Beyond Sexual Identity: Not Whether But How

Gay, straight, heterosexual, homosexual: All these terms have a history, all represent the fears and desires of specific cultures and moments, and all will eventually be superseded. In a hundred years I don't think people in their flying cars, with their marriages to toasters, will be calling themselves gay or straight. The conflict over sexuality which has so deeply marked not only personal identity but (tragically) the identities of our churches will be replaced--probably replaced by other … [Read more...]

Disguised, Paid, Inked, Zigzag: 193 Historical Ways to Say “Drunk”

tired and emotional … [Read more...]

“Dyscommunication”: I review “Tribes” at the Studio Theatre

for AmCon: If you couldn’t understand what your family was saying, would you understand them better or worse?Nina Raines’s ”Tribes” opens with four Britons hurling abuse at each other around the kitchen table. I think it’s supposed to be funny, but it’s mostly just crass and painful: Mom, Dad, brother and sister describing one another’s passions, hopes, beliefs, and sex lives in the most contemptuous terms possible. The fifth member of the family is deaf and yeah, you do feel that perhaps he … [Read more...]

OED Birthday Word Generator: Which Words Originated in Your Birth Year?

This is a really fun little widget! Via IKM. My birthday word is "gazillion," as in, "I have spent a gazillion hours winding cassette tape back into cassettes with a pencil eraser." But it's fun to just play around with the thing and see which words originated later or earlier than I would have guessed--"celebutante" and "babysitter" are both from the 1930s, for example. … [Read more...]

Wesley Hill’s 2013 best-of books list

For your delectation: I taught a course on Christology last spring, and in preparation I read a lot about St. Cyril of Alexandria. Three books are especially memorable from that time: Cyril’s treatise On the Unity of Christ, Christ in Eastern Christian Thought by John Meyendorff, and St. Cyril of Alexandria: The Christological Controversy by John McGuckin.I also read a few books this year from and about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, as I continue to try to figure out wher … [Read more...]

“All the Celibate Ladies?”: I ask a question

about language and singleness/celibacy, at Spiritual Friendship: Last week I had a great lunch w/another gay Christian woman. We differ pretty strongly on how one follows Christ, both in terms of communion/church (she’s a Protestant) and, relatedly, in terms of chastity. But the difference which I found most striking wasn’t a difference in belief; it was our respective emotional responses to some of the terms people use to describe “my side” of the Christian discussion of sexual orientation and … [Read more...]

From Marilynne Robinson, “Gilead”

That mention of Feuerbach and joy reminded me of something I saw early one morning a few years ago, as I was walking up to the church. There was a young couple strolling along half a block ahead of me. The sun had come up brilliantly after a heavy rain, and the trees were glistening and very wet. On some impulse, plain exuberance I suppose, the fellow jumped up and caught hold of a branch, and a storm of luminous water came pouring down on the two of them, and they laughed and took off running, … [Read more...]


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