Busted Halo
October 25th, 2010
Busted Halo’s Editor-in-Chief says goodbye after six years

When I took over as editor-in-chief of Busted Halo in May 2004 we were still living in a web 1.0 world. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist and updating this site involved working with a content management system that—compared to what we use today—might as well have been designed by Fred Flintstone. So much has changed so quickly in the world of the web and social media that it’s almost as if we now exist in a different universe.
Social media isn’t the only thing that has changed in that time. The conversation about the intersection of faith and everyday life that we’ve hosted at BustedHalo.com has grown exponentially. Hundreds of thousands of seekers have come here in an effort to make sense of…

August 12th, 2008
The songwriter behind "Wild Thing," "Angel of the Morning" and "I Can't Let Go" on music, gambling and the Church of the Train Wreck

If he’d done nothing more than pen the seminal “Wild Thing,” Chip Taylor would still be a force to be reckoned with. The garage stomp classic that The Troggs topped the charts with in 1966 has become so emblematic of the genre that if you mapped the DNA of rock ‘n’ roll Taylor’s name would no doubt appear on several strands.
But Taylor has… done more…much more. During the 60s and 70s the Yonkers, NY native also wrote “Angel of the Morning” which has been a massive hit in three different decades—the 60s, 80s and, most recently, in 2001 with a reworked version by Shaggy. Taylor — who was born James Wesley Voight and is the brother of Oscar-winning actor Jon

May 29th, 2008
The personal computing pioneer on philanthropy and “Life After Apple”

He was a Cal-Berkeley dropout who sought to impress his friends in a local computer and electronics hobby club with a slick, new invention that in turn ended up selling incredibly well and starting a revolution in the computer industry.
Stephen Gary “Woz” Wozniak, is best known as the co-founder of Apple Computer and the inventor of the first two personal computers, the Apple I and Apple II, in the mid-1970s. Since leaving Apple in 1985 he has directed most of his efforts toward philanthropy. In 2007, MTV Real World… Alumn, Joe Patane, now, a social worker and close friend of Woz, asked for his collaboration in forming a new camping experience focused on creativity and technology alongside living in

May 12th, 2008
C.S. Lewis' stepson discusses Prince Caspian, life with Lewis and America's "trivial" Christianity

The Chronicles of Narnia has been a classic of children’s literature for over a half century, beloved by millions of readers the world over who are intimately familiar with—and highly protective of—the fantasy world created by C.S. Lewis over the course of the seven novels he wrote between 1949-1954. None of the devout, however, have the sort of perspective on Narnia that Douglas Gresham does.
Young Douglas was just eight years old—and already an enormous Narnia… fan —when his mother, Joy Davidman, Christian convert who moved to England from the United States, married C.S. Lewis and moved into “The Kilns,” the home Lewis shared with his brother, Warnie, in Oxford,

April 9th, 2008
Singer, songwriter, seeker, activist

It is the most standard of questions in any interview with a musician: ‘Who are your influences?’ So standard (and cliched) in fact that readers will often breeze right past it to get to the juicier parts “Beatles…blah, blah, blah….Dylan…blah, blah, blah… Stones…blah, blah…Did I mention that Brad and Angelina will be starring in my next video?”
But when a singer/songwriter like Carrie Newcomer includes the names of theologians, religious leaders and famous authors among her influences, clearly the traditional categories no longer apply. On her 11th studio album, The Geography of Light… Newcomer is not destroying old categories as much

April 4th, 2008
The former Master General of the Dominican Order worldwide discusses freedom, truth, sexuality and healing a polarized Church

As he bounds off the stage in his white friar’s habit into the large audience in an Anaheim Convention Center ballroom, Timothy Radcliffe, OP seems to have the energy of a man half his 63 years. He is away from the stage only momentarily to listen to a question from an audience member before he turns and moves quickly back to reclaim the microphone on the dais and offer his response. In person, Radcliffe gives the impression —at least to American eyes — of a delightfully eccentric and irrepressible British academic who wouldn’t be out of place as a visiting professor at Harry Potter…‘s Hogwarts Academy (as one of the “good guys” of course).
That impression is not entirely

December 17th, 2007
Why The First Christmas is not like any Nativity story you've ever heard before

