In the News: Protests, Polemics, and Pastries

A round-up of recent religion news.

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In the News: The Crusades, Anti-Vaxxers, Chocolate Gods, and more!

A round-up of recent religion and media stories in the news. Continue Reading →

Gray Barker, the Men in Black, and North Carolina Amendment One

By David Halperin

You are David Halperin.

It’s 1960, and you’re twelve going on thirteen, and although you’ve noticed for a while now that there are exciting differences between girls and boys, it’s only recently you’ve begun to grasp that this fact might have some relevance to you.  Your mother is sick with heart disease—slowly dying, though no one in your little suburban home dares to talk about that.

You and a friend are doing a project about flying saucers for science class.  You go to your local library and check out a book you’ve never heard of, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers by a man named Gray Barker.  It looks like any book you might find in your school library.  It’s got an index, and even a bibliography, the entries composed the way you’ve been taught bibliography entries ought to be.  You take it home and begin reading.

Soon you’re riveted with fear.

You read about a seven-foot monster “worse than Frankenstein,” with glowing green face and red eyes, that landed on a West Virginia hilltop in 1952.  You read about a Connecticut man named Albert Bender, who in 1953 solved the flying saucer mystery and was visited by three men in black, who terrified him so he never would reveal the awful secret he’d discovered.  You pray God to protect you from all these horrors, seen and unseen; and it never crosses your mind to doubt what you’ve read, partly because it’s written in a LIBRARY BOOK and you trust library books, but also because you know first-hand that life has secrets and shadows so dreadful no one will speak of them.  You see them every day, as your mother withers away. Continue Reading →