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The Tyranny of Tolerance

When the Supreme Court re-defined marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision to include same-sex relationships, it was immediately clear that this sea change would create a conflict between this newly-discovered constitutional right, and the first freedom listed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: the right of religious liberty. Everyone from pundits [...]

Social Media and the Sacrament of the Present Moment

Why are people who quit social media so amusing? After years of embroiled use, a bad break up, a nasty spat, a vague feeling of listlessness, another Luddite throws up his hands and renounces social media with—of all things—a tweet or a Facebook status: “Friends, I’m deactivating my account in a week. I can’t take [...]

Great Gatsby’s Facebook Mansion

The Great Gatsby (the book; I haven’t seen the movie yet) describes a particular kind of life that used to be the sole property of well-heeled WASPs. They were the privileged ones who came from all parts of the country to convene on The East—New York, Boston, New Haven. They could afford all the new [...]

Catholic Youth are Indebted to John Paul II and Benedict XVI

Less than one month ago, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets announced momentous news: “Annuntio vobis tristitiam magnam,” one said. “Sede Vacante,” read another. A million similar messages appeared across the internet and the new social media. The ancient See of St. Peter was vacant. As a 30-something Roman Catholic, the resignation of the pope has been [...]

More of You

A mom recently emailed me a complaint. “You never share stories anymore! I always loved your stories.” It’s true that I regularly used to share stories from my real-life experience as a Catholic mom of many children. It turns out that misery really does love company, and the woes of nighttime teething and tantruming toddlers [...]

Reason Is the Enemy of the Euthanasia Movement

  Facebook can be useful. Browsing through its weekly birthday update, I learned that Nick Tonti-Filippini, a bioethicist who serves on various Australian government committees and teaches at a Catholic institute in Melbourne, turns 55 today. Some of those years must have gone slowly for him, as he is chronically ill. Fortunately, he has the [...]

Six Rules for Facebook

The day my mother joined Facebook, I updated my status to read: "That loud crashing sound you just heard? That was worlds . . . colliding." Imagine the noise, then, when my 16-year-old daughter created her page last month. Kateri is a responsible young lady, and yet still I felt the need to set some ground [...]

Will Facebook Kill the Church?

Professor Richard Beck offers a provocative and well-written look at a truth that hardly anyone else is willing to state. In his piece "How Facebook Killed the Church," he argues that our new connectivity through Facebook and cell phones, and the broader digital world of Twitter and Skype, is hammering away at the foundational social [...]

Lactivism in Washington, D.C.

Delicate museum-goers, avert your eyes now: A group of breastfeeding moms is planning a "nurse-in" at the Hirshorn Gallery this weekend to "highlight their right to breastfeed." The idea was born when one local mom was told that she couldn't breastfeed her baby in the gallery, and instead should nurse in the bathroom (only to [...]

‘Habits are the new radical’

First it was the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, on Oprah; now, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville are taking over NPR. Or, at least, "All Things Considered": A segment on last night's program profiled the Dominican sisters who, like their counterparts in Ann Arbor, are theologically orthodox, live in [...]

If Mary and Joseph had Facebook…

...how would the Nativity story have unfolded? A sweet little video -- and given the Tweets and status updates I get from friends in the delivery room, probably pretty accurate. Hat tip to the Deacon's Bench, which has just relocated to Patheos! Be sure to check out Deacon Greg at his new digs. [video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkHNNPM7pJA 635x355] [...]

Technology + Kids = Trouble

If this article doesn't make you want to pull your kids out of school and go find an igloo in the Arctic tundra, I don't know what will. Writer Jan Hoffman highlights a ninth grade boy whose schoolmates secretly created a Facebook identity for him, making him into a bully and causing classmates and friends [...]

Why would anyone want to run for public office?

Christopher Hitchens surveys the political landscape and wonders what sane person would choose to run for office today: I could introduce you to dozens of enthusiastic and intelligent people, highly aware of "the issues" and very well-informed on all questions from human rights to world trade to counterinsurgency, to none of whom it would occur [...]

Non-Facebook users unite!

I am not on Facebook, which I realize makes me akin to an alien. Yes, I miss out on invitations, fun photos, and connections, but the losses aren't worth the gains… at least not yet. I've been chided and criticized for not joining the club, but it turns out I'm in good -- and unexpected [...]

Steve Skojec: Unplugged

No, I'm not a musician doing an accoustic set. Instead I'm a guy who has had to do some serious budget downsizing, which included dropping my cell phone when the contract ended. I've been without it for almost two weeks now, and I still have phantom phone syndrome. I'm not just a cell phone user, [...]

Deleting Our Past

It's a pretty well-established fact that the new social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) have permanently changed the way we think about on-line privacy. But I'm not sure I had thought about it in terms as stark as those Jeffrey Rosen uses in his New York Times Magazine article, "The Web Means the End of Forgetting" (my emphasis [...]

Our son Chippy enters 7th grade this year.  In fact, at this very moment he is attending summer band camp at the Frost Middle School in Fairfax, VA where he will start his classes in September. He tells me that he "needs" a cell phone because "all his friends" have one.  I say, "Forget it, [...]

Why Do Kids Have Cell Phones?

Our son Chippy enters 7th grade this year.  In fact, at this very moment he is attending summer band camp at the Frost Middle School in Fairfax, VA where he will start his classes in September. He tells me that he "needs" a cell phone because "all his friends" have one.  I say, "Forget it, [...]

The Suicide Watchmen

Via the Anchoress comes the story of an Australian man who patrols the cliff across the street from his home, hoping to coax potential jumpers away from the edge: In those bleak moments when the lost souls stood atop the cliff, wondering whether to jump, the sound of the wind and the waves was broken [...]

Today is National Man Day

I had no idea this day even existed. I had to find out on the Facebook page of a 20-year old friend of mine.  Today -- June 15, 2010 -- is the second annual National Man Day. Started by three brothers as a Facebook page, the idea has caught on with men across the country.  [...]

Ten Ways to Give the Internet a Soul

In a recent message on modern means of mass communication, Pope Benedict XVI asked us to "give the Internet a soul":   Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea facing into the deep with the same passion that has governed the ship of the Church for two thousand years. Rather than for, albeit [...]

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