Prebylutheranism 2nd Anniversary Spectacular! (My Top 10 Posts Ever)

Just because.

Just because.

The other day was the second anniversary of my foray into blogging, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. I haven’t proven to be the most consistent blogger on the Web, or the one with the biggest following, or the smartest, or the funniest, or the most talented, or the best-loved, but I’m certainly…one of them?

I guess?

But one thing I am sure of is that starting this blog was a good call. Some of the things that have happened since I began it:

  • I’ve been published by Cracked a couple of times;
  • My work has appeared in Reader’s Digest;
  • I’ve scored a book deal;
  • I’ve been made a weekly columnist at Christ and Pop Culture;
  • I’ve almost finished a novel (which is more of a distraction from blogging than anything, but whatever).

I thought that for this august occasion (which, ironically, is a June occasion), it might be fun to run down my blog’s top 10 posts, along with some of my commentary on them. Unless it’s not fun, in which case, I’m sorry. Continue reading

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Grood* Housekeeping: Three Things I’ve Learned as a Man-Housewife

*[pointlessly obscure reference explained here.]

For the record, I'm not some rich kid whose daddy own a yacht. I was actually working on this ship.

For the record, I’m not some rich kid whose daddy owns a yacht. I was actually working on this ship.

A week before I proposed to my now-wife, I was sitting on the roof of a ship, talking to her on someone else’s cellphone. I may have also been a little drunk.

We were talking about our dreams for the future, and how neither one of us really had any. “I’ve been thinking a lot about it,” I slurred, Captain Morgan running down my chin, “and it turns out that all I really want out of life is to be a housewife.” Continue reading

Buttcracks and Legos: An Internet Full of Me

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Hey guys,

Just thought I’d let you know that I have a couple new pieces going up around the web today.

There’s this, my latest ‘LOL Interwebz’ column for Christ and Pop Culture. It’s about buttcracks and Magic: The Gathering.

Then there’s this, a contrarian piece I wrote for The Erstwhile Philistine. It’s about The Lego Movie and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and why EVERY CHILDREN’S MOVIE YOU LOVE IS A LIE.

By the way, since I have your attention: Christ and Pop Culture has a podcast, and it’s phenomenal. I’m not shilling; it’s seriously my absolute favorite podcast and I listen to it all the time. And incidentally, I’ve had the pleasure of starring in three of its episodes:

It’s been a blast. But every single episode is great, and you should listen to them all.

Till next time!

Modesty: Go Ahead and Get Naked, or Better Yet, Don’t

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I don’t like to brag about it, but HOLY CRAP AM I MODEST.

The photo at the left is an example of what you’ll see me wearing if you ever go swimming with me. I’ll be dressed from my shoulders to my knees. It’s not that weird — at least, I don’t think so — just a pair of trunks and an Under Armour shirt. It’s a way of covering up without (I think) looking like a total tool, fashion-wise.

Why do I dress like that? Because I value modesty — and I think the historical Christian virtue of modesty applies to men as well as women. In modern evangelical culture we tend to freak out when our daughters are in bikinis but we don’t bat an eye at the fact that our sons wear exactly half as much at the beach. Continue reading

So, My Baby Got Vaccinated and It Made Her Sad

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My little girl asleep, wrapped up in sun;

A life, half-stirring, buried under sighs;
A thousand lives, unlived, inside of one.

A bronx cheer from your lips (the sound of fun;
A faux pas soon far buried under lies).
My little girl asleep, wrapped up in sun.

Five months you’ve been alive (life just begun,
And yet, a sober wisdom in your eyes?);
A thousand lives, unlived, inside of one.

My life becoming yours (not quite half-done);
A wrinkle ticks away each time you rise.
My little girl asleep, wrapped up in sun.

You sleep to meet the world (a life begun
As one whose burial precedes his rise) —
A thousand lives, unlived, inside of one.

Ten-thousand wars to fight, and only one
Has thus commenced (the Band-Aids on your thighs!).
My little girl asleep, wrapped up in sun;

A thousand lives, unlived, inside of one. Continue reading

‘Mama,’ Creepy Kids, and Six Degrees of ‘Humanae Vitae’

I'm too sexy for my encyclical.

I’m too sexy for my encyclical.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued what has become one of the more controversial encyclicals in recent memory. In contrast to the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox traditions, which had both been gradually inching closer toward a full embrace of contraception, Humanae Vitae reaffirmed tradition in condemning any and all use of aritificial contraception as sinful. It was a teaching so out-of-step with contemporary culture that it inspired open dissent from both clergy and laity, and even now — more than 40 years later — the encyclical’s teachings are far from popular among self-identified Catholics.

It’s a position that has come to light yet again recently, as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act — an act which I’ve by and large been supportive of — has come under scrutiny, in part for a provision that requires all employers but the most religion-y to provide their employees with healthcare that will pay for contraception. It’s a reality that has forced me to think long and hard, not only about what religious freedom means but also why one branch of my faith can be so opposed to certain substances that they’ll risk millions in fines just to avoid dirtying their hands with them.

Being raised decidedly Protestant, I spent many years completely unable to fathom how a church could take a position so legalistic and obsessive about externals. The more I think about the teaching, though, the more I understand it. I still regard the Catholic position on birth control to be a tad on the Pharisaical side, in that it adds unnecessarily to the law of Scripture, but in many ways I’ve come around to understanding and appreciating the position. If humankind is made in the image of God, then its natural and appropriate end is the creation of life. If we treat this reality as something to be avoided, our values are confused at best. Continue reading