Stay in Touch2018-06-05T11:24:24+00:00


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Published Articles, Poems, and Essays

Love is Love

If two people love each other, they should be able to get married, right? This is the popular logic for so-called gay marriage. “Love is love. What if the slogan is gibberish? It is

Catholicism and Christian Pluralism

Have you ever overheard people discussing how world religions are basically the same, and only superficially different? “We have different opinions about the small stuff,” someone says, “but when it comes down to the essential

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Pope?

One of the most controversial stories in the Bible is also one of the strangest. Jesus is the true king, the “anointed one” in the royal line of David, but very few know it—not until in

In Defense of Domesticity

The Norwegian secret to enjoying a long winter is to see the freezing months as something to be enjoyed, not something to be endured. According to a seeker of human happiness, this makes all the difference.

Why Do So Many Millennials Become Catholic?

Why do so many millennials become Catholic? It’s not because they’re hipper than thou, and it’s certainly not because they’re holier. Michelangelo’s writhing, unfinished statues of slaves, struggling in their prisons of stone, are a

The Lost Art of Talking About Jesus

It’s easy to think of the words we should not have said—the gossip or the insult or the impertinent remark. But what about the words we should have said, but didn’t? What about all the kind words we

A Time to Kill

In the 1996 crime drama film A Time to Kill, a ten-year-old black girl named Tonya is violently raped by two white supremacists. She survives and the men are arrested, but before an all-white jury

The Birdwatcher’s Guide to Marriage

At last, here is an easy-to-follow guide for identifying a real marriage that exposes the new imitations to be, well, imitations. Essential for the 321 million Americans who have a biological mother and father, this

Every Story Has A Bellybutton

Everyone has a story, and every story has a bellybutton. In the shadow of Planned Parenthood and what has been aptly called abortion’s Wilberforce moment, it could be said that bellybuttons are the most

Every Story Has A Beginning

Can a man have an opinion about abortion? I think so. As sure as a woman becomes a mother at the moment of conception a man becomes a father. If ever there was something

Life Begins @ Conception

Rainbow profile pictures and equals sign bumper stickers are an easy way to share an anthropology. In a split second you can say, without having really to say, “I believe a human person is thus and

Real Men Love Babies

Do real men love babies? Everything about these pooping, screaming, totally helpless little people—the babies, that is—challenges a man’s feral instincts and refined sensibilities. Yet, whether we like it or not, babies put to

The Protohomosexual

Why are so many straight people pro gay? Because the normalization of homosexuality is the premier achievement of heterosexual ideology. “Gay” and “straight” are not taxonomies but ideologies. They are not orientations but disorientations: whether

The Writing Life

Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. I am a published writer, it’s true: but that does not mean I am a

Why Are Catholic Mom Blogs So Awesome?

Why are Catholic Mom Blogs so awesome? You can almost hear the holy noise of their children playing in the other room while they upload photos from last night’s Candlemas dinner party. Joy spills onto

Catholicism and the New Creation

“This is not Middle Earth, this is not Middle Earth,” I kept telling myself. But how else could I make sense of the towering cathedrals, the Tradition and the Scriptures, the real evil to

Death in Kristin Lavransdatter

Those who have read Kristin Lavransdatter, the epic trilogy by Catholic convert and Norwegian Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset, have read it at least twice. This formidable tale of farming and holy pilgrimages and family in

The Biblical Boots of the Papacy

Do you remember that one scene in Toy Story when Sheriff Woody, unsure of his vocation, doubts his authority over the rest of the gang? Woody’s been insulted and abandoned, his motives have been

How to Pray like a Child at Play

Let’s be honest, most of us don’t pray nearly as much as we could. It’s not that we don’t believe in prayer; it’s that prayer can seem so…boring. If you’re like me, you’ve probably

The Treasure of Singleness

It can be difficult to be a single Christian. I remember watching as one by one my friends would marry, start families, and settle down. The cards would come just before Christmas with news of

God is an Artist

Why do Catholics honor the saints? Because God is an artist, and the Church is his masterpiece. Catholics do not honor the saints because they forget to worship God. They honor the saints because

Charged with the Grandeur of God

You have opened this page on your web browser. Now you’ve got to close it. Find your shoelaces and start untying. I want you to take off your shoes. Moses approached the burning bush,

We Are Not Garden Snails

“In the image of God he created them, male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). For years I had been trying to get to the bottom of this troubling passage, and it all started

The Curse is Real (And So is the Cross)

Not many people are offended by the message that God loves them. They might find it old-fashioned or naïve, but usually not offensive. Almost everyone, however, is offended by the message of Christ crucified. It

Was I Made for Pillows?

Pornography is not free speech. Pornography is pernicious. So why do so many men look at pornography? I would like to suggest to you that the reason so many men look at pornography is not

Is Catholic Sexuality Good News?

When we speak of sexuality, we often learn to speak our pain. We think only of how we might get hurt, or have been hurt, and so we guard ourselves. We do not risk the

Sex: Our Greatest Natural Resource

Sexual differentiation is our greatest natural resource. The fact that Adam and Eve are not identical, but corresponding, is not just a part of God’s creation. It is the best part. The fruitful tension between

Saint Mary, Pray for Us!

Did she really say that? Did she really mean it? I keep turning back to Luke 1:38, “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your

The Visitation Revisited

The days following the angel’s announcement had been the most exciting, most disorienting days of Mary’s life. With only one fresh water spring, the village of Nazareth was small. Rumors flew. By all appearances, she

What is the Goal of the Catholic Church?

