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August 31, 2015

That Saturday was blustery, filled with persistent showers and a low overcast. I saw our weekend plans running into the storm drains. Late at night I woke, peeked out the bedroom window, and saw stars—a good sign. The storms were passing and with them the winds. Sunday dawned cloudless, the air almost still. It would be ideal weather for our flight into Big Bear City for lunch.

After preflighting the motorglider, I settled into the left seat and my non-pilot friend got into the right...

August 5, 2015

My first boss at Catholic Answers, Jan Wakelin, told me during my first week on the job that everything would be different going forward. "You're a public figure now, Patrick," she said. I was slow to understand what she meant.

But she was right. In previous career iterations, whether I performed impressively or poorly, very few people found out about it. Hosting a popular live radio show with an international audience is a very different animal.

Every word I say on the air...

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 22, 2015

“I speak—more or less fluently—eight languages and have a reading knowledge of eleven others, necessary for my research.” He could have spoken to almost anyone in the world in that person’s native tongue. He was very much a catholic Catholic.

Born in 1909 under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s childhood languages, as I recall him explaining, were German, Hungarian, and Latin. Maybe there were one or two others languages too. I forget, but he seemed never to...

June 8, 2015

People leave the Catholic Church for all sorts of reasons, none of them sufficient but some of them better than others.

I can understand if someone concludes that certain Catholic teachings are wrong and that, in conscience, he must cease to be a Catholic. There are former Catholics who left because they decided that the Real Presence isn’t real or that popes don’t have a special role or that women ought to be ordained. I can understand their decision while thinking them wrong in...