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Matthew Becklo


Matthew Becklo is a husband and father-to-be, amateur philosopher, and cultural commentator at Aleteia and Word on Fire. His writing has been featured in First Things, The Dish, and Real Clear Religion.


Pascal in “The Rum Diary”

The Rum Diary is a rollicking farce based on Hunter S. Thompson's novel of the same name written in the early 1960s. It focuses on a young American journalist named Paul Kemp who ventures into sweaty, inebriated San Juan, Puerto Rico to write for an ill-fated newspaper, and stumbles into the middle of a major land acquisition deal.Thompson said that his "long lost" novel (which wasn't published until 1998) had "a romantic notion," and that it was simply "a good story." I haven't read the book,... Read More

The Argument from Johnny Cash

Filed under Music

Johnny Cash

Recently, for my Mom’s 60th birthday, I put together a tribute video complete with creased photographs, old music, and clips of my brothers recounting a favorite memory of her—mostly revolving around her cooking or buying the four of us food. As part of the tribute, I asked my Dad to summarize their forty years of marriage together in a minute-long clip—a Herculean task that he met with such calmness and profundity that I knew instantly it would be the grand finale. I also knew this... Read More

Detectives of Despair

Filed under Atheism

True Detective

In the HBO series True Detective, two investigators of a high-profile murder traverse a desolate Louisiana landscape, looking for clues that will help crack the case. Soon, the conversation about the darkness of their State drifts into a conversation about the darkness of their state—and an investigation into a murder suddenly morphs into an investigation into everything. “It’s all one ghetto man,” the self-proclaimed pessimist Rust Cohle (played by Matthew McConaughey) declares. “Giant... Read More

No One Sees God

Your brightness is my darkness. I know nothing of You and, by myself, I cannot even imagine how to go about knowing You. If I imagine You, I am mistaken. If I understand You, I am deluded. If I am conscious and certain I know You, I am crazy. The darkness is enough. - Thomas Merton If God exists, why doesn't he make it more obvious? Why doesn't he stop more evil, answer more prayers, or perform a steady stream of miracles - or better yet, all of the above? Why all the darkness and silence, especially... Read More

Why Does the World Exist?

John Updike

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. — Oscar Wilde Recently, I was driving with two of my brothers from New England to New York, and we all got to talking about religion. One gladly played up his own skepticism: isn't it suspicious, he said, that every faith claims to be the "one true church"? Wasn't this mentality ("OTC" we call it now) the stuff of gangs, clubs, and nation states, the same myopic "us vs. them" mentality one sees everywhere in the world, only now... Read More

What Is the Soul?

"For the world is broken, sundered, busted down the middle, self ripped from self and man pasted back together as mythical monster, half angel, half beast, but no man..." — Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins Last year, I found myself unexpectedly marveling at an album by Tom “It's Not Unusual” Jones, which featured covers of songs by Tom Waits, Paul Simon, and The Low Anthem. One track, "Soul of a Man," revived a bluesy 1930 song by Blind Willie Johnson that asks one my favorite philosophical... Read More

A Cinematic Tour of the Problem of Evil

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then where does evil come from? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? — Epicurus   Gruesome and tragic headlines from the past few months have thousands of people of faith scratching their heads, asking: why does God allow this evil to happen? Isn't he supposed to be all-loving and all-powerful? The question is even... Read More

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