Four Feuilletons for Friday (almost)

Some links.When I was listing my favorite underrated/underseen horror movies I didn't think to name Deadgirl. It's a tough, sad, grimy and rancid indie horror which is (to be somewhat reductive) about misogyny but not itself misogynistic. Not entirely sure I can revisit it sober, but it's really stuck with me; and my anecdata agree w/the Deadly Doll that women horror fans tend to like (if that's the word) the movie more than men do. Which is especially fascinating since it's a movie by and … [Read more...]

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Tales of a “Bootleg Baptist”

various good stuff in the First Things tribute to the late Will Campbell, but this part leaped out at me: My favorite Will Campbell story is about a Baptist pastor he once knew in Louisiana named Thad Garner. Despite his affable smile and trips to the Holy Land, Reverend Garner was not a model pastor. One day Campbell cornered him with a question, “Thad, why did you ever decide to be a Baptist preacher?” “’Cause I was called, you fool!” he thundered. more … [Read more...]

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“Called to Celibacy Unchosen”: Aaron Taylor

in First Things: Addressing women who knew they would never be able to marry because the lives of too many of their country’s men had been claimed by the Second World War, Pope Pius XII had the following to say in 1945:When one thinks of the women who voluntarily renounce matrimony in order to consecrate themselves to a life of contemplation, sacrifice, and charity, immediately there comes to one’s lips a luminous word: vocation! [But] this vocation, this call of love, makes itself felt in … [Read more...]

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“Pope: Mary Helps Us Not Be ‘Teenagers for Life'”: Catholic News Agency

reports: After praying the Rosary this evening, Pope Francis reflected on how Mary “gives us health” by helping Christians mature in their faith and not remain “teenagers for life.”“Dear brothers and sisters, how hard it is, in our time, to make the ultimate decisions! The temporary seduces us. We are victims of a trend that pushes us to the temporary ... as if we wanted to stay teenagers for life! We should not be afraid of the agreed commitments, commitments that involve and affect the who … [Read more...]

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What I Learned from Being a Christmas-and-Easter Jew

'Tis the season. I went to my first Easter morning Mass ever this year, and holy cats, was it packed! Yikes. Just wall-to-wall Catholics in all phases of forward- and backsliding. It got me thinking about what I learned from being intermittently Jewish as a kid--taken to High Holy Days services a few times, once? twice? to Purim, sometimes to Passover seders. I honestly don't remember how often we did any of this. But somewhat to my surprise, I think most of the lessons I learned from this … [Read more...]

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“The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness”: For when you’re done reading about the new pope

I'm at Acculturated. Don't worry, it's not an endorsement of "happiness research": The title of this article is also the title of a 2009 study by economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. The study looked at data from the United States and Europe, focusing on the period from the 1970s to the mid-2000s: a time of medical advances, the second wave of feminism, the rise of no-fault divorce and the personal computer. And also a period in which women got less happy—both absolutely, and re … [Read more...]

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“I would love to be told”

yes, yes, yes: What I find so attractive, therefore, about Catholicism is the fact that many–though certainly not all–of the practices within the church are grounded in something beyond fad and the opinion of a single pastor or leader. Put another way, I think a huge part of me would actually like it if my pastor said, “For the next 40 days, you’re fasting.” I wouldn’t like it if he was just making a power-play, trying to bind my conscience and create a new means through which to shame me. But i … [Read more...]

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