Don’t Ask the Kids

Distrust of authority is now the American norm. In 1964, 77 percent of Americans said that they trusted the government to do the right thing most of the time or all of the time. In 2012, only 22 percent of Americans agreed that the government could be trusted. When I was growing up in the 1960s, if . . . . Continue Reading »

Embodied Caregiving

Dependency is just as much a part of the human experience as the ability to reason. And yet, modern thought has largely neglected dependency, instead touting individual autonomy and rational self-interest. If we are to recover the human person’s proper relationship with others, we must turn to . . . . Continue Reading »

Love Is Barefoot Philosophy

Plato’s Bedroom succeeds by starting outside of religion, by unsettling all of us, showing us why our erotic lives are so important and problematic, so beautiful and at the same time potentially destructive, why love and death are never far from one another. Continue Reading »

The Dream-Child's Progress

“He’s dreaming now,” said Tweedledee: “and what do you think he’s dreaming about?”Alice said, “Nobody can guess that.”“Why, about you!” Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly. “And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you’d be?”“Where I . . . . Continue Reading »

The Breath of Mercy

A mother shouldn’t have favorites, but I have often observed that she inclines more to the child who is sick or more vulnerable than the rest. The more fragile the child, the fiercer the love of the mother. The strong and healthy ones outgrow her solicitous nurturing, and she can do no more for . . . . Continue Reading »

Five Grueling Days of Joy

When the woman came for our daughters, we were crowded around a small round metal table, eating damp French fries and day-old bagels. It was early evening, and we’d had a long day, and now another stranger was giving my wife a piece of paper. Was this yet another petition to sign? A cool Catholic . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters from Santa

It was the Christmas of 2013, and my 10-year-old twin sons were having a crisis of faith.Their elder brother had already settled into a comfortable skepticism about flying reindeer, toy-making elves, and Santa Claus. To their younger sister, the existence of such things was a matter of uncomplicated . . . . Continue Reading »