Intubated Women, Catholic Health Care and What it Means to be Alive

The Catholic Church understands far better than patients’ rights advocates do how religion, gender and sexuality work in society. If the debate about health care were focused on men’s bodies, the Church understands there would be a resounding call to make their hospitals subject to legal and medical standards. But because it’s about women’s bodies, the public conversation on all sides gets confused over issues of shame, pain, inconvenience, autonomy, social responsibility and voice. Continue Reading →

I Love You, I Do.

We asked our Near and Dear to tell us something about today, the day when we celebrate love–or loss or absence or grief or joy or chocolate or the color red.  Valentine’s Day is one of those not-so-holy (or so-holiday) holidays we bump into on the annual calendar, on our way to spring, rebirth and Easter rising.  We didn’t really know what we’d get for our asking.

It’s an odd and fascinating assortment of reflections and observations from some of our favorite loves–our regular contributors, family and friends.  Happy Valentine’s Day!  We love you, we do!


“Month of Valentines” by Stacy Doris

“#MyGrownUpValentine” by Ashley Baxstrom with image by Angela Zito

“A Buddhist Valentine” by S. Brent Plate

“My Friend” by Jacob Glatstein, translated from the Yiddish by Peter Manseau

“A Valentine Offering” by Genevieve Yue

“My Wish this Valentine’s Day” by George González

“A Simple Dinner” by Anthea Butler

“St. Valentine’s Fallen Face” by David Metcalfe

“Heart in the Snow” by Mary Valle

“A Red Bagel” by Adam Becker

“The Gospel of Sacred Candy Hearts” by Amy Levin

“Be Mine” by Jeremy Walton


image: “Heart to Heart” by Angela Zito Continue Reading →

Our Daily Links — Oprah Was Raptured?

Everyone’s favorite tween, Justin Bieber is fresh off a visit to Israel and was seen this week sporting a new tattoo that reads “Yeshua,” or Jesus, in Hebrew.  Baylor University Press has published a new book, The Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia, that is being called a tool for promoting religious intolerance and a harbinger of greater social and political unrest. Scalia’s called last week’s SCOTUS decision, Brown v. Plata, “the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history.”  The ruling grants that prisoners’ Eighth Amendment rights must be respected.  It would be dangerous to put a Mormon in the White House.  There’s been a lot of press about the end of Oprah’s show this month (and her brand of faith) but little answer to the question of why she’s ended it.  The Revealer‘s heard from a semi-reliable source that Oprah was raptured.  (h/t Genevieve Yue) Continue Reading →

Act of Seeing

From Genevieve Yue’s review at Reverse Shot of Terrence Malick’s new movie, Tree of Life:

Cinematically, [Stan Brakhage’s Yggdrasill:  Whose Roots Are Stars in the Human Mind is] one of Tree of Life’s closest arboreal cousins, a kind of film best described as devotional: one that gives us a direct experience of the world, or as Nathaniel Dorsky writes, “an image that is in itself a manifested act of seeing.”

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Our Sense of Knowing Better

From Genevieve Yue’s “That Old Time Religion” at Reverse Shot:

In 1799, Étienne-Gaspard Robertson premiered the phantasmagoria, a moving magic lantern projection hidden behind a screen, to a crowded audience gathered at a Parisian convent. Though he tried to present himself as a scientist exposing the tricks of the trade (of both magicians and the Church) to foster superstitious belief, the wildly spectacular nature of his performance, with its ghoulishly materializing and receding figures, only confirmed his status as supernatural conjurer. Robertson’s entertainment was like all horror stories that begin in skepticism: thrill and fright trump our sense of knowing better. Time and again we see teenagers challenging each other to spend a night in a haunted house, sociologists investigating urban legends, or film students setting out into the forest to prove there isn’t anything out there. In these narratives of dare and debunking, science always loses, its certainty shaken in the presence of the unknown.

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