Dusty Gates

Dusty Gates currently serves as the Director of Adult Education at the Spiritual Life Center for the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, KS, and as an adjunct Professor of Theology at Newman University in Wichita, KS, where he resides with his wife and three children.

recent articles

Can Catholics be Minimalists?

In his brilliant Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman writes eloquently of the power of the Catholic Church to assimilate non-Christian, and even heretical, beliefs into her own Tradition. He writes about the Church as being able to stand firm among various philosophies, dogmas, and cultures as one who … Read more

Good Food is Not Enough

I was saddened by news of the death of Anthony Bourdain, reported as an apparent suicide. While I’m always surprised and saddened by news that a person has opted out of life, unfortunately our collective shock has perhaps been lessened by other high profile suicides among pop stars, and by our intuitive recognition that a … Read more

On Getting the Government We Deserve

“Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example,” said the people to the prophet Samuel, “appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us” (1 Sam. 8:5). We generally look retrospectively at this decision as a mistake, made evident by the stern warning the Lord gives to … Read more

Why the World Fears Beauty

I have always wondered why people enjoy scaring themselves, intentionally. Around Halloween, for instance, entertainment-seekers spend good money to have someone frighten them—perhaps by watching a horror movie, or at one of those warehouses filled with demented decorations and actors hired to dress up in hideous disguises and jump out from hidden places to frighten … Read more

Heroism in the Land of Dragons

Human history contains plenty of dragons. It was the serpent, the most cunning of all the animals (Gen 3:1) who frightened Adam from the side of Eve: she who was taken from his side, and thus should have been inseparable from her protector. The serpent then frightened Eve away from her God, and has turned … Read more

Peter Wasn’t Afraid to Die

On Palm Sunday, and again on Good Friday, we will hear and take part in one of the most infamous scenes in Christian history. We will read the Gospel account (from the synoptics on Palm Sunday, this year from the Gospel according to Luke, and from the Gospel according to John, as always, on Good … Read more

Why Catholics Needn’t Celebrate New Year’s Day

On Friday, January 1, the secular world will observe “New Year’s Day.” The Catholic world will not, for two reasons. One is that we have a genuine religious feast day to observe, in celebration of Mary, the Mother of God. The second is that Catholics don’t find much use in celebrating the chronological movement from … Read more

Four Reasons Why We Need Boycotts

In 1880, a number of Irish land tenants were evicted from lands held by the Right Honorable John Crichton, third Earl Erne, after failing to meet the demands of the agent employed by the absentee landlord. The land vacated by those former tenants then became available for other renters who were willing to accept the … Read more

The Education of “Student 1950”

While students have caused a ruckus on several campuses in recent days, one particularly noisy and increasingly popular student coalition has made itself heard locally and nationally.  Collectively called The University of Missouri’s “Student 1950,” they bear a name meant to commemorate the year the first black students were admitted to MU. While all of the … Read more

Thinking Twice about Hell

I still vividly remember the nuns who taught my elementary CCD classes, and the impression they made on me and my fellow students. They hammered the implications of the Ten Commandments into us, as well as the consequences for disobedience, with a heavy seriousness that made its mark on my memory. Our pastor, Father (now Monsignor) … Read more

“Mere Marriage”

In his recent essay, A Thicker Kind of Mere, Timothy George reminded us that the kind of faith C.S. Lewis argued for in the last century is not necessarily the same thing suggested by similar terminology today. As George noted, Lewis borrowed his famous phrase from Richard Baxter, a Puritan minister who preceded Lewis by … Read more

Defining Doctrine Protects Divine Mystery

The Western Church is often accused by outsiders of being overly definitive. Even other traditional churches, such as our separated Eastern brethren, consider us to be too tied up in theological formulas. To be fair, Roman Catholics do place a much greater stress on dogmatic definitions than, for example, the Greek Orthodox. The Eastern churches … Read more

When Violence Replaces Justice

It seems that those responsible for the most recent criminal acts of violence in Ferguson have fallen into the all too familiar human mistake of substituting violence for justice. The aftermath of an initial act of violence (which appears to have been an act of legitimate self-defense) has bred more violence, as violence often does. … Read more

Being Charitable for the Right Reasons

Despite the recent upward trend in charitable giving, history suggests giving over the next several months will be comparatively low. According to the Blackbaud Index, almost one-fifth of all charitable giving is done during the month of December. This increased emphasis on charity during the latter part of the year, as well as its corresponding … Read more

The God of Sundays

In the year 1617, King James issued his famous Declaration of Sports, a document which would be controversial due to its encouragement of the English to participate in certain sports on Sundays and Holy Days. This document, also known as simply the Book of Sports, enumerated a number of licit sports, which were fair game, … Read more

Yes, Virginia, Santa Has a Face

Last year’s media war fought over the skin color of Santa gave us much to think about regarding racial agendas, cultural customs, and the relationship between popular tradition and concrete history. Some choose to think of Santa as being white, some choose to think of him as being black, and some choose to think of … Read more

Eucharistic Symbolism in the Hunger Games

When we go to the cinema or rent a DVD, our motives are usually fairly simplistic: we seek to be entertained, and most likely we choose a movie because we are specifically in the mood for passive entertainment which requires little or no mental effort on our part. If you are like me, though, you … Read more

Is Sexual Desire Holy?

At a recent conference, I had the privilege of listening to an excellent presentation on the topic of charity by a very well known Catholic apologist, who will remain nameless. At some point, his talk on Christian love shifted from a discussion of caritas to eros, and the presenter moved into the subject of sexual … Read more

Irrational Disbelief: The Hypocrisy of Scientific Atheism

Somewhere along the line of modern history, the idea has taken root, spread, and become commonly held among seculars that religious people hold to a Faith that is separate from, and at odds with, natural reason. Modern science, following the lead of modern philosophy and modern secularized religion, has fallen for the heretical notion that … Read more

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