This is a space for people who love ideas.
But it’s also a space for those of us who live ordinary lives, those of us who might respect “the ivory tower” but who don’t live in it ourselves. It’s a space for people who love philosophy, theology, history, culture, and literature, and who want to draw meaning out of these to help answer problems of everyday life. That’s why I write.
I take pride in my efforts to present ideas in ways that are interesting and often unusual. Part of this comes from my background. I’m Catholic, gay, multiracial, a writer, a professional negotiator, the leader of a creative writing workshop, and an advocate for abuse survivors in the Church. My background and experiences give me a unique perspective that I’d love to share with you.
My newsletter will typically include what I’m reading, what I’m watching, and musings on 2-4 topics. I’ll also regularly publish long-form essays that will give a deeper dive on subjects that matter. Past newsletters and essays have covered topics like deconstruction, Newman on the development of doctrine, MacIntyrean virtue ethics, rethinking Catholicism and homosexuality, Platonic eros, Critical Race Theory, the dynamics of clergy abuse, political theory and Catholic Social Teaching, natural law, and Burkean conservatism.
I hope that the newsletters and essays can provide starting points for discussions with your family and friends, and that they can help lead you to books or articles you’d enjoy. I hope they’ll give new and fresh ways to look at today’s controversies.
A free subscription will get you my newsletter (usually published every other week) where I’ll discuss:
what I’m reading, thinking, and caring about;
how I make sense of the world as a gay multiracial Catholic; and
ways I maintain an intellectual life outside of professional academia.
A paid subscription ($5/month or $50/year) will get you access to the archives and additional content.
If you’re looking for posts on a particular topic, you can check out the post index here.
You can find my glossary of unusual and commonly misunderstood terms here.
If the above sounds a bit like you, I’d be happy to consider your essays, poems, or short stories for this Substack! Submission information, including payment for accepted content, can be found here.
Friends have described me as hospitable, but also as passionate and intense. I maintain a pretty intense lifestyle. I have an exciting career as a corporate attorney, but I also run a creative writing workshop, lead a bi-weekly philosophy and politics seminar, and write regularly on Catholicism and (homo)sexuality. In my free time, I enjoy hosting dinner parties and conversations over cocktails. If you care about credentials, some of what I’ve done includes:
Receiving my B.A. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and my J.D. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas, where I was a fellow for the Murphy Institute on Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy.
Publishing essays on law, marriage, theology, and sexuality in both popular and peer-reviewed academic journals, including Commonweal, Church Life Journal, Logos, and The Intercollegiate Review. My work addressing clergy abuse and institutional corruption has also been covered in publications such as The Atlantic, America Magazine, The Pillar, and City Journal.
Consulting as part of an LGB advisory group for a Catholic diocese in preparation for the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis. I’ve also participated as part of an advisory group for a national nonprofit on how to engage Catholics on legislation before Congress.
Speaking before hundreds of persons on these and related questions at university conferences, Catholic parishes, and corporate events.
Outside of all that, I’m a transplant to Minnesota from Texas. I live in Saint Paul with my dog who will be occasionally featured in the newsletters. If you’re ever in the area, feel free to reach out; I’d love to meet you for a coffee!
You might be wondering about my site logo. It’s a mixer! Maybe one day I’ll hire a professional to design a logo for me, but I’m actually quite proud of what I can achieve in twenty minutes on Microsoft Paint.
I once had to do a peer assessment, where respondents answered questions like, “If Christopher were a household appliance, what type would he be, and why?” I got a few different answers. Some said I was a coffee maker because of my passion and the way I bring energy to things. A couple said I was a refrigerator because I’m full of ideas that can be pulled out when necessary. But the most common response was that I’m a mixer, because apparently I’m “good at blending everyone together and making the end product be cohesive.” I really love that. It’s something I try really hard to do!
Though I may sometimes talk about my professional life, the views expressed on any of my pages or accounts are my own, and not those of my employer.
I’m not here to be anyone’s hero or role model. And I don’t have everything figured out. If I write things that you find helpful, that’s great. If anything I write is not helpful for you, feel free to disregard it.
Life is not social media, and social media is not my life.
Therapy is great. I am not qualified to be your therapist. I don’t like giving advice to people I don’t know personally, even if I’m happy to think through how I might approach certain circumstances. But if, like me, you’d benefit from seeing a therapist with experience in religious trauma, I’d highly recommend looking at resources available through the Reclamation Collective.