True story: After graduating college I set off with a dog-eared copy of Anna Karenina in my rucksack, inspired by the character of Kostya Levin, Tolstoy’s alter ego in the celebrated novel, to experience life as a migrant agricultural worker. Little did I know this would be the first stop on an incredible journey.
Perhaps best known to Americans as a common 19th century Biblical defense of slavery, the “Curse of Ham” not only resonates in white supremacist circles with deep connections to Christian denominations, but in conservative religious circles where interpretations emphasize the often vividly imagined sexual crimes of Canaan that justify violence against the LGBTQ community.
In a reversal of Anselm’s old equation, modern converts often come with understanding seeking faith. In the more established traditions, they will always be outsiders. Catholic, but with an asterisk.
Increasingly, the decoupling of “kinds of sexual predilection from degrees of masculinity and femininity” is being grounded in “biblical relationships” among rural white masculinist evangelicals.
Keep your bat signal, your blinking red phone. Dammit Jim! I’m no super hero!
There’s a meme going around asking “what radicalized you?”
We didn’t pray to God, we wished upon the stars, which we kept in a magical, flickering box in the den…
My old college friend Mia asked me for suggestions for reading for her father, a Jungian psychoanalyst with some time on his hands who, she says, is a little bored.
I’m working on my dreaded “get-to-know-you” video for my A-term course, and finally settled on my “one thing you probably didn’t know about me” thing…
If Hemingway or Henry Miller decided all the sudden to join a monastery, they would basically have ended up being Thomas Merton. Whatever theory of his untimely death you land on, Merton was as manly a monk in that mid-century American mold as could be imagined.