KtBlog

musings, news, events, and your letters to the editors

walking_dead

Victim-Blaming After the Zombies Come

Is preserving our own beliefs better than reaching out to help others no matter what the personal cost? I contemplated this thorny issue watching “JSS,” the second episode in season six of the zombie apocalypse TV juggernaut The Walking Dead. The question centers on the actions of two good, kind men: Morgan and Aaron. In…

Killing the Buddha

Words to Live By

I got another tattoo. A black and gray owl with wise eyes rests on my right bicep. A locked heart lays on its chest. Its claws grasp the key. I get tattoos to mark the transitions, those shifts in my life that suggest nothing will ever be the same. Tattoos make endings and beginnings concrete.…

black_jesus

Breaking Up With White Jesus

It’s December of 2014. 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am, I thrash and turn over in bed and click on my phone, know I should not click on my phone, click on my phone. And there are the messages, the emails, the notes that never seem to stop. The usual stuff women get on the Internet: you…

Killing the Buddha

Netflix Knows Me

I was browsing Instant Watcher last night and this crazy thing happened. There were all these movies that were literally about me! I was like “what is the Universe trying to tell me?” I don’t know is the thing. Here are some examples. This is seriously freaky. A medical apprentice in 11th-century Persia disguises himself…

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Is Tom Leaving Scientology For Suri?

Could be? Who knows? I don’t want to set myself up for heartbreak again. I love too much and I hope too much and I never ever give up on some people. Tom Cruise is one of them. I need to maintain an even keel here. This article is gossip; it has nothing to do…

Torn and tattered Confederate Flag

Battle Flag

I’ve lived my entire life in the South, first Georgia and now North Carolina, but I’ve never paid much attention to the Confederate battle flag, the so-called stars and bars. Despite some ancestors who fought for the Confederacy and several childhood family vacations spent navigating cannons, split-rail fences, and museums filled with the tattered remnants…

defyingcertainty

Defying the Certainty of the Christian Right

Earl Taylor, with his white hair, lean figure, and suit, has a mildly aristocratic appearance. He carries himself and speaks in a mild manner–admittedly, there is also something of the Sunday school teacher about him–yet his ideas are among the most dangerous in America. This last comment sounds both clichéd and hyperbolic. Even so, Taylor…

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Just Give Me That Old-Time, DIY Religion

For the past two years, I’ve been deep in conversation and research about the phenomenon of “nones”–the rising number of religiously unaffiliated Americans. Although the word “none” appears in my forthcoming book’s title, it’s a term I and most of the people I interviewed for the book dislike. “None” implies negation and absence. And what’s…

dar_sbnr

A Playlist for Seekers and Doubters

Music has consistently been a vehicle for my ponderings and prayers about and to the Divine, or lack thereof. These are a few songs that have stuck with me, organized by theme. Questioning “Doubting Thomas” – Nickel Creek The title is a dead giveaway. This plaintive tune ponders what plagues many when at the crossroads…

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Look For The Signs

The Messengers is another supernatural mystery from a network, the CW, known for vampires, zombies, demons, angels, and other monsters that go bump in the night. I watched the first two episodes with the hope that maybe this show would mimic Supernatural, my long-time favorite that emphasizes moral ambiguity, the peril of good intentions, and…

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Dear Cruelest Month: Spring Isn’t Arab

Once upon a time we lay in bed trying to imagine what shelling sounded like. We being me and the man I loved. Ah, those early days of my Orientalism and our naïvete. It was winter,2012, and I had started sleeping in the storage space above my kitchen. It was the only place in my…

on_labels

On Labels and Returning to Church

This past winter I started going to church again. Emotionally exhausted and spiritually drained from current events and personal circumstances, I made a point to actually set my alarm and show up to the 10:45 service of a congregation within walking distance of my home. It was the second Sunday in Advent, and the congregation…

demolishing_hate

Demolishing the Cycle of Hate

The city of Sandy Hook, Connecticut, recently razed the home of the infamous 20-year-old gunman who in 2012 murdered 20 first-graders, one for each year of his life, as if he were doing nothing more grievous than blowing out candles on a birthday cake, plus six teachers and his own mother. At first glance, the…

casting_stones

Stop Casting ‘Religious Freedom’ Stones

Every so often we see news reports from faraway places like Pakistan, where some Muslim tribal elders have condemned someone, usually a woman, to be stoned to death. Quite rightly, we’re incensed, because civilized folks don’t stone people. Those Muslims are so heathenish and backward with their stonings and jihads and holding grudges from the…

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Cinderella: The Magic of Kindness

I grew up with Disney princesses: Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, and Cinderella. I watched and rewatched these fairy tales on-screen, not just as entertainment, but also as possibilities for the world I inhabited. I fervently wished that magic was real and that all princes were charming. Particular princesses resonated more than others. Ariel and…

2015_Chapel_Hill_shooting

The Perpetuation of Prejudice: The Chapel Hill Shootings

The wind is bitterly cold and blows sharply in the night. Somewhere above us, a bird caws a long and solitary cry that echoes across campus. Thousands of students, faculty, and town residents huddle together trembling, with heads bowed and hands shielding the tiny flame of their candles. Despite the vast number of people at…

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Kingsman: The One-Percent Apocalypse

I went to watch Kingsman: The Secret Service the day after Valentine’s Day. My husband and I were eager to see a movie, any movie really, that didn’t involve talking animals. The choices were limited for those us who refuse to engage Fifty Shades of Grey, so we settled upon Kingsman because it was the…

0-Rabbit

Pope’s Magic Number of Children: Major Clue Revealed

Pope Francis has come out in favor of siblings. “Siblings help you keep your eyes off yourself,” he said, adding To grow up in a family alongside other children is a profound human experience that reaches its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, who became our brother and made us all children of God the Father. I…