Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).

Recent Posts by Jeff

2009 Vulgaria Child Catcher of the Year

It’s always a treat when a Killing the Buddha writer receives recognition for their work. KtB contributors have been winners or finalists for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, The National Jewish Book Award, National Magazine Awards, the Utne/Alternative Press Award, and many others. But there can be no greater honor…

Killing the Buddha

Big in Somalia

Online Somali pirates have hijacked my May Harper’s feature, “Jesus Killed Mohammed,” excerpted “exclusively” (no more) here on Killing the Buddha. A publication called Garowe has re-published the piece — without my permission! Break out the sound cannons. Actually, I’m delighted that Garowe has republished the excerpt. It’s almost always a pleasure when someone borrows…

Killing the Buddha

U.S. Army Chaplain: “We hunt people for Jesus.”

“Special forces guys, they hunt men, basically. We do the same thing as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. Hunt ’em down.” That’s Lt. Colonel Gary Hensley, who at the time he said those words was the top Army chaplain in Afghanistan, giving a sermon at Bagram Air Base. I wrote about Ltc. Hensley and…

Killing the Buddha

The Mysteries of Torture

One doesn’t often look to Keith Olbermann for revelation of religion in the public sphere, but he inadvertently exposes the raw nerve at the heart of the “debate” over torture. Broadly generalizing, we might say that on one side, the anti-torture side, are humanists, empiricists, who base their opposition not in religious morality, as might…

Killing the Buddha

Also, the Crucifixion Was Really Just a Carpentry Mishap

Arguing against hate crimes legislation that would protect queer folks, Representative Virginia Foxx (R., NC) says that Matthew Shepard was simply the victim of a robbery gone wrong, and that the idea that his murder was related to his sexuality is a “hoax.”

Killing the Buddha

Talmud vs. Torture

I noted yesterday that religious voices against torture have not been clearly heard in the public conversation. That’s in part the fault of a media that tends to “get” religion only when expressed as either innocuous spirituality — the stuff of inspirational tales in the Saturday paper — or dangerous fanaticism, perfume or mustard gas….

Killing the Buddha

Klingenschmitt’s Revenge

My cover story for the May Harper’s, “Jesus Killed Mohammed” — subscription only, but an exclusive excerpt is available here on KtB and the hard copy’s on the newsstand tomorrow — has been Gawkerized, thanks to this heartwarming public prayer about one of the story’s subjects, Mikey Weinstein, by former Navy chaplain Gordon “Chaps” Klingondick:…

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The Muslim Plot to Conquer America (Through Basic Human Decency)

The United States’ first Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, was arrested about an hour ago along with seven other activists protesting the Muslim government of Sudan’s expulsion of foreign aid agencies. Remember when Virginia congressman Virgil Goode protested Ellison’s decision to swear his oath of office on a Koran as a threat to American…

Jesus Killed Mohammed

The crusade for a Christian military.

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Mary Gaitskill’s Private Theology

William Deresiewicz offers a damning assessment of one of my favorite contemporary authors, Mary Gaitskill, in The Nation. The problem, he says, is religion. Gaitskill has always been a religiously concerned writer, though it wasn’t immediately evident in books like Bad Behavior and Because They Wanted To. A former editor of Gaitskill’s tipped me off…

Killing the Buddha

Upcoming Events, TV

This weekend, you can wind up your shabbat, warm up for church, get ready to party, or nurse a hangover with a KtB-related panel discussion! On Saturday, April 18, at 7:00 PM and Sunday, April 19, at 8:30 AM, C-Span’s BookTV will broadcast a panel discussion about Submersion Journalism: Reporting in the Radical First Person,…

Killing the Buddha

Happy Easter from Cornel West

Every religious tradition has been tied into various forms of domination and subjugation. Every religious tradition has been manipulated and bastardized by elites to try to control believers. At the same time, there are always prophetic elements, dimensions, and slices of religious tradition that stand in opposition to the powers that be. Christianity itself came…

Killing the Buddha

Kiss This

Writes Stephen L. Carter, Yale church/state scholar and novelist: It is no accident that the great Western religions rely heavily on sacred texts—texts, moreover, that believers are able to touch and feel and carry about. The weight a Buy Cheap Cialis Soft nd heft of a Bible, its solidity, itself implies eternity. Matthew Brown of…

Killing the Buddha

Galt Almighty

Bad news: Ayn Rand’s Alas Shrugged— sales of which are booming — is going to become a movie, starring Angelina Jolie, who will channel her father’s conservative politics and dip as deeply as she can into the shallows of her own politics of narcissism to portray the doorstopper’s protagonist Dagny Taggert, witness to the ubermensch…

Killing the Buddha

Not That Kind of Girl

Carlene Bauer does not care for the new biography of Flannery O’ Connor by Brad Gooch: Aquinas is described as having “lofty, lucent prose” — which is like saying Plato has a learned, witty style. And he is easily beguiled by trivia. In order to show how protected a child O’Connor was, he takes a…

Naked and Guilty

Young Christians encounter sex, violence, and the eros of evangelicalism in a Texas hell house.

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On Our Knees

Barack Obama evidently thought mega-pastor Rick Warren had words of wisdom for the nation worthy of Obama’s inauguration. But what would Warren say to the Obamas if they came to him for personal counseling? We don’t need to wonder, reports Kathryn Joyce in Mother Jones, because Warren is out about his belief in wifely submission….

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Blinded By Science

Remember Paul Shanley? He was said to be the worst of the pedophile priests, sentenced in 2005 to 12-15 years. But soon, he’ll get another day in court, as Massachusetts’ top tribunal takes up questions about the evidence used to achieve his conviction. The problem with the trial of Paul Shanley, says JoAnn Wypijewski, wasn’t…