A Gay Presbyterian on a Jesuit Retreat

For a Protestant, doing things in a Catholic setting is like going to a foreign country where they speak English. You can understand what they’re saying, but you’re in a land of different cultural cues. You spend a lot of time playing the Venn-diagram game of What’s the same/What’s different. So it was when as a Presbyterian I found myself on a silent retreat at a Jesuit spirituality center in Louisiana.I went on the retreat because I had heard about the Jesuit discipline of discernment. This … [Read more...]

Duck Dynasty Blog #10: ‘Quack-O-Lantern’

The Set-Up: It’s Halloween at the Duck Commander headquartersHilarity Ensues: As with many of the situations on Duck Dynasty, this episode’s conflict and comedy comes from the boys’ relationships with their wives. When Korie suggests that they turn the warehouse into a haunted house for the local kids, this leaves Willie, Jase, and Jep arguing over how a “real man” should approach Halloween.Jase’s position is the most masculinist, insisting that real men don’t wear costumes. As he says, “ … [Read more...]

Duck Dynasty Blog #9 “Going Si-Ral”

The Set-Up: Si discovers YouTube and wants to put up instructional videos. John Luke destroys Willie’s truck in an accident.Hilarity Ensues: Si decides most of the stuff on YouTube isn’t much good, even though he quotes YouTube favorites like “Charlie Bit Me” and “Double Rainbow,” and decides to do a series of golfing instructional videos.The Duck Dynasty boys, ever looking for distraction from their “work,” decide to act as Si’s film crew. Si appears dressed as a backwoods version of Pay … [Read more...]

Guillermo del Toro’s House of Horror

 No big surprise, but the photo above is of Guillermo del Toro's house, which he calls Bleak House. Director del Toro had one of the biggest hits of the summer with Pacific Rim. He recently directed the spectacular title sequence for this year's installment The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, with multiple horror and fantasy movie references--both old classics and recent classics from del Toro.Due out just before Halloween is Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities: My … [Read more...]

Duck Dynasty Blog: On Phil’s Homophobic Sermon–Learning to Paint with a Narrow Brush

“We’re believers in the Lord. We think he set this all up for us.” – Phil RobertsonApparently, Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan, was the hardest sell when his son Willie came to him with the idea of promoting the family business on a reality TV show.With characteristic gruffness, Phil responded, “I’m already as famous as I want to be.”Willie explained to him that the show would give him a broader “platform to talk about the things you like to talk about.”The … [Read more...]

Duck Dynasty Blog #7: Scoot-Along Si

The Set-Up: Willie and Si have a fender bender in the Duck Commander parking lot, causing Si to show up for work riding a scooter because of his “injuries.” Miss Kay loses her turtle, Mr. T, and expects Phil to go down to the swamp and catch her another one.Hilarity Ensues: What Si describes as a serious accident, which will force Willie to replace the bumper guard on his pickup, Willie describes as a “light bumper kiss.”Willie suggests Si will do anything to get out of work: “Last year h … [Read more...]

Duck Dynasty Blog #6: John Luke after Dentist

The Set-Up: The oldest of Willie’s kids, John Luke and Sadie, get their wisdom teeth removed. Jase and Jep have to clean rotting meat out of a broken freezer.Hilarity Ensues: Phil comes over to the warehouse and finds Jase and Jep gagging over the rancid deer parts, ducks, and shrimp they’ve pulled out of the freezer. Phil has a job for them, which seems to involve killing dangerous Cottonmouths. But first they have to find a way to get rid of the meat. This involves Phil driving the boys fro … [Read more...]

Bad Christian Art: “Excuse me while I go throw up and rock myself in a corner.”

Editor's Note: Guest blogger Jeremy Hamilton-Arnold writes about the dangers of bad religious artwork. Jeremy lends his expertise as a Christian art historian and adds his voice as a Millennial to our continuing discussion on what attracts or repels young people about church.  By Jeremy Hamilton-ArnoldA pastor friend of mine asked me the other day if I knew of any good examples of art that depicted God as not an old white dude. Just going off the top of my head, I found it a … [Read more...]