July 17, 2015

No, I don't mean deliberate promotion. I mean the inadvertent kind that results from one group clamoring for a boycott of a book (or movie) whose content or message they strongly reject. 

Take for example the 50 Shades of Grey series by British author E.L. James. There were many calls for a boycott, stern warnings, and tsk tsking from Christians -- months before the film version appeared. Talk about music to a movie producer's ears. 

I understand the impulse to speak...

June 29, 2015

Determining a bad idea’s antecedents usually is messy and often is impossible. Just when did a particular bad idea begin? Seldom is there an analogue to Athena coming fully formed from the forehead of Zeus.

Usually one bad idea derives from an earlier bad idea, which in turn derives from still earlier bad ideas. In order not to get lost in a long series that disappears into the mists of pre-history, you need to choose a point at which you can say, “For purposes of discussion, I count...

June 26, 2015

In an unsurprising but still disappointing decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in Obergefell vs Hodges that states may not define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Many Catholics, along with other people of good-will who believe marriage is intrinsically related to men, women, sex, and children, are asking, “What next?” Let me offer a proposal: Go back to the basics....

June 16, 2015

Before he turned 10, his grandmother began to dress him in a purple chiffon dress and fawn over how cute he looked. Over time, as he started wearing it more frequently, the dress became a dark secret. When his father’s much younger adopted brother discovered the secret of the dress, he first teased the boy and then began to sexually molest him.

The boy grew up burdened by these traumas until he decided, at the age of 42, that he really—deep down in his core being—was a woman. So he...

April 6, 2015

Try answering this Gallup Poll question from 2011: “Just your best guess, what percentage of Americans would you say are gay or lesbian?” The possible answers range from “less than 5%,” to “more than 25%.” Where does your estimate...