Narnia, the Solstice, and Heaven

Fledge the winged horse and Jewel the Unicorn, as painted by the author of this post

I.Some of my fascination with The Last Battle, the last in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, might stem from the draw of the bittersweetness of finality and my awe (in the dual senses of “awesome” and “awful”) at apocalypse. But good portion of it derives from Narnia’s heaven, one of the most compelling visions of a literal, Christian heaven in literature.Mr. Tumnus explains a key aspect of this heaven: there, “no good thing is destroyed.” At its most straightforward, Mr. Tumnus is refer … [Read more...]

The “Thoughts and Prayers” Backlash is Deserved

Idol worship. (Wikimedia Commons, alterations by Cody Ray Shafer)

After so many shootings this year, it just feels like nothing is ever going to change. But after the San Bernardino shooting, there was a decent amount of backlash against the many politicians who responded to the news with a very bland, “thoughts and prayers” tweet. Tweeting "thoughts and prayers" is right up there with American politicians' favorite past time of making excuses for why we can’t have any sensible firearm legislation.here’s a template tweet for all politicians to use. “My thou … [Read more...]

Finding Hope From The Westboro Baptist Church

A Westboro Baptist Church protest. (Wikimedia Commons, alterations by Cody Ray Shafer).

For years, the Westboro Baptist Church have been synonymous with bigotry. I learned this when they protested at my high school in 2004 over a production of The Laramie Project (documented by my embarrassing teenager blog). A large counter protest was organized, and an event originally sparked with hate turned into a largely positive, jovial affair. The Phelps clan were woefully outnumbered, and they left rather quickly, while the crowd left behind cheered and laughed and prayed together. As an … [Read more...]

Star Wars Needs A Faith Crisis

Along with my love of the original films is a massive appreciation for Ralph McQuarrie's excellent concept art for the very first Star Wars. (Fair use)

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but there’s a new Star Wars coming out next month. Remember Star Wars? It was a 1977 low-budget film from the chronically anti-social merchandising kingpin George Lucas that shamelessly ripped of Kurosawa and Frank Herbert. Believe it or not, the film was followed by not just one but two sequels in the ‘80s, and then an entire prequel trilogy in the early ‘00s. Now Disney owns the property and is planning on inundating the public with more Star Wars films fro … [Read more...]

These Three Things Are True

DSC_4495

Sharp divisions make it hard to pinpoint "how Mormons feel" about the policy barring children of same-sex married parents from blessing or baptism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but these three things are true:Mormonism is charismatic. Mormonism is organized. Mormonism is Mormons.By “Mormonism is charismatic” (from the term “charismata”, or gifts of the Holy Spirit including visions, healings, prophecy, etc.) I mean that its existence as a religious tradition is … [Read more...]

I Won’t Go to Church Unless Everyone is Welcome

Charles Lock Eastlake, "Christ Blessing Little Children," (Wikimedia commons).

There is a lot yet to be said about the Church's recent policy changes to Handbook 1 regarding the children of LGBT parents. A few writers here at Peculiar People are still processing this, and our perspectives and opinions are as varied as the church membership itself. This policy doesn't directly affect me, but it does people I know and love. I don't want to distract from their stories, but I thought this was as good a time as any to air out my issues with the Church's position.When it … [Read more...]

Stephen Colbert is right, believing in God is pretty crazy

Screenshot, courtesy of CBS.com.

I had the pleasure of catching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night. It was a great episode, and I think the show is getting better as he settles on a more familiar format and rhythm.But even from day one, the thing that’s distinguished Colbert’s late night party has been his interviews. He is just considerably better at interviewing people than Kimmel, Fallon or Conan. And last night was no different. In fact, Colbert said something in particular that I think would do us some good t … [Read more...]

Thomas, Meet Francis: The Glory of the Outsider-Leader

Jeffrey Bruno/Wikimedia Commons. Alterations by JFeinauer

I remember the day he was elected, feeling amazed that a non-European was finally going to be in charge. I'd been LDS for a long time by then, but the prospect of some new blood...an outsider of sorts, shaking things up in my church of origin...intrigued and excited me more than might be expected of a temple recommend-carrying Mormon. The past two and a half years since his accession have been the unfolding of what I consider to be a divinely-led series of reforms and refocusings, and with … [Read more...]


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