• Eventually — perhaps a generation from now, perhaps two, but not much longer than that — there will be a statue honoring Kate Kelly in Salt Lake City. People there will find it confusing. Either it will confuse them because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will have become more inclusive, and so the idea of excommunicating an advocate for women’s ordination will seem strange, or else because the LDS won’t have become more inclusive, and thus most people seeing the statue will have a hard time remembering what a Mormon was.
• Suzanne McCarthy tries to make sense of N.T Wright’s “surprising and somewhat incoherent interview” on marriage equality. She delves into Wright’s assertion that heaven is male and earth is female, and that same-sex marriage is therefore wrong because it violates this type/metaphor/sacred mystery/fertility rite. McCarthy notes that Peter Kreeft has argued something similar, and puzzles over their appeal for “a syncretistic I Ching Christianity.”
But perhaps we’re all being a bit too harsh. Maybe we should give Wright the benefit of the doubt. His argument that marriage is a mysterious symbol of the ultimate union between the gendered “opposite poles” of earth and heaven is, after all, something that can be found throughout the Bible. So perhaps we should take his advice, oppose marriage equality as a civil right and defend such traditional marriage by erecting Asherah poles — just like they did back in the Bible.
• If the check can be cashed with no strings attached, there’s something to be said for plundering the Egyptians.
• Labor priests. More of these, please.
• Vulture asked Anthony Stewart Head if he’d agree to do a cameo in Avengers 2 if Joss Whedon asked him. “I would say yes. … anytime!” For the record, I also would happily say yes to such an invitation. Or to a walk-on bit in his next Shakespeare production, or any Dr. Horrible sequel, or whatever else he’s got cooking. Just putting that out there.• The Rev. John Piper — Calvinist, maverick meteorologist, and proponent of “biblical manhood” — says real, true Christians shouldn’t watch Game of Thrones. Because of the nudity. That’s all — only because of the nudity: “It is an absolute travesty of the cross to treat it as though Jesus died only to forgive us for the sin of watching nudity, and not to purify us for the power not to watch it.”
Matthew Paul Turner does his best to offer a measured response, but he’s clearly a bit exasperated by the mentality that could consider this story with such moralistic tunnel vision as to think that nudity is foremost of the moral issues it raises (“How many Starks do they have to behead before you figure that out?”).
My recommendation for Piper is simple: Don’t watch the show; read the books. They’ve got all the war, murder, mayhem, injustice, vengeance, treachery, lechery and deceit of the show, but they don’t have pictures.
• Speaking of Game of Thrones, the Social Security Administration database reveals the show’s impact on baby names: “The epic HBO drama inspired 1,135 Aryas, 241 Khaleesis, and 67 Daeneryses born in 2013.”
That’s understandable but this confounds me: “Boys receiving GOT-inspired monikers included 15 Theons and five Robbs.” I very much hope those little Theons are the sons of librarians named in honor of Theon of Alexandria and not after the evil, miserable Theon Greyjoy.
But then again, 23,678 little Americans were named Jonah during the past decade, so who knows?
In related news, here is some adorable video of three new black-footed cat kittens at the Philadelphia Zoo. The youngsters from the smallest wild cat species in Africa were named Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion: