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July 27, 2015

As my first book was going through the publishing process at Ignatius Press, the editors sought endorsements from prominent Catholics. Among those who were asked for a blurb was Roger Mahony, then Archbishop of Los Angeles, a see to which he was appointed in 1985. (Six years later he was named a cardinal.)

Three weeks after receiving the manuscript of my book, Mahony replied to Ignatius Press with a letter dated January 28, 1988:

“I am very enthusiastic about the new book, ...

July 20, 2015

As the last weeks of July become the first weeks of August, print and digital media are filled with articles, letters, and comments about the 1945 atomic bombings.

Year after year, the middle of summer is given over to reiterating the same arguments, often made by the same people and in the same words.

Year after year, I shake my head at what is written and wonder why it is that no progress seems to be made in the discussion. So many people talk past one another. Very few even...

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...

July 13, 2015

The book of Acts records St. Paul’s conversion in the following terms:

Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. 

And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" 

And he said, "Who are you, Lord?"

And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but...

July 13, 2015

A voice from the past—my own!

I was cleaning out a storage closet at the office and discovered an early letter I wrote to two friends. It began: “This will bring you up to date on the status of Catholic Answers.”

What a change from then until now, and what a reminder of how much I have forgotten, such as the original proposal for the work of Catholic Answers!

The letter is dated July 27, 1984. That’s three-and-a-half years before I went into apologetics work full time....