Killing the Buddha

Killing Celebrity Buddhas at Occupied Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street’s Liberty Plaza has become pretty much the place for self-styled progressive celebrities and politicians to appear. On the one hand, these visits are greatly appreciated by the occupiers and have helped strengthen the movement. However, they also raise tricky questions for a movement determined to be non-hierarchical and egalitarian. In a roundtable on…

Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon.

Kathryn Lofton’s Oprah Trilogy

Kathryn Lofton, one of the cleverest young religion scholars out there nowadays, has a trio of op-eds celebrating (sort of) the last episode of Oprah’s TV show: “What Was Oprah?” – The Washington Post‘s On Faith “How Oprah Became a Messiah” – CNN’s Belief Blog “Oprah Winfrey’s last show: Finale marks end of an era…

Lookalikes of Kate Middleton, Britain's Prince William and Queen Elizabeth stand outside a church during a media event in London. From Reuters.

Prince William Ate My Religion

The royal wedding is a reminder of what’s wrong with Anglicanism.


Oprah-atic Citizenship

I’m really excited to announce that my interview with Kathryn Lofton, one of the most creative and brilliant young scholars of religion around right now, is now up at The Immanent Frame. Katie is a historian by trade, but over the years she has also cultivated a powerful fascination with Oprah, leading to her new…

Cobain Country

Doing Good Made Easy

I have this thing about “helping” other people, but it doesn’t always work out the way I imagine it will. For example, I read that Courtney Love had taken up Buddhist chanting. Great! I thought. I’ll ask her if she wants to do an interview, via Twitter. I began sending her encouraging bits from the…

Cutting out the middleman.

The Cock Crows

Anne Rice has denied Catholicism, but will it deny her?

Jay Bakker from a Kenneth Cole ad.

Happy Hour Gospel

The Bakkers’ son has a church of his own—in the back of a Brooklyn bar.

Cardinal Polanski

Pontifigate: A Future for Polanski?

MoDowd kills it in today’s New York Times regarding the “sex abuse crisis”/”grave sin” of ordaining—gasp!—womyn. She notes “If Roman Polanski were a priest, he’d still be working here.” I’d venture to guess that, were the pervy little man becollared he would A) Have a very special middle name (can you guess it? It comes…

Tiger Woods at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Las Vegas.

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

The end of the world and Tiger Woods.

Killing the Buddha

Eddie Izzard’s Comedy of Belief

As the progeny of a hippie college professor/Episcopal priest who dropped acid with Timothy Leary, I received an admittedly eclectic religious education. How many nine year olds can recite the Lord’s Prayer along with the lyrics to “The Vatican Rag” and “Plastic Jesus?” While other kids were watching the Three Stooges and other classic American…

"RIP J.D. Salinger" by cowicide, via Flickr.

Fluent in Silence

Was J.D. Salinger crazy—or just quiet?