Archive for the ‘Religion’ category

Queerness and exile

I’ve been thinking this week along some of the same lines as Rachel’s post from yesterday. I’d like to add a few thoughts to hers, starting on the subject of religion but then generalizing. Last week I went to a panel discussion on queer youth and religion where one speaker, Professor Mark Jordan, talked about […]

Religious believers, religious knowledge

You may have seen press coverage this week of a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life about religious knowledge among members of various American religious groups. Mormons, Jews, and atheists/agnostics scored highest, even after adjusting for education and income. White evangelical Protestants and Mormons scored highest on questions about the Bible […]

Pressed for the truth

The other night I was ironing a shirt for work when I accidentally got a steam burn down the side of one finger. The wound was invisible, the pain wicked, especially since I was still wielding the iron, its hot, wet air hissing out all over the place. Though I persevered until the shirt was […]


I was quite old before I realized that I was the only person at my church who listened to secular music. I must have been in seventh grade, because I clearly remember a Sunday School classmate asking me what my favorite album was at the time, and I said Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Of course. […]

Will the pope resign?

I’m reading the excellent Capitalist Realism, by Mark Fisher of k-punk, and came across a great bit that I wanted to share. Fisher writes, What late capitalism repeats from Stalinism is just this valuing of symbols of achievement over actual achievement. As Marshall Berman explained, describing Stalin’s White Sea Canal project of 1931-33: Stalin seems […]


I was thinking this week about boredom, first in a religious context. When I was a kid, church was pretty boring — although, as “good kid,” I was kept in line by a combination of my hypertrophied superego and an intense interest in doodling. As an adolescent, I started to really take an interest in […]

Businesses I wish I’d started

The creator of the Frisbee died last week, age 90, a wealthy man for having adapted a popcorn tin lid into a toy. How great would that be – to invent an object beloved by millions and retire off it? Whenever I read stories about the people who become zillionaires by inventing cool stuff, I […]

A very gory vegetarian festival

RB and I just returned from two weeks in Thailand. We saw and did the things one does there – snorkeling, hiking, riding elephants, kayaking, visiting temples, that sort of thing. But we also witnessed something most unexpected – something we happened to read about in a magazine and rerouted our trip especially to see. […]

Fine art made finer

The McNaughton “Fine Art” company has made available a print called “One Nation Under God,” packed with symbolism and helpfully annotated. Click here to see the work with its original meanings explained, including the depiction of a tormented Supreme Court justice and an evil “Mr. Hollywood.” The image below isn’t the print, because unfortunately you […]

Sontag seminar discussion questions

“Something new each weekday.” To that end, Susan Sontag in Aspen magazine: Every era has to reinvent the project of “spirituality” for itself. (Spirituality = plans, terminologies, ideas of deportment aimed at the resolution of painful structural contradictions inherent in the human situation, at the completion of human consciousness, at transcendence.) In the modern era, […]