I've always been ambivalent about Halloween. When I was
little, my sisters and I dressed up and went trick-or-treating, but we weren't
allowed to wear scary costumes. (Or rather, nothing supernatural and scary--my sister's Raggedy Ann getup [left] screams
Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party recently sent out
a pair of direct mail ads against Republican state senate candidate Dan Hall.
Both ads refer repeatedly to him as "Preacher Dan Hall." One
(pdf) shows a man in a clerical collar wearing a pin that says, "Ignore the
poor." The other
(pdf) features an elaborate, old-fashioned angel holding a banner: "Blessed are
I readily admit that readings such as today's gospel make me a bit
uncomfortable. When Jesus starts talking about being "cast into hell"
or how "whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be
forgiven," I struggle to fit this in with other images of Jesus eating
with tax collectors and sinners, with his call to love and pray for
your enemies. Perhaps, as a modern "liber
I agree with a lot of Cathleen Falsani's piece
on The Social Network, in which she
praises Facebook's capacity for reconnecting real-world friends and reinforcing
existing community. But she loses me when she suggests this is the site's purpose.
A few years ago, when I was researching a story
in Veracruz, Mexico, the proprietor of a small cantina and I struck up a
conversation. When talk turned to religion, Señor Gonzalez shyly asked if I
would like to see one of his most highly prized treasures.
This past Saturday, I attended John Stackhouse’s
lectures on faith, reason, and the new atheism down at the Vancouver
Island Conference Centre. Evidently, there is still some interest in
this topic as the event sold out—even in hyper-secular Nanaimo!