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.

Letter to USPS.

DO NOT Close It

Killing the Buddha

Scientist Pushback

Morgan Meis’s piece “Religion Island” has riled up the scientists. From the mailbag, here’s theod / usa: This is an extremely silly & ignorant meme. Scientists are busy discovering/codifying/organizing new information, which is a lot harder and time-consuming than it looks to the non-scientist. The world is a complicated place; specialization of labor is in…

Scott's iPad.

Fan Art!

Blogging can be a lonely job. Sometimes I feel my words blowing through cyberspace like little pixellated tumbleweeds. Or I’ll be tweeting away, thinking “Why am I writing this stuff? No one cares!” But sometimes I hear from people. Sometimes I actually get fan art! Recently I was tweeting about the Guitar Mass and realized…

Killing the Buddha

A Debate Not for the Faint of Foreskin

Okay, here goes. Ready? The length of what follows should make this obvious: gird your loins. “Barefoot Intactivist,” from New York, wrote in last week about Gordon Haber’s ever-controversial essay “Uncovered” (see other discussions here and here): I applaud that you tried to approach this subject with logic, reasoning, and facts, but unfortunately you had…

Protest in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Meeting, by dbking, via Flickr.

Our Sons’ Willies

As expected, we’ve gotten a lot of mail about Gordon Haber’s circumcision essay, “Uncovered.” People get worked up about penises. Let’s start positive. Jessie Bennett, from Boston, writes: I’m just writing to say how grateful I was to read Gordon Haber’s completely sane, thoughtful piece on circumcision. It so closely mirrored my own thoughts on…

Killing the Buddha

What Does Eric Scott Really Believe?

Eric Scott’s recent essay on KtB, “Valhal-Mart,” keeps arousing controversy. First, it was his alleged insensitivity to how Hollywood treats Christianity. Now, his own pagan religious beliefs are under attack. Buddha-killer Alex Rose takes an especially serious swipe, in lower case: this guy is a phony.  however engaging his story or compelling the subject of spirituality and…

Killing the Buddha

A Sin One Way or Another

Megan from California writes the following in response to Hillary White’s essay, “Cutting it Out”: I’m wondering if Hillary White is my “less active” (Mormon term for those who have left the faith) doppleganger.  Citing Amistad and George Eliot? Two of my favorites—I think we could be friends! I want to thank her for her…

Mary, you left <em>this</em>in the conference room. Get a hold of yourself.

The Douthat Obsession

From the KtB inbox this morning: Dear Killing the Buddha, We have noticed some suspicious internet activity on the part of subject Mary Valle. We observed that she clicked on this article over 500 times in the last 24 hours. Also, we intercepted some suspicious emails to the author of the article. Excerpts are below.…

Killing the Buddha

I Need Less Cynicism and Not More

Mr. Richard G. Evans wrote in today to cancel his subscription to the KtB mailing list, and with it, gave his reasons, in reference to our current feature by Nicholas Laccetti, “Let There Be (the Painter of) Light™“: The Thomas Kinkade critique put me over the edge frankly.  How anyone could find evil in his…


King’s Students Respond

We’ve already been receiving a flurry of letters responding to Jonathan D. Fitzgerald’s essay about The King’s College in the Empire State Building, “Whose College?” Reid Rogers, in Auburn, Alabama, offered some grateful words: I am a former King’s College student, though not a graduate. After reading your article, I feel you have articulated much…

Killing the Buddha

Reverend Phelps, Your Cause Is Just!

Occasionally KtB just can’t resist sharing its space with some of the wild letter-writers we hear from on a regular basis. They, after all, are part of the cacophony choir, to the exposition of which the site is so fervently devoted. Take, as a saner preface to this, Josh Garrett-Davis’ recent piece here on Fred…

Killing the Buddha

A Very Frustrated Man

From the KtB inbox, courtesy of Jim Long of Arkansas: Gordan Haber [sic] is a very frustrated man. That frustration came through loud and clear when he heard my own responses to questions about why I embraced the Torah and observed the Seven Laws of Noah. He seemed unimpressed how, through Torah study, I’d gotten…


In Defense of Tears

In a letter responding to Alexander Zaitchik’s “Brother Beck Presents,” Jenean McBrearty offers a defense of Glenn Beck’s tear dots: While some, mostly elites, frown on public displays of emotion except in the service of “social justice” and charity—how many tears did we see displayed by those seeking money for Katrina, Haiti, Mid-east civilians killed…

Killing the Buddha

Master Mikal

A wonderful note came in from Kansas City yesterday: The story “Hrafspa” by Eric Scott moved me to tears.  Master Mikal was friend for many, many years.  This is the kind of memorial of which he would he approve.  The fact that Aldhiem found himself questioning the legend of Master Mikal that he’d created for…

Killing the Buddha

Inspiring Sanity

Letters still coming in about Stephen Prothero’s piece Why I Am Not A Mystic. This from Kevin in Colorado: Stephen Prothero’s reflections “Why I’m not a Mystic” are beautiful. Thanks to him and to KTB for sharing them. And from Martin Olson ( martin-olson.com) Odd coincidence. I’ve lived in a place like that.  I know…

Killing the Buddha

“Non-believing” Pastor Really Believes

“Rick,” one of the pseudonymous “non-believing” pastors discussed in D click here aniel Silliman’s “Faithful Apostasy,” wrote in to cheer Dan on for his fierce response to the original report by Dan Dennett and Linda LaScola: Thank you Dan for saying better what I’ve been working on for awhile as a response to Dan Dennett,…


Calvary Altarpiece

For the most part, we had a lot of fun hearing from our readers about their altarpieces for the “What’s on Your Shelf?” collection, which goes up on the site today. But one submission was nothing of the sort. In the guise of Christian compassion, we got an ill-informed attack on something no less sacred…