Pod people: Does it matter if celebrities/royals have faith?

As the old saying goes, Americans don’t have a royal family. We have celebrities. We even live in a day in which it is terribly important for American political leaders to be perceived as celebrities, with as much cool clout as possible if they want to be successful. Ask Mitt Romney about how that works [Read More...]

WPost examines the demons (and a ghost) in ‘The Exorcist’

It’s that time of year again, the time when reporters keep trying to reach author William Peter Blatty to talk about pea soup, noises in the night, long flights of stairs and the degree to which human necks can swivel. Consider this one-liner, drawn from a much better than normal chat with the author just [Read More...]

Still falling for ‘The Exorcist,’ 40 years later

Long ago, pre-Internet, some researchers tried to find out which movie had the greatest spiritual effect on viewers, in terms of provoking people to think about sin, salvation and life after death. A Billy Graham movie perhaps? “The Ten Commandments”? “Chariots of Fire”? Nope, apparently it was the R-rated, scare the living daylights out of [Read More...]

Tom Clancy: That Baltimore Catholic and his generic beliefs

As I have mentioned many times, Baltimore culture is both historically Catholic and very liberal and the state of Maryland is used to having political leaders who are openly Catholic, yet clash frequently with the church hierarchy on issues of moral theology. Meanwhile, the newspaper that lands in my front yard just off the south [Read More...]

Spot the ghost in China’s material girls

Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me I think they’re O.K. If they don’t give me proper credit I just walk away They can beg and they can plead But they can’t see the light, that’s right ‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash Is always Mister Right, ’cause we are Living in [Read More...]

Media MIA: Mother Dolores Hart’s love for Jesus

It’s the question that echoes between the lines of mainstream news features about the life and work of Mother Dolores Hart, the cloistered nun (yes, she gave Elvis his first on-screen kiss) who walked away from her promising future in Hollywood. The question, stated simply, is this: Why did she do it? The answer? I’m [Read More...]

What, precisely, makes Stephenie Meyer so important? (updated)

I need some help, folks. My goal is to find that classic Washington Post piece — on A1 or the Style front — about the whole Beltway-women cult that surrounded the “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer. The key to this feature was that it focused on how guilty these feminists and hard-charging professionals felt about [Read More...]

Religion as code language in the French press

Time for a round of the “name that famous film quote” game. Don’t you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we’re left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here. Alvy Singer, Annie Hall (1977) When is a newspaper’s reference to religion not [Read More...]


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