In Your Eyes I See the Doorways to a Thousand Churches

One of the moments that stood out to me at that Calvin College "Faith & Writing" conference last year was James K.A. Smith's line that "the discipline and regimen of historic Christian worship... [plies] and stretch[es] your imagination." I've been thinking about the ways gay Christians are damaged by the "liturgies" of our surrounding culture--and by the absence of images, practices, forms of prayer which could teach us to see better.There's a pretty obvious commercial anti-liturgy in … [Read more...]

Moving Pictures from an Institution: Movie notes

Four films linked by a really depressing theme!Scum: Our institution: a 1970s Borstal (juvenile prison). Does exactly what it says on the tin, not quite two hours of violence and contempt. The use of rules as abuse, creating impossible demands (guard throws a prisoner back into his cell, spilling the guy's mug of soup, then snaps: "Dirty cell, you're on report"); use of prisoners' self-created hierarchies to divide and conquer. The scenes where suicidal prisoners are mocked and beaten are... … [Read more...]

Two Short Gay Catholic Whatnot Notes: An Apology (Mine) And Possible Specifics (Yours)

LOL what a terrible title.Okay, so I did a couple speaking engagements last week, including one at the Catholic University of America (go whatever their mascot is! Doves?). At CUA I got a couple questions which I didn't think I answered well, and which are general enough that I think it makes sense to say something about them on the blog.One guy connected my general support for Pope Francis's call for the Church to apologize to gay people with something I said in this Atlantic piece: "I … [Read more...]

I review “I Am Michael,” The James Franco Ex-Gay Biopic

for America: For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.”As James Franco vehicles go, “I Am Michael” may be the James Franco-iest. Directed by Justin Kelly and based on a true story, “I am Michael” follows a gay activist who finds Jesus and proclaims himself no longer gay. The film dedicates equal time to threesome makeout scenes and chapter-and-verse Bible q … [Read more...]

Your Body Is a Battleax: Against the Weaponization of Gay Christian Witness, Plus More From Canada

So last weekend I got to visit Our Neighbor to the North, the magical land where when you say, "Toller Cranston," people actually say, "Oh, the figure skater?" I learned many things there. Milk in bags is a REAL THING, people, it's not just something made up for Gordon Korman fanfiction! Here are some notes, including bonus #CanCon in case there's a subsidy for that.# I was there to do a longer version of my usual shtik about paths of love for gay people in the Church. (BOOK ME, I RESONATE … [Read more...]

“Beyond Religious Life and Marriage”: My Epic Piece for “America” on Nonmarital Christian Kinship

in some of its many forms: Tim Otto found the Church of the Sojourners in San Francisco almost by accident. When he was a lonely little kid, one of their members, an artist, tried to teach him to paint. (“I was an utter failure,” he remembers.) When he grew up, he began to see in Sojourners, a Christian intentional community, a form of discipleship and an “art of love” that he admired and needed. more! I may as well say that I like the ending of this piece. Every time I do this stuff I try to d … [Read more...]

“‘Roe’s’ Missing Stories”: I’m at First Things

playwatching: Roe, the new play from Lisa Loomer about the woman at the heart of the 1973 Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, is much like its main subject: easily distracted, unbalanced, but undeniably compelling. Roe (at Arena Stage in Washington, DC through February 18) at first suggests that it will be a story of two women. The play opens with Norma “Jane Roe” McCorvey (Sara Bruner) and lawyer Sarah Weddington (Sarah Jane Agnew) speaking in unison. We're encouraged to think that their l … [Read more...]