Christmas is a time for television—at least it has been my whole life. Television is a cherished part of America's Christmas celebrations. A couple of weeks ago I confessed that everything I knew about Hanukkah I learned on TV. Now, with Christmas drawing near it is time to take a look at the odd genre of … Continue reading Religion Dispatches: TV’s 9 Best Christmas (and 1 Festivus) Clips
A Catholic nun with a gambling habit (no pun intended) pled not guilty to accusations that she embezzled over $850,000 from New York’s Iona College. She worked in the school’s finance office. In West Palm Beach, Florida, a camel fell into pews full of spectators during a church nativity play. No people or animals were injured, though … Continue reading Religion Dispatches: WikiLeaks Strikes the Vatican, a Camel in the Pews, and Luke Skywalker Tolerance
- Alcoholics Anonymous as a spiritual experience. - So apparently former President Bush was sloshed the first time he met Billy Graham. He had had "about four beers and five wines." Well done, sir. - It's always remarkable to me how much interest surrounds Albert Einstein's thoughts about God. It's the modern equivalent to the … Continue reading Things Sacred & Profane: AA Spirituality, GWB Drunk with Rev. Graham, and Einstein on God
- The conservative Family Research Council is jumping into the indices game. It's soon to be released Index of Family Belonging and Rejection is an attempt to measure the health of families in our society. The study defines an 'intact family' as one where “a child’s birth mother and biological father (were) legally married to … Continue reading Things Sacred & Profane: New FRC study, Star Wars Nativity, and Evangelical Environmentalism
- This is the best analysis of the "who owns yoga?" question I've read so far. - Poland just built a gianormous Jesus statue, but is it becoming more secular? - Andrew Hartman over at U.S. Intellectual History discusses how modern or postmodern William James was. - On the ground with anti-nuclear protesters via The Historical Society. - … Continue reading “Yoga Wars,” William James a (Post?)Modern, and Finland’s Education System
Jesus will return on May 21, according to a billboard in Omaha. He really can’t get here before tax day? The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights sent nativity scenes to all 50 state governors. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is represented in nativity scenes in Naples, Italy. A Dallas, Texas megachurch pastor is compiling a list of business that … Continue reading Religion Dispatches: Julian Assange Nativity, Castro’s Hanukkah, & a Burger Blessing
It seems like everyday a new story emerges from the hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables recently released by WikiLeaks. In the wake of Cablegate, WikiLeaks has found its site shutdown, its services from Amazon and Paypal refused, and its founder arrested. On one level this is to be expected. If you go around poking … Continue reading Religion Nerd: WikiLeaks and the Sacrality of American National Security
One of my favorite religious historians, Robert Orsi, has gotten into some hot water with R. R. Reno over at First Things. Orsi wrote this brief statement regarding the "Contending Modernities" project at Notre Dame University. Reno responded here and then again here. It seems to me Reno is questioning who gets to decided what … Continue reading The Art of Mary, Assange in a Manger, and sacrilege at the Smithsonian
Buddhism and Science: Problems and Perils My colleague at Emory, Kenny Smith, compares the function of authenticity in Scientology and Gold's Gym Apparently, most U.S. pastors don't think Obama is a Christian...or Glenn Beck, for that matter. Stephen Prothero asks who owns Jesus and Yoga. I wonder when religions became a matter of ownership.
I've got a new post up at Religion Dispatches where I present a different Hanukkah TV clip for each night of the holiday. If you haven't seen the Hanukkah episode of The Nanny than you have missed out. Check out the videos here.