When I learned of Osama bin Laden’s death, my immediate reaction was indifference. I didn’t share the jubilant response that seemed to be sweeping the…read more
The video for Lady Gaga’s song “Judas” has premiered, ending weeks of speculation stirred up by several religious spokespeople who denounced it before seeing it. The video is set in a motorcycle gang; Jesus is the leader, Judas a thuggish member and Gaga is torn by her attraction to both. As a quick first reaction, I find it moving, both artistically and spiritually. What has always fascinated and frustrated me is the disconnect between the Gaga haters and what I, and some of my friends, see in her work. Many of my religious young adult friends love Gaga; most of the rest don’t have any serious problem with her. They understand what she’s trying to do, even if it isn’t their taste. This is true across Catholics, mainline Protestants and evangelicals. So, what is it about Gaga that excites one devout person and intimidates another?read more
When we think of the phrase “faith at work,” some conventional images might come to mind: a priest or nun caring for the poor, a…read more
There’s a side pocket on every suitcase for a traveler’s odds and ends: wrinkled train tickets, airplane sleep masks, and free hotel pens. It’s a…read more
As a sometime Catholic, I often find myself apologizing. Primarily, I find myself apologizing to those more devout than myself for my negligence. This comes up most often having dinner at my parents’ house with the priests from their parish, who ask the perfectly innocent questions of why they haven’t seen me in a while or where I go to church in my neighborhood.
The other side of the coin is having to apologize for having religious convictions at all. As someone in my twenties living in an urban area and in a so-called creative profession, it’s generally assumed by my acquaintances and associates that I am either an atheist or subscribe to some kind of a New Age-y religion (possibly with the intention of annoying my more conventional parents)…read more
I went to Mass every Sunday with my father throughout my childhood, and even said evening prayers with him until I was a teenager. Then…read more