Haircuts in Cyprus: Our Crisis of Debt Conscience

Americans pride themselves on outdoing the rest of the world in output, in the sheer number and magnitude of our accomplishments. This is no less true when it comes to furiously spending money we don't have. But if the ongoing brouhaha in Cyprus is any indication, we had better enact a few more trillion-dollar stimuli before the EU catches up to us.The great project for a European Confederation is steadily hurtling towards its logical conclusion. It was always a dicey proposition to expect … [Read more...]

Taylor Swift, Anne Hathaway, Their Brutal Detractors, and the Struggle for Identity

Taylor Swift. Anne Hathaway. Two women at the heights of their respective careers. One is love obsessed with a revolving door of men and the other -- well, how do I say this nicely? -- no one likes her, everyone finds her annoying, and she's Hollywood's least popular actress. But the problem is that none of that is true. At least not completely true. The media has exaggerated the personal narratives of both Swift and Hathaway, turning them into characters that are not actually a true reflection … [Read more...]

What HBO’s “Girls” Gets Right About Sex and Intimacy

In HBO’s “Girls,” currently wrapping up its second season, 26 year old writer, director, and actor Lena Dunham offers a refreshing - if sometimes painful to watch - view of female sexuality.  Unlike the glossy, airbrushed twentysomethings who headline most sitcoms, Dunham cuts a disheveled, average-sized figure - and she’s not afraid to bare it.  In the search for intimacy and connection, Dunham’s Hannah Horvath is willing to try almost anything with almost any specimen of man.Despite the amo … [Read more...]

Rob Bell on Gay Marriage: Why the Church Can’t Follow

Rob Bell is back in the news lately. He has a new book (CaPC review forthcoming!), in which he teaches that there are ways of speaking about God that are going to go the way of the Oldsmobile. Apparently, one of the things that is going to fall by the wayside is the church's opposition to homosexual marriage. "That ship has sailed," says Rob Bell recently.Bell may be correct. At least, he is correct that the evangelical conservative political machine is a sputtering mess right now. If … [Read more...]

Two Years Ago, Best Buds Debated Rob Bell and His Message

Two years ago, we had two good friends who were diametrically opposed to one another on the issue of Rob Bell, his book, and his ministry use Christ and Pop Culture as a venue to discuss their thoughts and concerns. What resulted was a dialogue about Rob Bell's Love Wins that stood out from other reactions on either side. It was thoughtful, fair, civil, and illuminating. From the introductory editor's note I wrote back then: Christ and Pop Culture writer, Ben Bartlett and guest-writer, Kiel … [Read more...]

Finding Nobility in the Middle of Wartime

Do a search for quotes about war, and you'll find a thousand statements about combat's horror, brutality, and dehumanizing, with many quotes coming from former warriors. For example, there's this poignant bit from Dwight D. Eisenhower: "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity." And yet, even as war can reveal the worst examples of man's barbaric nature, so to can it also reveal his honorable side.The history of … [Read more...]

A Post-Racial World? Not in the Ivory Towers.

Last fall, I received an email from my alma mater Williams College, a liberal arts school of 2,000 students nestled in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains. The message informed alums of a hate incident on campus in which a racial slur and threatening message were scrawled on a dormitory bathroom. Although I was surprised that something like this could happen at a place like Williams, I wish I could say that the incident was an isolated one.Just in the past month alone, there have been racial i … [Read more...]

The Meteoric Rise of Men’s Fashion

In the past decade or so, the term "metrosexual" has been used for straight men who cared about their appearance. I remember going to college with several "metros" who had a taste for designer denim and wool blazers. These men weren't gay, but because they fixed their hair and wore stylish clothes, their sexual orientation was considered a bit suspect. Straight men didn't and shouldn't care about such things!Thankfully, that's no longer the case. Blogs, streaming fashion shows, and fast … [Read more...]

Will Atheists Find What They’re Looking for in Their Temples?

Some common ground has been found for atheists and Christians. It’s called "awe."A recent article by Tom Greenall (an architect at DSDHA and studio tutor at the Royal College of Art) details how he and several colleagues teamed up with Alain De Botton, who was writing Religion for Atheists, to explore what atheists and secularists might learn from traditional theist practices. Together, they worked “to develop designs for a series of 'temples to atheists,' which would feature in his b … [Read more...]

Marcus Mumford: Big Fan of Jesus, But Not Christianity

Young evangelicals love Mumford & Sons for their catchy songs and heart piercing lyrics. I would count myself as one of that group. It is probably cliché and over-referenced by now but it doesn't really get any better than the line from their song Roll Away Your Stone: "It seems that all my bridges have been burnt/ But you say that's exactly how this grace thing works." Lyrics like this have led to speculation about Marcus Mumford's faith and for the first time he answered that question in a  … [Read more...]