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....

July 7, 2015

The apologists here at Catholic Answers often hear from inquirers who want to figure out how to solve personal dilemmas about the Catholic faith, Catholic discipline, or Catholic customs, especially those dilemmas involving non-Catholics, but are having difficulty finding a way to do it without causing unnecessary upset or offense to other people. They are rightly concerned to find means to address difficult issues in ways that respect individual feelings while not compromising their own...

July 6, 2015

Language is a tricky thing. With the wrong words or the wrong construction, you can seem to mean things you don’t intend or can seem to intend things you don’t mean. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble. Many Catholics do, particularly when they write online.

At sites such as Facebook, many people have the impression that stream-of-consciousness writing is a good thing. They don’t re-read their words before they push the Send button. Not infrequently, they end up committing the...