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A giant inflatable colon, for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Holy Shit

I thought: What would the rabbis say about the giant inflatable colon? As a colon cancer survivor, will I ever see shit as just shit again?

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Et Tu, Almonds? On Guilt and Eating

Meanwhile I forgive you, my beloved almonds, for not being harmless; I am not harmless either.

Killing the Buddha

The Dust of Us

I love walking around with a sign of dying on my face.

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Taken in Evangelical America

Once again, I find I am a kind of believer.

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This Way to the Gas Chambers, Ladies and Gentlemen (Auschwitz 2003)

It occurred to me that one is always imagining how one could live in Auschwitz. But almost everyone died in Auschwitz.

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For Christ Was Born in a Refugee Camp

An icon must be thought of as a divine portal in its own right, charged with the transcendent. That makes it all the more powerful when an icon explicitly condemns a contemporary injustice.

The Good Place

Getting to the Good Place

Can moral philosophy get Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani to the Good Place, or do we need to talk, first, about salvation?

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Dream State in Sturgis Library

The story threads written so long ago still tied us to the world out there, like spider silk unspooling across the moat.

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Lamentations

Why do some of us have to witness and bear the destruction of a world—a destruction that we did not make?

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Bloomsday

In the home I grew up in, we consider all books sacred. When someone accidentally drops a book or grazes one with a foot, we place our hand on the cover and gently touch our closed eyelids.

An image of worshipers at Chottanikkara Temple

Goddess Therapy

When conventional medicine and therapy fail, some turn to the goddess.

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Blossoms (Hadeish Yameinu)

How do I reclaim a holiday of liberation when I feel like I’ve spent the last year entrapped by a frightening cloud of uncertainty?

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All in the Interfaith Family

Susan Katz Miller talks about “how to be the most joyful and creative and successful interfaith family you can be, whatever that looks like.”

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Meditating with My Father’s Friends

We were all there for the same purpose—to understand our own suffering and maybe find some relief.

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End-of-Life Lullaby

Grieving is a lit cave.

The image comes from the November 6, 1921 issue of the Los Angeles Times.

Even Religious Freedom Victories Harbor Defeats

How a 1927 Supreme Court case helps us understand today’s controversies over travel bans, border walls, and executive orders.

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Dear Flannery

Letters to friends, God, and Ms. O’Connor. Republished in honor of Briallen’s first book, Hard To Love: Essays And Confessions, out today from Bloomsbury.

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A History of Protest: Learning to Leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Leaving the Witnesses can be a delicate, protracted affair. Not everyone can quietly disappear, like I did.