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For God So Loved the World Cup

For God So Loved the World Cup

This post was written by our World Cup correspondent, Sam Bush.

Every four years, there is a striking contrast between the Olympics and the World Cup. The older child (born in 1896)—noble, beautiful, self-aware—verses the wilder youngster who would rather skip the opening ceremonies and just play the game. We congratulate...

Negative Grace: Eliot's Dark Gospel

Negative Grace: Eliot’s Dark Gospel

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre, The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness, And we know that the...

Message in a Bottle - An Excerpt (and Video!) from Unmapped Washes Ashore

Message in a Bottle – An Excerpt (and Video!) from Unmapped Washes Ashore

Mockingbird's latest book—“Unmapped” by Charlotte Getz and Stephanie Phillips—is now available! The following "Message in a Bottle" will give you a little taste of what you'll find in this hilarious and (mostly) true story of two long-distance friends who found hope and grace in unexpected exile.
Tiger Woods Is Getting Better and Getting Worse

Tiger Woods Is Getting Better and Getting Worse

Tiger Woods finished fourth in a PGA tournament this past weekend.

He’s back.

Or is he?

Tiger’s last win came in 2013 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. His last major championship was the 2008 US Open. Shortly thereafter (Thanksgiving of 2009) Woods famously crashed his car outside his Florida mansion, was exposed as a...

Theorizing, Grieving, and Feeling Scared: Grappling with Modern Discourses on Suicide

Theorizing, Grieving, and Feeling Scared: Grappling with Modern Discourses on Suicide

Very grateful for this piece by Sarah Gates. 

Almost five years ago, my father died from suicide. The violence of his death, and the suffering that preceded it, marked the tearing of a temple curtain in my life. Since then, I’ve found myself in positions I never imagined that I’d be...

The Road Beaten Hard

The Road Beaten Hard

This one was written by Maddy Green. 

By the time I’ve finished breakfast, I’ve planned out the whole day, to the half-hour, for both myself and my spouse. I’ve mapped out the car schedule to be most fuel-efficient and to maximize ride-sharing to and from work; I’ve squeezed in a grocery...

For the Record: Summer Reading (From the Humor Issue)

For the Record: Summer Reading (From the Humor Issue)

Here’s to hoping there’s a beach in your future, or some other cosy spot to kick up your feet and soak in a good book. Below, you’ll find staff picks for this summer, taken from the recently released Humor Issue.

On Our Bookshelf

Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve...

Latest entries

J.C. Now Stands for Jesse Custer: Season 2 of AMC’s Preacher

J.C. Now Stands for Jesse Custer: Season 2 of AMC’s Preacher

“This is going to be a hard sell,” was my first thought after rewatching season 2 of AMC’s Preacher in preparation for this. It’s a graphically violent show to begin with, but the scene where Jesus and a woman are engaged in a rather enthusiastic, acrobatic, even impressive act of coition, there’s just not much you can do with that. When the Catholic League lodges a protest, you know it pushed some buttons. I’m sure the fact that their union resulted in a great-great (squared) grandchild by the name of Humperdoo didn’t help matters. Not to mention the Hitler-turns-over-a-new-leaf-in-Hell story…

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Opening Our Hearts: Daryl Davis and Reconciliation

Opening Our Hearts: Daryl Davis and Reconciliation

Last week’s lectionary reading from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians couldn’t help but remind me of Daryl Davis’ stunning talk at last year’s DC Conference.

Davis, who lives right up the road from me in Silver Spring, Maryland, is a gifted rock-and-roll pianist who has played with the likes of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. What’s more interesting, though, is what Daryl does with his life when he’s not playing the piano. You can see this for yourself in a documentary called “Accidental Courtesy,” which is available on Netflix. As you may recall, for an African American man, Daryl has…

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Not What We Seem: Christian Oxymorons and Imposters in Church

Not What We Seem: Christian Oxymorons and Imposters in Church

The following reflection was written by the Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase.

“We are treated as imposters, and yet are true.” – 2 Corinthians 6:8

The above sentence seems oxymoronic at first glance. St. Paul says that he and his companions are “treated as imposters, and yet are true.” St. Paul was speaking to a divided church in Corinth; one that had broken into factions. Each claimed the one true faith, while consigning all others to the status of imposters. So St. Paul says that while some of his readers in Corinth think he’s an imposter, he’s in fact truly proclaiming to them…

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Heavenly Bodies: Irreverence, Faith, and Art

Heavenly Bodies: Irreverence, Faith, and Art

This one was written by Sarabeth Weszely.

There’s been a bit of a buzz, at least around New York City, about the recent Met Gala and its corresponding exhibit, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” “Heavenly Bodies” is the largest Costume Institute exhibition yet, split between three separate exhibits in the Met and Met Cloisters. Most of the designers are practicing or former Catholics, who, with the Vatican’s permission and aid, worked for over a year around the theme of Catholicism’s belief, tradition, hierarchy, and history.

