About John Zmirak

John Zmirak is Senior Editor of The Stream and the author of The Bad Catholic’s Guide to the Catechism. Dr. Zmirak holds a B.A. from Yale University, a M.F.A. in Screenwriting and Fiction from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. in English from that same institution. His essays, poems, and other works have appeared in First Things, The Weekly Standard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and USA Today, among other venues.

A Thinker You Should Know: Wilhelm Röpke

By |2020-10-09T15:13:44-05:00February 3rd, 2018|Categories: Books, Capitalism, Conservatism, Economics, History, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Röpke infused his detailed analyses of modernity with a sensitive respect for the values of tradition and religious faith and their critical importance in building social and economic order. Born in 1899 in Schwarmstedt, Germany, Wilhelm Röpke would become one of the most distinguished economists of his age. Acknowledged as a worthy peer by [...]

Is Christianity Anti-Science?

By |2016-10-21T08:57:39-05:00October 20th, 2016|Categories: Christianity, Science|

For centuries in English-speaking countries, mainstream history and science textbooks have taken it for granted that the Catholic Church was one of greatest single forces that kept the “Dark Ages” dark, by suppressing free inquiry, persecuting innovators, and keeping books out of the hands of ordinary people. As Baylor sociologist Rodney Stark (among others) has [...]

Fill the Empty Manger

By |2017-12-18T23:48:03-06:00December 22nd, 2014|Categories: Christendom, Christianity, Christmas|Tags: |

This year, as every year, the crèche has sat empty of God. The shepherds knelt, the angels sang, the ox and ass and eager lamb looked on, even Joseph and Mary stared down adoringly—at a vacant manger. There was no Infant here. When people knelt before this nativity scene to pray, they closed their eyes, [...]

Is It Fair to Bring a Child Into a World With Such a Low Birth Rate?

By |2014-01-08T23:09:41-06:00May 3rd, 2013|Categories: Culture, Marriage, Nature|Tags: |

Imagine a world where a brave array of new technologies has proliferated to meet our human needs by taming nature—yielding a vast increase in wealth, leisure and education. Instead of scrimping like our ancestors at the mercy of forces beyond their ken, we have attained a noble’s sovereignty. Vast swathes of our lives are planted [...]

The Iraq War 10th Anniversary: A Conservative Beginning?

By |2014-01-07T07:41:06-06:00March 26th, 2013|Categories: Conservatism, War|Tags: , , , |

(An excerpt from American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia, 2005) The roots of this ongoing conflict, a war which has raged at various levels of intensity from 1990 to the present, lie in the early twentieth century, when then colonial power Great Britain created from the ruins of the Ottoman empire the artificial nation of “Iraq.” At the [...]

A Response to Garry Wills on Pope Benedict’s Resignation

By |2016-02-16T14:32:49-06:00February 20th, 2013|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Communio, Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Paul II|Tags: |

Garry Wills has continued to serve as the “go-to” guy for secular media types who need some spleen to pour on the Catholic Church. This past week, he admitted to NY Times readers that he finally had given up hope that the pope would stop being Catholic. (One wonders if he’s still trying to talk [...]

Heresy Gets Things Done

By |2014-01-29T11:55:03-06:00January 26th, 2013|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity|Tags: |

Excerpts from The Bad Catholic’s Guide to the Catechism, by John Zmirak Q: Okay, so we’ve worked our way through the uncounted millennia between the emergence of man and the first glimmers of revelation, then the six-thousand-something years it took God to gradually tease out what he had in mind for mankind. On the face [...]

John Zmirak: The Bad Catholic’s Guide

By |2014-01-05T19:20:52-06:00December 15th, 2012|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau|Tags: |

The Bad Catholic’s Guide to the Catechism: A Faithful, Fun-Loving Look at Catholic Dogmas, Doctrines, and Schmoctrines by John Zmirak Q: Why call this thing “Bad Catholic”? A: Because if you take your faith seriously, you’re bound to be dissatisfied with how well you’re living it. The kind of people who insist they’re “good Catholics” invariably [...]

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