Sign in

Avid reader, writer, and unabashed Star Wars apologist | Tolstoy, Hauerwas, & D. B. Hart | “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

An Examination of the Disease Rotting a Religion & Threatening a Democracy

Because I know that this is an intersection of contentious topics (religion, politics, and Trump — the three anti-dinner table topics) I want to start with a few disclaimers to try and avoid misunderstandings up front.

First, I know that not all American Christians are supporters of Trump or the GOP. Of course it’s never “all white evangelicals,” or “all American Christians”. But according to the polls, around 85% of white evangelicals are supporters of Trump (or at least have the honesty to admit to it), and many in the remaining 15% are enablers. …

What are They, How are They Different, and What are They Useful for?

Human experience is a jumble of beliefs, claims, rules, and social norms regarding how we all should live. Often times, these different requirements on us seem (and sometimes do) contradict each other, so — as anyone who hasn’t lived their life under a rock knows — it can often be hard to know what to do. To help better know what to do and when to do it, it’s important to detangle, to tease apart these various requirements and put them all in their appropriate category: as either law, morality, or ethics.

These three concepts (especially the latter two) are…

The Second Denial of Peter by James Tissot

The label is loaded with baggage, its reputation is in tatters, and and its social capital is on the decline — why can’t I give it up?

A lot of my friends who I grew up in church with and left evangelicalism around the same time I did don’t want to call themselves Christians anymore, or just really don’t see the point in separating the moral/ethical teachings from the religious/spiritual aspects of Christianity and abandoning the latter altogether.

I can’t really blame them — it’s not like the loudest Christians in the room haven’t sullied that label by entwining it with false gods and idols anyways. And it’s not like I don’t have my own history of abandoning labels when they no longer represent what I want…

The Once and Future Christian Moral Tradition

I previously wrote about Aristotelian virtue ethics, a brilliant secular moral and ethical theory that I think has been tragically left behind in the wake of The Enlightenment and the hyper-individualism and universalism that came with it. But, as a Christian, I am inherently unsatisfied with secular morality and ethics — I see the value in Aristotelian theory and I have deep respect for how its application could benefit humankind, but ultimately his answers don’t satisfy the spiritual and metaphysical longing in me.

In short, I want the Aristotelian conception of virtue but I need the centricity of Christ and…

Aristotle, Virtue Ethics, & Human Telos

Imagine someone who is perfectly balanced. They can always cool down tense situations and they’re able to deliver even the worst news gracefully. They’re incredibly confident without breeching into arrogance, they’re always brave but never reckless, and they’re known for their generosity but never accused of being extravagant. This is someone who you and others want to be like — not for shallow reasons, but because this person has seemed to master the art of, well, being a person.

Ever meeting this kind of person might sound improbable, and becoming this kind of person yourself might seem impossible. According to…

The two authors’ dystopian visions are often conflated, but that’s a tragic mistake — the two futures are vastly different. So, which novelist was right? Which nightmare are we headed towards (or exiting from)?

I first read George Orwell’s 1984 (published in 1949) in high school, and reread it again around a year ago. Just recently, for the first time, I read 1984’s dystopian cousin — Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (published in 1932) — for the first time. Based on the way I had heard these books discussed in culture and the media, I assumed I was in for roughly the same type of story, that of a brutish dictatorship suppressing people and crushing dissent. I was surprised by how wrong that assumption was.

Want to read this story later?

While the dangerous ideology of Christian Nationalism is most often (correctly) associated with the right, its liberal variant must be confronted as well.

I have written and spoken extensively about the extremely real dangers of the right-wing Christian Nationalism ideology that we saw on full display throughout the Trump presidency and especially during the January 6 coup attempt. I think it’s a serious and entirely-malevolent movement that needs to be confronted and eradicated, especially by Christians.

But this right-wing Christian Nationalism has a liberal cousin, a liberal form of Christian Nationalism. I’m not trying to pull a “both sides!” whataboutism, and I’m certainly not going to draw a moral equivalency between the two forms — the right-wing form is more evil and dangerous…

Biden can (and should) use executive action to combat climate change. But that’s not enough; we need robust policies that foster a popular base for climate action and result in tangible improvements in people’s lives

As I write this, Texas is in the midst of an unnatural winter disaster. I say unnatural because I am convinced that humankind’s manipulation of the climate and destruction of the environment played a key role in this storm’s intensity, and the reliance on fossil fuel is playing a key role in why the suffering is so much worse than it needed to be. Less than a month ago, terrible mudslides induced by unnaturally severe winter rains ravaged highways and homes in central California. …

It might not be the barrier you want, it might not be the best barrier, but it’s the barrier we have against a Trumpist resurgence in 2024.

This realization rankles the libertarian sentiments in me, and I’m sure it will instantly turn off a lot of people who read it, but that doesn’t make it untrue: The quickest, most surefire way to elect another Trump as president (and thus the greatest threat to democracy in the U.S.) is ineffectual government mired in gridlock.

So much of the discussion in anti-Trump circles about what led to Trump’s rise has boiled down to two main camps: Trump rose to power because of extreme economic anxiety or Trump rose to power because of vast racism. While both of these causes…

An Attempt to Accurately Define and Critically Examine the System of Capitalism

Bernie Sanders’ dual presidential campaigns and the virality of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have made left ideologies more popular in the United States than they’ve been in decades; I think it’s fair to say that millennials and Gen Zers calling themselves “socialist” is pretty common now. You really wouldn’t even be that hard-pressed to find a self-identifying communist, most likely.

Of course, this resurgence of leftist, anti-capitalist ideas has brought with it a resurgence of criticism towards these same ideas. …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store