Some Catholics (and non-Catholics) have accused the Met of cultural appropriation and irreverence due to…

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If Your Church Doesn’t Preach the Gospel

If Your Church Doesn’t Preach the Gospel

This past week brought yet another wave of critique for tired preachers everywhere. Across my newsfeed was the imperative: If your pastor does not preach about these immigrant children, then you should leave your church.

Well, here’s a suggestion:

If your pastor does not preach the Gospel this week, then you should leave your church. But don’t leave until after the service is over. And then definitely come back the next week. Because I am going to assume that with all of the voices in this sin-sick, weary, demanding world, your preacher is doing his or her best. I am imagining that…

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For the Record: Summer Reading (From the Humor Issue)

For the Record: Summer Reading (From the Humor Issue)

Here’s to hoping there’s a beach in your future, or some other cosy spot to kick up your feet and soak in a good book. Below, you’ll find staff picks for this summer, taken from the recently released Humor Issue.

On Our Bookshelf

Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved) by Kate Bowler

After having her first child and landing her dream teaching gig, Kate Bowler found out, at the age of 35, that she had stage IV colon cancer. Since then, she has had to live life in 3 month increments between treatments and scans, in the presence of…

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Bad Takes and Gospel Truth: The Subtle Art of True Profanity

Bad Takes and Gospel Truth: The Subtle Art of True Profanity

I was eight years old when Back to the Future came out. (Fine, do the math. I’M FORTY.) I remember recapping the movie to a friend on what would now be called a playdate but at the time was just called being a kid. We were in my front yard, and I told her about the scene at the end when Doc Brown warns Marty that his kids are going to be assholes. But tragedy occurred in the recounting: I accidentally said the a-word. Aghast at my blunder, I ran inside and told my mother what had happened.

My reaction to…

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On Having Faith When You Have No Faith

On Having Faith When You Have No Faith

Sometimes you think you have things figured out, but you quickly see that you don’t when you find yourself in a men’s shower room, enveloped in a gust of steam and inches away from a half-naked Tunisian man because you walked past the shower room you were supposed to use and missed the memo that coed shower rooms would never (ever) exist in a conservative Muslim country.

Other times you think you have things figured out, and you continue to falsely believe that you do because there are no half-naked men and gusts of steam to suggest otherwise.

Tunis, Tunisia was different…

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The Only Available Candidates for Holy Matrimony

The Only Available Candidates for Holy Matrimony

Well, it’s wedding season here in Charlottesville, VA, which is as good a time as any to share some marital non-advice from the late priest-chef-writer Robert Farrar Capon. The following excerpt is taken from his seminal work, originally published in the 60s, Bed & Board: Plain Talk About Marriage (ht AM). 

A man and a woman schooled in pride cannot simply sit down together and start caring. It takes humility to look wide-eyed at somebody else, to praise, to cherish, to honor. They will have to acquire some before they can succeed. For as long as it lasts, of course, the first…

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Another Week Ends: First Reformed, Millennial Gray, Self-Improvement B.S., Getting Back On the Bike (and Off Again), and World Cup Generosity

Another Week Ends: First Reformed, Millennial Gray, Self-Improvement B.S., Getting Back On the Bike (and Off Again), and World Cup Generosity

1. A new book out by Will Storr looks at the history of the self-esteem, and its rapid growth in the technological age. Storr’s book, Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It’s Doing to Us, focuses much of its history on the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA, and places like it, which flourished in the 70s alongside the Human Potential Movement, and went mainstream in the 80s and 90s, focused on the real benefits stemming from a positive self-image. Storr uncovers the origin story of this movement, and its less-than-credible correlations between well-being and a…

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The Real Battle Lines in The Incredibles 2

The Real Battle Lines in The Incredibles 2

This one was written by Jeremiah Lawson. Spoilers ahead!

Brad Bird’s films may be some of the most misunderstood animated films released under the name of Disney/Pixar, thanks to film critics who, over against any of Bird’s own public statements, insist that he embraces and endorses an Ayn-Rand-style objectivism. There have been inevitable attempts to read Bird’s new film The Incredibles 2 as a state of the union film. There have also been reviews proposing that Bird’s new film is trying to say so many things it may not be saying anything; or that the politics of the film seem hard…

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PZ's Podcast: Bells Are Ringing

PZ’s Podcast: Bells Are Ringing

EPISODE 251

This is a short riposte to the politicization of basically everything just now; but not in the way of taking sides, but rather in the way of digging deeper. I mean, digging deeper to the best and true interests of human beings.

The best and true interest of human beings, the necessary condition for our welfare, exists in the direction of connection with another person; and, most typically (tho’ not absolutely always), a romantic connection. The best interest of us does not consist in political concerns and goals. As Sting sang it, in “Spirits in the Material World” (1981), “There…

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