With the intensive post-analysis of the presidential election last year, we had the beginnings of a national conversation on the new reality of how people are consuming news. “Fake news” has superseded real news in troubling ways. Selective exposure, filter bubbles, echo chambers, confirmation bias, implicit bias, and other terms have entered common dialogue. But suggested … More On Religion, Fake News and Self-Made Bubbles
Commonweal Magazine’s suggestion to pick up Love & Salt for a Lenten practice: “Today is Ash Wednesday. Lenten practices – prayer and fasting and almsgiving; ashes and palms; fish fries and egg sandwiches and CRS ricebowls; giving up coffee or alcohol or candy – all aim at this transformation….It’s also a time when people take up spiritual … More Commonweal Magazine on Love & Salt For Lent
Heading to Indiana this week for Taylor University’s Making Literature Conference, where I’ll be speaking along with Tom Noyes and Amy Peterson. Eighth Day Books will be there too. Seriously, you should go just because of that
Watching Beyonce’s Grammy performance, I nearly wept. We’ve seen stylized photos of pregnant celebrities before–they’re hardly controversial at this point. But I can’t remember seeing a pregnant woman on stage at a mainstream cultural event, doing her thing–being an artist, interpreting, performing, working–instead of hiding her “delicate condition.” (Vanessa Williams immediately tweeted:“They never showed my pregnant belly when … More Beyonce and the Black Madonna
We lost so many beloved cultural figures in 2016 that the year might go down in history as the Year of Celebrity Death. The losses hit my generation hard. The same year I turned 40 I said goodbye to heroes whose immortality I’d taken for granted. People like Prince and David Bowie, in particular, seemed … More What is a good death?
Secular time is a straight line, stretching out ahead indefinitely. I picture the diagram of “the flea and the acrobat” that the science teacher in Stranger Things draws on a paper plate to illustrate how one might exist in an alternate dimension. In fact, I draw it on my song sheet, a straight line and a stick figure, an … More advent: a brief history of time
God, you old heart breaker. Why must you always ask of us what seems impossible? Why must it break our hearts to go your way? Read the whole thing at Sick Pilgrim.
That desire for a grand adventure, for purpose and meaning, isn’t limited to gen X nostalgia, and that’s why the show isn’t just an inside joke. Millennials in particular often cite a desire to be part of something bigger than themselves as part of their attraction to the arcana of traditional Christian worship. Stranger Things … More Stranger Things, All Too Familiar
I was born and raised in southern Louisiana, and flooding was a fact of life in our low-slung neighborhood. A summer cloudburst could put us on the five o’clock news in New Orleans, and we’d see our neighbors swimming in the drainage ditches and floating in pirogues down the street. Because I was a kid, this … More Lamenting the Flood
I’ll be talking to the editors of America Magazine about my feature “The Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers today at 1:30 pm on Sirius/XM The Catholic Channel. Check the show’s site for archives.