come on over and see me at Faith and Family today (for real this time!), where I have a short interview with a young, gay, faithful Catholic man.  You’ll like him — he’s so clean and articulate!  But something tells me Joe Biden would not be impressed.

And hello and welcome to Faith and Family and Creative Minority Report readers.  Stick around for tomorrow, when we will  . . . okay, I have no idea what we will be doing tomorrow.  The Jerk, who usually reviews movies on Thursdays, is taking a few days off.  I think he found himself singing along with Pat Benetar during the big climax in The Legend of Billy Jean,

and is going on a retreat to reassess his life goals.   But he will be back!

Vaya con Dios, The Jerk.