A Faith Without Foundations

The God Who Thirsts: A Good Friday Meditation

For Dorothy Day, anarchism meant increased responsibility of one person to another, of the individual to the community along with a much lessened sense of obligation to or dependence on the distant and centralized state.
Robert Coles, Dorothy Day: A Radical Devotion
Sometimes when people call me a utopian I say, ‘No, I just have a different sense of time than many others have.’
Servant of God and Catholic activist Dorothy Day, as quoted by Robert Coles
Capitalism and communism: strangely alike in ways. The callousness, the arbitrariness, the militaristic passion justified by talk of history and of manifest destiny.
Roman Catholic activist and Servant of God Dorothy Day, as quoted by Robert Coles


Why Ellen rocked the Oscars.

The most popular moments from last night’s awards show are Ellen encouraging the stars to be human beings. Forever and ever these people are being packaged and perfected and presented and some of that is on us, the fans, but some of that is the industry. Be like this…

justification is not by reference to a criterion, but by various detailed practical advantages. It is circular only in that the terms of praise used to describe liberal societies will be drawn from the vocabulary of the liberal societies themselves. Such praise has to be in some vocabulary, after all
Richard Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth, p. 29.


In the aftermath of a tragedy, social media timelines become swamped with people trying to come to terms with their own feelings in glorious real time. It seems that in our new culture of post-privacy, this has come to be expected. One must say something, anything, even if one is at a loss for…

If the room is stuffy, and I therefore open a window to air it, and a burglar climbs in, it would be absurd to say, “Ah, now he can stay, she’s given him a right to the use of her house—for she is partially responsible for his presence there, having voluntarily done what enabled him to get in, in full knowledge that there are such things as burglars, and that burglars burgle.” It would be still more absurd to say this if I had had bars installed outside my windows, precisely to prevent burglars from getting in, and a burglar got in only because of a defect in the bars. It remains equally absurd if we imagine it is not a burglar who climbs in, but an innocent person who blunders or falls in. Again, suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don’t want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective, and a seed drifts in and takes root. Does the person-plant who now develops have a right to the use of your house? Surely not—despite the fact that you voluntarily opened your windows, you knowingly kept carpets and upholstered furniture, and you knew that screens were sometimes defective. Someone may argue that you are responsible for its rooting, that it does have a right to your house, because after all you could have lived out your life with bare floors and furniture, or with sealed windows and doors. But this won’t do—for by the same token anyone can avoid a pregnancy due to rape by having a hysterectomy, or anyway by never leaving home without a (reliable!) army.
Judith Jarvis Thomson. “A Defense of Abortion.” From Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 1, no. 1 (Fall 1971).