In Honor of an Uppity Nun

On one of my first visits to Rome some years ago, I stepped into an elevator on my way to a meeting in the Vatican. I was greeted by a friendly cleric. “Where are you from?” he asked. “Birmingham, Alabama,” I replied. “Oh,” he said in a hushed tone, “do you know Mother Angelica?” I . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Ground in Wheaton

The following remarks were among several friendly responses to Professor Miroslav Volf’s presentation, “Do Christians & Muslims Worship the Same God?” delivered at the Islamic Foundation of Villa Park, IL on Feb. 27, 2016. Caught up in national headlines about our presumed Islamophobia, we . . . . Continue Reading »

Statting While Catholic

As a Catholic statistician, I tend to read any story headlined with “Surveys say Catholics . . .” ready to flinch. Robert Wuthnow and Emma Green have both raised serious questions about how much religion polls can tell us, and how easy they are to misinterpret.Since I work as a data journalist . . . . Continue Reading »

The New York Times's Misanthropy

The mainstream media are misanthropic. Article after column after editorial published in our most prominent news outlets promote the view that human exceptionalism is hubristic and arrogant. If we would just rank ourselves alongside the other animals in the forest, we are told repeatedly, we would . . . . Continue Reading »

We Need Institutions and Trust

Imagine you are part of that growing majority of Americans who do not watch Fox News, do not listen to conservative talk radio, and do not frequent conservative websites. You have heard about the Confederate flag controversy. You have heard all about Donald Trump's various idiocies. What have you heard about the horrors emanating from Planned Parenthood? There is a chance you have heard nothing. Perhaps you read a story that was a barely comprehensible jumble of competing allegations. Perhaps you heard about how some extremists are viciously attacking a respected provider of women's health services. If we can't reach such people, we cannot win lasting victories. Continue Reading »

Not Just Another Culture War Story

The recent exposure of the trafficking in body parts removed from aborted fetal children has opened many eyes to the inhuman practices of Planned Parenthood. It shows the callousness of the abortion industry and the heart-rending nature in which many women are subject not only to a difficult . . . . Continue Reading »