Two years ago, biblical scholars John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg published The Last Week, a fascinating day-by-day account, based on Mark’s gospel, of how Jesus spent his final week in Jerusalem. Now, they’ve teamed up again to explore the beginning of Jesus’ life, unraveling what the news of his birth meant 2,000 years ago, so we can better understand its significance today.
In The First Christmas…, Crossan and Borg argue that the nativity story is far richer and more challenging than familiar sentimentalized versions allow. Not simply tidings of comfort and joy, the gospel stories of Jesus’ birth are also edgy visions of another way of life, confronting the status quo and demanding

December 6th, 2007
Reflections on God from a Spiritual Odd Couple

The Faith Between Us, by Peter Bebergal and Scott Korb, is the story of a failed Jewish mystic and a would-be Catholic priest who meet and become friends while searching for the meaning of God. The book’s range is broad, encompassing rock-and-roll, drug addiction, cancer, sex, veganism, marriage and family, but it always comes back to the same small group of inescapable, maddening questions. What is faith? What is belief? What is holiness? What is love? Bebergal and Korb are a kind of spiritual Odd Couple, separated by religion and life experience but bound together by a thirst for God and a deep trust in one another. The book they have written is funny, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, unsparingly honest…

November 30th, 2007
Mixing song, spirituality and social action

Brad Corrigan (aka Braddigan) certainly understands extremes. Dispatch, the trio he formed with college friends in the 1990s, became an independent music phenomenon. They spent years building an enormous following of rabid fans through the internet and touring only to break up at the height of their popularity (their 2004 farewell concert in Boston drew an estimated 110,000 people). Corrigan then returned to the drawing board and put together a three-piece acoustic, rock and reggae outfit, Braddigan— featuring Reinaldo De Jesus on drums and Tiago Machado on bass—and began dividing his time between playing clubs all over again and devoting energy to the various ministry and justice causes…

November 8th, 2007
The author of The Year of Living Biblically talks about what it's like to live by "The Book"

Countless believers pride themselves on leading Bible-based lives, but let’s face it: there’s a big difference between donating to the Christian Children’s Fund and downloading Jars of Clay onto your iPod, and diving headlong into the ancient world of Moses and King David—swearing off clothing made of mixed fibers, stoning adulterers, and growing a beard that makes you resemble the Unabomber.
In his latest book, The Year of Living Biblically, Esquire… editor A.J. Jacobs sought the “ultimate ancient-Israelite experience,” devoting 365 days of his life to following the Good Word—as literally as possible. Jacobs set out to obey every rule in the Bible. Thus,

November 6th, 2007
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist discusses fathers, sons, a vanishing America and Bridge of Sighs

Some believe him to be the “Bard of Main Street USA.” Throughout the six novels he has published since 1986, Richard Russo has created stories of small town American life worthy of Sherwood Anderson—the twentieth century American author of Winesburg, Ohio to whom Russo is ofen compared.
Six years after winning the Pulitzer Prize for his 2001 novel Empire Falls, Russo returns with Bridge of Sighs, another richly observed rendering of a fictional small town, Thomaston, NY. Like other worlds of Russo’s making both as a novelist and a screenwriter (Nobody’s Fool, Empire Falls…) Thomaston comes alive with the author’s gift for enormously descriptive detail. In true Russo

November 5th, 2007
The author of Oil and Water interprets Islam for a Western audience

Amir Hussain—who describes himself as a Pakistani-born Canadian Muslim and teaches theology at a Jesuit university in Los Angeles—is intent on spreading a message: There is more that unites than divides us. Written for Christians by a Muslim, his new book, Oil and Water: Two Faiths, One God, explores the differences between Christianity and Islam—but more importantly—what these two faiths have in common, paving the way for meaningful dialogue and ultimately, reconciliation.
Hussain is considered a leading specialist on Islam and is currently a Department of Theological Studies assistant professor at Loyola Marymount University. He recently spoke with BustedHalo… about

November 1st, 2007
Fr. Roderick Vonhogen a new media pioneer from the heart of the Netherlands

As Pope John Paul II lay dying, thousands of pilgrims and other well-wishers gathered outside his window, offering prayers, hoping for a miracle or at least a glimpse of the ailing Pontiff. One of those pilgrims was Fr. Roderick Vonhogen, a Dutch priest from Amersfoort in the Netherlands, who had begun immersing himself in a new form of technology called podcasting, a short-form digital radio show that is easily captured through the internet.
As Fr. Roderick saw people’s reactions during the Pope’s last days, he began to wander around, digital recorder in hand and ask questions of the younger people in St. Peter’s Square. He added some of his own commentary and then posted his podcast on the…

October 16th, 2007
Speaking with the author of American Jesus about his new book Religious Literacy

In the past decade Stephen Prothero, Chair of the Department of Religion at Boston University, has emerged as a national expert and resource on religious education and literacy in the United States. His 2003 book, American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon, also received widespread acclaim and led to appearances on CNN, NBC, FOX, PBS, “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. He has commented on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs and is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal.
Prothero’s latest book, Religious Literacy: What Americans Need to Know…, has received high praise for its unbiased critique of American’s low religious IQ.

