R. Joseph Hoffmann

R. Joseph Hoffmann
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
December 16
R. Joseph Hoffmann is a Boston-based entity who prefers Deer Isle, Maine, where he piddles with restoring the oldest house on the island (1806), scrapes ice from inside windows, wishes for a new furnace. Profession-wise, he's taught at Oxford, Ann Arbor and parts of the Middle East and Africa. He was scholar in residence at Goddard College and lectures in liberal arts at the New England Conservatory. More of his stuff--rants and lessons--and links to still more can be found at the New Oxonian. Email: joseph.hoffmann@keble.oxon.org


OCTOBER 12, 2012 4:12AM

Lying for The Lord

In case you need to hear it again. Mitt Romney will not raise taxes on the middle class, will not increase the deficit, will create 12,000,000 new jobs in the first three months, will protect small businesses, and will save Medicare and Social Security as we know it, while giving… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 21, 2010 1:38PM

Anglicans Go Home


If you're paying attention, the Pope is sending a lifeboat to Tiber-crossing Anglicans on a homeward journey after half a millennium of "exile" in their own country.

Having been offered a special corner in the Latin Church called the “ordinariate,” conservative (who like… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 18, 2010 4:39PM

Pollio: Falling out of Love with MSNBC


Something  awful happened between yesterday and today--more precisely between the start of the Ed Show and the end of Morning Joe.

Since 2008 I have  developed personal relationships of the most dependent kind with Chris, Keith, Rachel--more recently with Laurence (who is always L… Read full post »

APRIL 16, 2010 4:54PM

"Who was You?"

The Boston Lowells knew who they were. From their perch on Beacon Hill they enjoyed a perspective that encouraged them to

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FEBRUARY 11, 2010 7:11PM

What an Unbeliever Believes

I am a humanist. I do not believe in an afterlife but (to quote Woody), “Just in case, I’m bringing a change of underwear.”


I don’t deny or affirm the existence of God, any god. There have been so many, and all of them

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FEBRUARY 2, 2010 12:39PM

Beyond the Creeds


The incoherence of contemporary humanism is usually ascribed to its free thought origins. Not so. Contemporary humanism is a mess because it doesn’t know what it believes, so much so that it doesn’t know what “it” stands for. Humanism has become the

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JANUARY 12, 2010 3:08PM

Good without God: Not the Problem

Being good is not the same as being ethical ,or virtuous, or doing good, or even leading a good life.



Let me begin with two stories. The first comes from Voltaire, who is reported to have said to his mistress, Marguerite, “Whatever you do, don’t tell the… Read full post »

DECEMBER 24, 2009 9:53AM

A Christmas Story


"Come closer," he said, beckoning his daughter to the table.

"Do you know what this is?" He sounded as if he was asking her to recite a prayer.

"Yes," she said.  "It's a pocket pistol.  It takes .25 acp's."

"It's loaded,"  he said.  "It's been loaded since the… Read full post »

DECEMBER 10, 2009 2:35PM

The Lieberman Nativity



And the angel said unto Marcia (nee Manger, no kidding):

 "Hail, oh pregnant one who at three weeks doesn't suspect a thing: the Lord is with you. 

"We looked for someone named Miriam and a guy named Joseph, but Henry and you will have to do.  Anyway,… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2009 3:49PM

Political Atheism


I was having dinner with friends before leaving the sweltering Lahore summer to return to Maine in June.  Discussion turned to politics, as it often does in foreign parts.  Having spent most of my professional life, by choice, outside the United States, I have learned to

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NOVEMBER 18, 2009 1:28PM

Catholic Choice: The Politics of No




In 1960 everyone able to vote in my Catholic family voted for JFK because Catholics (like most Jews and African Americans) were Democrats.  Catholics believed in the Trinity, going to confession, the rosary, and the special license of nuns to inflict bodily damage on adoles… Read full post »