Will Heterosexuality and Anagrams Save Us from Tyranny?

So on Sunday I went to the Kennedy Center for a children's show, "Where Words Once Were." Cannot confirm the effect on actual children of this fable about totalitarian control of language, since the lad with whom I saw the play was (ironically) disinclined to offer his commentary. But the show offered a window into what our artists and teachers can and can't imagine.So here's the thing: It's probably a fine show, if heavy on the explanations. The look and feel is very "turquoise-gray … [Read more...]

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Calling Godparents, Lifelong Friends, People Who Have Pledged to Serve Communities, And More!

Hello all. I'm doing a piece for America on what you might call "alternative kinship." Nonmarital, nonsexual forms of belonging and making family, which take place in a Christian context. The ones I'm most interested in are those adorned with ritual and formal promises, like the vows of friendship Wes Hill describes in his excellent Spiritual Friendship, but I'd also be interested in other ways people build practical and spiritual ties outside of marriage and religious orders/priesthood.If … [Read more...]

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“Cocktail Theology”: William Dailey

at First Things: That brings us to the most important spiritual aspect of cocktail culture: hospitality. Those people coming in off the streets, coming into churches and taverns, what do they seek? Home. What truly excellent pastors can help to provide for the wayfarer is a taste of the home that is promised us with our Maker, though of course we will never feel quite at home this side of the kingdom. But the work of helping people to feel a bit less estranged, a bit more comfortable in their … [Read more...]

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Assisted Suffering

So, I voted.Remember how I said my ballot would be a fractal of civic helplessness? That's especially true because of the current DC political issue that isn't being put to referendum: Assisted suicide will almost certainly become law here early next year, due to support in the city council and likely from the mayor. Only two councilmembers (Yvette Alexander and Brianne Nadeau, both Democrats) voted against legalizing assisted suicide here.The arguments on our side that I've heard here … [Read more...]

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“This Undertaker Buries the Bodies Nobody Else Will Touch”: MEL Magazine

profile: "People say to me sometimes, ‘We don’t go to you because you bury those people’ – the poor people,” Peter Stefan tells me in the second-floor office of his Worcester, MA funeral home. “I say, ‘Then don’t come. We don’t need you.’ You bury who you bury.” That statement might serve as a motto for Stefan, whose weathered appearance seems wholly apropos for a man who, for 41 years, has made a living burying those whose bodies have nowhere else to go – AIDS patients in the ’80s and ’90s; … [Read more...]

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What Might Apology and Amends to LGBT People Look Like? I’m at Vox

doin' my thing:On June 26, while flying back from a trip to Armenia, Pope Francis told a reporter that he agreed with Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany: The Catholic Church owes an apology to gay people. The Pope's comments were short but rambling — not as deft and pithy as his well-known statement from an earlier airplane interview, "If [gay people] accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?" — but even the best apology is only a beginning. Good apologies allow us to live to … [Read more...]

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The Three Theological Virtues And How They Will Help You Cope With Turning Into a Lobster

more riffing on The Lobster from me: Last week I saw The Lobster, an extremely sad and violent romantic comedy about a world in which, if you don’t find a romantic partner within 45 days, you’ll be turned into an animal. It’s sort of “Why Our Culture Desperately Needs Spiritual Friendship: The Movie.” I hesitate to recommend it to you guys, because it was really hard to watch, partly because it’s so bleak and partly because it’s bleak specifically about loneliness and feeling like there’s no pla … [Read more...]

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