Why did Christ establish one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church? Why did the eternal Son of God become incarnate of the Virgin Mary, call the Twelve, establish them on the rock that is Peter,

Redeeming LGBTQ in Christ

For Catholics, sexuality does not start with sexuality. In a fallen world, it starts with the cross—and almost everyone harbors stereotypes when it comes to the cross. Some worry I’m about to get wildly conservative.

The Beauty of Baptism: Part 2

Beautifully, it all began with water, water and the Holy Spirit: “Darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters…” (Gen. 1:2). As with the

Saint Joseph, Pray For Us!

Pull out your highlighters. What word stands out most when you read Matthew 1:24? Isn’t it that small, overused, three-letter word our English teachers told us to avoid? “When Joseph awoke, he did as

Jesus Calling

Near my desk there’s a map of the Sea of Galilee. Luke called the sea Limnen Genneseret, the Garden of Riches, the waters on which Jesus walked like a ghost, the waters Jesus calmed in the

The Beauty of Baptism: Part 1

The sheer glory of baptism. It’s as beautiful as a wedding or a newborn baby, and heavy with just as much promise. But what is baptism? Why must we be baptized? And why do

Why Did God Make Eve?

Why did God make Eve? Why not just stop with Adam? God made Eve for the same reason God makes anything—as a celebration of his own glory. [Note: this essay was first published by Crisis Magazine and

Get Your Beard On

From bearded indie rockers to hipster barkeeps, facial hair is in. And with it come rumors of a holy renaissance. Men and women everywhere are rediscovering the hairy lore of church history, the long


When Jude came back to class He did not talk about the accident. His right arm, severed at the elbow, Would move by reflex, To his embarrassment and ours. He would bend over, half

Why Christ Needs Christianity

Have the words "Christian" and "Christianity" become dirty words? From writers like Shane Hipps to songsters like Marcus Mumford, the idea that Christ does not need Christianity has become fashionable. Like the "spiritual but

How To Transform A City

From lesbian graphic designers to Somalian taxi-drivers, Minneapolis is a city crowded with culture. Folk musicians play gigs in her bars, tattooed vegetarians run her grocery co-ops and yogis are opening shops on nearly

Are Men Emotional Prudes?

Real intimacy comes from listening and being vulnerable, not having sex. When it comes to sex, many men live in a fantasy. The problem with pornography and masturbation isn't only lust, but that they

Fernando Ortega’s Foreword

Below is Fernando Ortega’s Foreword for my new book, When Donkeys Talk: Rediscover the Mystery and Wonder of Christianity (Zondervan, 2013). I wrote much of the book while hymning praises to God with Fernando’s music turned up

When Donkeys Talk Endorsements

Blanski’s work is Anglican popularizing Christendom at its best. —WORLD Magazine Blanski is on a mission to shake up Christianity…his edgy and hip prose breathe new life. —Publishers Weekly Tyler Blanski adores Jesus and downright

Lost Nashotah House Poems (Part 3)

This is the last of a three-part series celebrating the recently rediscovered “Nashotah House Poems” by the Rev. L.V. Klose. His verse invites readers into the devotional life of the seminary in days past, a

The Lost Nashotah House Poems (Part 2)

Snow clings to the low-hung branches that crowd the wooded campus. It’s sunny this Saturday morning, and a few families and students trekked it through the snow to morning Mass, their breath making small cloud

An Explosion In Reverse

“Ever since the coming of John the Baptist the kingdom of Heaven has been subjected to violence and violent men are seizing it.” Remember that one scene in that one movie (it doesn’t matter which)

The Lost Nashotah House Poems

My good friend Nathaniel Kidd, a son of the House with a rich, fuzzy beard and a pounding heart for God, was quarrying the archives of the stone Nashotah House library, and stumbled upon an

Nashotah House: Your Next Road Trip

Nashotah House, in all its trend-less glory, is still making itself relevant after more than a hundred and seventy years of ministry. With a spruced up campus, a top-notch faculty, and a packed library, the

The Silent Hymns of Heaven

Glory be to God for his glory in the day;Praise him all you night stars in spangled vast array. Join the happy anthem, all creatures here below;Turn your eyes to heaven, give up your noise and

Nashotah’s Benedictine Rule

Folks here at Nashotah House have been picking up the same vibes as everyone else in the Midwest: it’s been a strange winter—unusually gray and unseasonably warm. Early March in Wisconsin is usually knee-high

How Christians Should Rethink Sex

When it comes to sex, many Christians confuse the fences for the playground. We’ve created what I call the chastity cult. Married and single Christians alike put sex on a pedestal. We’re more serious

Dr. Michael Bauman’s Foreword

Below is Michael Bauman's Foreword for Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred (Fresh Air Books, 2010). Dr. Bauman was my favorite professor at Hillsdale College. Regarding the use of earthly images, Christian spirituality has

Mud & Poetry Endorsements

Musician and new author Blanski is on a mission to shake up Christianity. The themes he addresses are not new, but his edgy and hip prose breathe new life into them. —Publishers Weekly Mud

Mud & Poetry Sample Chapter

I, too, saw God through mud— The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled. Chapter 1 Mud & Poetry We must not rank ourselves too low; and with still greater care we must

You Are The Secret Kept Secret

you are the secret kept secret, the song only stars have known. whatever the moon hasn’t told and why its shining, whatever men spend life looking for, rarely finding; whatever is sun and sod

A Dissertation

Aurora Borealis, Aurora Australis1 We are, I am told, evolved2 star powder: The explosion, the exodus, the slow growth— Our anatomy3 is a little cosmology.4 No wonder a firmament5 fills the cerebrum:6 Expanses stretch

Senior Citizens

When senior citizens start splash ing in pudd les, and hoary old women let down their gray hair; when every old man brandishes his sword and cudgel and takes to bellow ing as he