“Arts & Faith Top 25 Films on Mercy”: Image Journal

listin': These films show us visions of a world so often lacking in mercy, as well as worlds in which one merciful act alters the landscape of human experience forever. Produced by the Arts & Faith online community, this list spans 93 years of cinema, from 1921’s The Kid and The Phantom Carriage to 2014’s Love & Mercy. Charles Laughton as Javert?! YES MORE PLEASE … [Read more...]

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Sad Bible Songs: I review Harrison Lemke’s “Fertile Crescent Blues”

at First Things: "Christian pop is unrelentingly cheerful.” That was Leah Libresco's conclusion when she analyzed the frequency of positive and negative terms (“grace” vs. “sin,” for example, or “love” vs. “fear”) in Billboard's Christian pop top-50. Grace and love and life and light are all great things. But if your soul needs a smoke break from the endless Christian pep rally, a lay-me-down instead of yet another pick-me-up, Harrison Lemke's beautiful new album Fertile Crescent Blues is what y … [Read more...]

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“Christian Love and Kinship Outside Marriage: Thoughts from a Gay Catholic”

My talk at Calvin College is available at Livestream and YouTube (below):I thought this one went well. Oh man though, I'm so glad I got new glasses about a week after this was filmed. Look at how far I have to push these down the bridge of my nose to read. … [Read more...]

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“Poor Citizenship”: I watch “Behavior,” a 2014 drama of Cuban childhood and faith

review at AmCon: Behavior, the 2014 movie from Cuban writer and director Ernesto Daranas that is still playing festival circuits in the U.S., is not one-of-a-kind. It is not unprecedented; it does not break (much) new ground. What it is, is an exceptionally heartfelt, moving, and artistically accomplished example of its genre. As Brooklyn is what an Irish-American romance should aspire to be, so Behavior is the “coming of age in the underclass” story at its most luminous. more … [Read more...]

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Church Division vs. Your Vocation: A tiny Gay Catholic Whatnot post

I was at Calvin College to do a talk on "Christian Love and Kinship Outside of Marriage: Perspectives from a Gay Catholic." (Here are my notes from Calvin's Festival of Faith & Writing, tickets to which were an awesome perk for speaking.) I got a lot of great questions, including one which I super could not answer, about how architecture and city planning can move away from the post-19th c. model of single-family homes and warehouses for singles, nuclear families only, no others need apply. … [Read more...]

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Reading, ‘Riting and Repentance: Some Notes from the Festival of Faith and Writing

at Calvin College. This was a blast, guys. Here are some semi-cleaned-up excerpts from my notes.I don't need a literary agent. I need a literary patient. This is a great poem. "The wall comes down." Calvin vs #orthodoxerasure--there was a panel of Orthodox Christian poets, which had way too much bafflegabby "what is liturgy, what is poetry" for my taste (although I loved Scott Cairns's "Poetry focuses your attention") but also made me think there are two conflicting, equally-true ways … [Read more...]

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Amoris Laetitia: Pregnancy Counseling, Penitence, And Pudding

my take at First Things:Philip Larkin lamented that whether or not anybody refills your drink at a party “seems to turn on where you are. Or who.” In our divided Catholic Church, pastoral care is a lot like Larkin's cocktails. Catholics who sincerely desire to submit themselves to the Church they love come to their local parish seeking the wine of resurrection; and receive sometimes water, sometimes vinegar. If you're in an especially culturally-contentious position, you may be favored with a … [Read more...]

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