October 10th, 2007
The Academy Award nominee talks about his newest film Lars and the Real Girl

For the sake of argument, I think it’s safe to assume that terms like “anatomically correct sex doll” and “sweet and tenderhearted” have rarely, if ever, appeared in the same sentence —at least not with a straight face (trust me, I’ve googled it). And yet somehow screenwriter Nancy Oliver has taken what on its surface sounds like a strange joke and fashioned it into a strangely compelling story.
With the help of Ryan Gosling in the title role and director Craig Gillespie, Oliver’s Lars and the Real Girl… for the most part manages to fuse the profoundly personal and the perversely plastic into a believably warm, human and—I kid you not—innocent

September 20th, 2007
The young director of the Leadership Roundtable makes the connection between faith and best practices

It is a tragedy that appears to have no end. Recent announcements of enormous clergy abuse settlements in Los Angeles ($660 million) and San Diego ($198 million) underscore the sense that—more than five years into it—the full ramifications of the sex abuse scandal in the United States have yet to be fully understood. Add to that the corruption trial involving former diocesan officials in Cleveland and it would seem that Catholics in the United States have every reason to walk out in despair. And yet—for reasons also not yet fully understood—despite this endless stream of bad news, Catholic churches in the United States aren’t showing signs of emptying.
While the ability of…

September 19th, 2007
An interview with the media visionary behind "Faces of Faith"

As both the founder of an online religion blog and a contributor to BustedHalo and other web-based religious news sites like Beliefnet, The Revealer and KillingtheBuddha… there’s one thing I’ve observed: the simplest changes in terms of design or function can often take eons to implement. In other words, like Rome, a religion website isn’t built in a day.
Or so I thought, until last week when I discovered Faces of Faith in America, a new religion news site that suddenly appeared on the web and that’s as cool and contemporary as any faith url out there. The sleek look and all the fun interactive elements aside, the site seemingly burst into existence with more than 80 top-notch video and print

September 6th, 2007
Talking with the author and NPR correspondent about justice in a post-9/11 America

The Lackawanna Six: Rough Justice in the Age of Terror is the deftly told story of six young men who got caught up in the quickly changing rules of America’s justice system after 9/11. I spoke last week to the author, Dina Temple-Raston, FBI correspondent for NPR and also the co-author of the recently published In Defense of Our America, co-written with Anthony Romero. She discussed her experience researching and writing her book, the differences between terrorists (or alleged terrorists) here and in Europe, why jihad is becoming a middle-class enterprise, and what we can do to get more involved in protecting civil liberties post 9/11.
BustedHalo.com: I read on your NPR bio that you wrote two books, learned…

August 24th, 2007
A conversation with the author of Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, and Death...

In his new book Sit Down and Shut Up, former Zen Buddhist priest Brad Warner breaks the teachings of Dogen Zenji down into manageable chunks of lively text, heavy with pop culture references. (This is, after all, the author of Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, and the Truth About Reality). Part memoir, part primer on Buddhism, Sit Down and Shut Up… is obviously the manifestation of many hours of reflection and a lifetime of questioning.
Long before becoming a Zen monk, Warner played bass in the early-80′s Ohio punk band, Zero Defects. These two seemingly unrelated states-of-being somehow make perfect sense when Warner takes us on the journey home for his band’s big 20-year reunion show, quoting

August 1st, 2007
The former New York Times reporter and author of the new book, If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear, talks about politics, abortion, and what women say in private about our political leaders

Melinda Henneberger, a former reporter for The New York Times and a former contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, spent 18 months talking to 234 women in 12 states—both “red” and “blue”—about the political issues that concern them most, from national security to abortion rights. Her findings, contained in the new book If They Only Listened to Us: What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear (Simon and Schuster, May 2007) indicate that for many American women not all political issues are created equal—and that politicians on both sides of the aisle fail to take notice at their peril.
BustedHalo.com: How did the idea for your book come to you? Was it incredulity…

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