General Butt Naked and God in Der Spiegel

Let me commend for your reading a story in last week’s Der Spiegel on the Liberian war lord General Butt Naked. The article in its English-language version entitled “The Penitant Warlord: Atoning for 20,000 War Crimes” recounts the war crimes of Joshua Milton Blahyi and his subsequent transformation into a priest. But there is a [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...]

Luke Russert on snark, journalism, faith and easy targets

Let’s start the day with a quick thought from Luke Russert of NBC News, who recently sat down with David Brody of The Christian Broadcasting Network — the rather rare reporter in the Christian television world who often talks with real, live national leaders and thinkers. Russert, of course, is the son of the late [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...]

Memories of Jack Spong (as opposed to hagiography)

Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me, when one day in winter, on my return home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not [Read More...]

Religion and the 1963 March on Washington

August 28 is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. There’s a huge rally down at the Lincoln Memorial today and media coverage has been ramping up in preparation. One of the complaints we’ve gotten about that coverage is that it has oddly avoided mention of the religious component of the original march [Read More...]

Sun sheds very little light on new linebacker’s faith

If you know anything about the Baltimore Ravens, then you probably know something about the complex legacy left behind by retired linebacker Ray Lewis, a sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer. When it came to his religious beliefs, Lewis was loud and proud to the point of driving some fans a bit nuts. I [Read More...]

Tampa Bay tear jerker: A ‘former’ Baptist pastor?

The following is a picky little post about a story that kind of got under my skin today. It’s a human-interest story that, on one level, is about sports. But it’s not really a sports story. Please keep reading. No, it’s a tear-jerker piece from The Tampa Bay Times about a dying man who is [Read More...]


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