Top Five Books on Religion in the South

After our guest post on Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, a couple of people have asked me what I would consider to be valuable reads on the topic of religion (specifically Christianity) in the American South. Here are my top five, presented in no exact order, a mix of fiction, memoir, anthropology, and history.1. Anything by Flannery O'ConnorYou had to know it was coming. After all, she is the one who coined the phrase "the Christ-haunted South." Yet, in the very same paragraph from which … [Read more...]

Fringe: The Problem with the Pattern

As for me and my house, the fall television season began last night with the premiere of Fringe, Fox's new J. J. Abrams sci-fi drama. While my primary reason for watching was in hopes of a Lost-esque epic mystery to solve, I was reminded during the first episode of one of the other reasons I loved Lost: its' relentless exploration of the hard-to-swallow issues that many people simply choose to ignore. The Fringe not only continues that trend, but begins the series exploring one of the most … [Read more...]

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

Flannery O’Connor, patron saint of all things Weird and Southern, wrote, “The image of the South, in all its complexity, is so powerful in us that it is a force which has to be encountered and engaged. The writer must wrestle with it, like Jacob with the angel, until he has extracted a blessing.” Several of us here at Christ and Pop Culture are Southerners of one stripe or another, and I, for one, find it refreshing to see how non-Southerners react to the various mixes of the holy and the profa … [Read more...]

Can A Family of Aliens Teach Us To Enjoy Life?

It would be safe to say that most of us experience the harsh realities of life. To say that "life is hard" would indeed be an understatement. But to characterize all of life as hard would be wrong, and perhaps some people simply take life and themselves too seriously. Thankfully "TV Land" is bringing back a show that will remind us all of just how silly life, and we ourselves, can be.Third Rock from the Sun was a hilarious 90s sitcom featuring four aliens who come to earth to study its i … [Read more...]

Memoirs from a Sci-fi geek

This past weekend I was getting my geek on by spending my Labor Day holiday at DragonCon in downtown Atlanta.  If you've never heard of DragonCon, it is one of the largest sci-fi, fantasy, gaming conventions in the U.S.  Just over 30,000 fans of comic books, anime, sci-fi/fantasy and gaming converged at this 4-day conference.  My own personal niche of interest was sci-fi and fantasy.  During DragonCon, I had the chance to meet the stars of my favorite shows and movies such as Battlestar Gal … [Read more...]

'Twilight': A Positive or Negative Influence for Teens?

Even if you aren’t a female between the ages of 11 and 18, chances are you’ve heard of Twilight, the first volume of Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling vampire romance/adventure series. You may have seen the striking book cover, with two pale hands clasping an apple (“Whack!” goes the symbolism.). You may have seen the trailer for the movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke (The Nativity Story) and slated for release in December. You may have heard a group of girls squealing and sighing over the name “ … [Read more...]

A Superhero "Smaller than Life"

Note: the following post contains language that some may find offensive.Will Smith is the golden boy of Hollywood, especially around the Fourth of July weekend. His movies are not only guaranteed box office smashes, but pure summer entertainment. Yet with all of these high expectations, Will Smith's latest performance is getting less than stellar reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes.Hancock (Will Smith) is a superhero, but this is a very different and unusual superhero story. First of all you … [Read more...]

Confessions of a First-Time American Idol Viewer

Yes, that’s right—I’d never seen a full episode of American Idol before this week. Yet, by the end of Wednesday night’s results show, I had picked favorites, made up a couple of uncharitable nicknames for contestants, shrieked “What?!?” in complete disbelief, and considered several conspiracy theories to explain voting patterns. I believe there may also have been some kicking and fuming and muttering about “American insanity.” In short, I got really involved. It’s not that I’ve ever been opposed … [Read more...]

Podcast #25: Should Christians Cast Down their (American) Idols?

Click here to listen!Click here to listen!About three weeks ago, Ben and I sat down and discussed American Idol, including the morality of American Idol's infamous audition episodes, whether or not Christians should embrace and support Idol Gives Back, and more. Also, we give out our Christ and Pop Culture Awards for Voting Shows.We love feedback. If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to or best yet you can leave a voice-mail a … [Read more...]

The Case for Simon Cowell

Editor's Note: This is the first in a week-long series of articles by various writers about American Idol.“That sounded like a cat being set on fire and run through a car wash for extinguishing. It was the most awful sound I have ever had the displeasure of hearing.”Those words, while a bit exaggerated, are all too often the types of expressions that come from the mouth of American Idol judge Simon Cowell. Known as the “bad-boy” of the panel of judges for the pop-music competition show, Cowel … [Read more...]