In the News: Lindsey Graham, Garland, TX, God’s Plaintiff, and more!

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

In the News: Pamela Gellar, Prophesy, PEN, and more!

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

Ads for Secular (Liberal) Catholics

Amy Levin: The New York Times committed a liberal faux pas last month. As if they’d forgotten just how controversial ads can be, they accepted $39,000 from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) to run a full-page. . .well I’ll just say it, “anti-Catholic” advertisement. The ad features a political cartoon–with a grumpily outraged male bishop and a frustrated cosmopolitan, white, middle-aged female sandwiching a birth control pill–that reads, “All the outrage over something like this is a bit hard to swallow.” Next to the cartoon in giant bold letters the ad visually screams “Open letter to ‘liberal’ and ‘nominal’ Catholics. It’s your moment of truth.” Feast your eyes down the page and you’ll find any number of quintessential reasons to leave the Catholic church, most prominently, women’s reproductive rights. Here’s a fun clip:

Why put up with an institution that won’t put up with women priests, which excludes half of humanity?

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Pictures at an Exhibition

By Abby Ohlheiser
Photos by Merel van Beeren

“Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life, and the Hartmanns perish??” –Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

I was sitting in a French-style chain cafe (sorry America), finishing my croissant, talking to Merel, when we heard the opening notes of “The Star Spangled Banner.” It was a restrained, beautiful choral rendition, and we listened. It was all kind of a relief: we were just blocks from Ground Zero, at around 8:30 AM on the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, but the only signs we’d seen of something solemn going on were the expressions on the cops’ faces as they watched us leave the subway at Fulton Street, as they told us to keep walking in a no-gawking zone, as they told confused spectators no, not that crosswalk, you have to go around the block. This moment, listening, would be the closest we would get to the ceremony at the memorial plaza finally established on top of the former World Trade Center site. Instead, we spent the day in the blocks around the site, in the throngs of tourists, New Yorkers, missionaries, and protestors. We watched as a block’s worth of people waited to move one block forward, in front of St. Paul’s.  Merel said, “I wonder what this would look like as painted by Norman Rockwell.”

Here is what I, and the rest of the crowd, saw on the outskirts of Ground Zero during the ceremony, on the other side of the police checkpoints and “you can’t go theres” between us and the heartbreaking, mourning substance of the official ceremony. Continue Reading →