Protestant Charismatic Snake Handlers

As some readers may have picked up, I’m always fascinated by the lunatic fringe of religion. Here’s some information on the real famous snake handlers of America’s Appalachian region: What’s interesting is that it is not something which is dying out. The article here was written in 2003. Indeed, the practice is spreading. I also [Read More...]

Islamic Snake Handler

No, she’s not a Protestant Charismatic Snake Handler from Tennessee. She’s a Sufi –a spiritual strain of the Islamic religion. Geesh, those charismatic snake handlers get around! I wonder if the Sufis have ever heard of the Toronto Blessing where worshippers swoon, fall down, break out in uncontrollable laugher. Some of them grunt like pigs, [Read More...]

Interview with a Vampire…

…well author of vampire books anyway. Here’s my interview with Anne Rice. It’s also the first piece I’ve had published in First Things. [Read more...]

Latin Mass at Merton

There’s a conference on the Latin Mass going on at Merton College, Oxford at this time. This is a picture of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass being celebrated there. More pictures at New Liturgical Movement. A snippet of trivia: I once played Horatio in a student production of Hamlet in Merton College Chapel. Hamlet? [Read More...]

The Dark Knight

I’ve just been to see the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight. My verdict is to quote the old Ogden Nash poem:  Here is a good rule of thumb Too clever is dumb. It was way too talky. They had to tell me all their deep philosophical thoughts about anarchy and chaos etc. They had [Read More...]

Rowan Williams’ Speech

Here’s a report from Archbishop Rowan Williams’ latest speech at Lambeth. It is an impassioned plea for tolerance, listening and unity. Someone has asked why I am picking on the Anglicans so much. First of all, this summer is a hugely historical time for the Anglican Communion. Whether they split up into a hundred pieces [Read More...]


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