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Bernstein's "Mass"

Written for the dedication of The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in 1971, Leonard Bernstein created MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers as a memoriam for John F Kennedy and as a thoroughly modern theater musical piece to reflect both its current times and universal questions of faith and existence. A recasting of the Tridentine Mass (in Latin), featuring additional lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a brilliant lyric quatrain from Paul Simon, the full staging requires multiple choruses, a full stage performance company (including ballet cast), a marching band, a rock band, and many others. The 2012 BBC Proms featured a concert performance [1h56m, including introduction sequences]. MASS has had very few full theatrical stagings since its premiere, although now, over 50 years after its creation, it is beginning to find new acclaim and appreciation. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Mar 31, 2014 - 10 comments

The Bushel Basket

W.H. Auden had a secret life that his closest friends knew little or nothing about. Everything about it was generous and honorable. He kept it secret because he would have been ashamed to have been praised for it. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Mar 4, 2014 - 55 comments

Even hero(in)es have the right to bleed

G. Willow Wilson is the author of the new Ms. Marvel series that is coming out Feb. 5th. Wired interview here. The reboot places Kamala Khan, a shape-shifting Muslim superheroine from New Jersey at the heart of the series. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg on Jan 7, 2014 - 64 comments

Best Korean Dramas 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013

"Here are some of the Korean dramas that I have watched and some were aired in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 or even older. Although some of them might be older than the others, they are still really good dramas which you will definitely enjoy watching. I am watching some of the newer ones which have just started airing a few weeks back and I will share my thoughts with you after I have finish watching them. :)"
posted by timshel on Dec 16, 2013 - 33 comments

"Somebody's gotta stand up to these experts!"

Creationists' Last Stand at the Texas State Board of Education
posted by brundlefly on Nov 14, 2013 - 82 comments

I contradict myself

"I am an atheist and a Quaker."
posted by anotherpanacea on Nov 7, 2013 - 79 comments

Grace is this incredible power in the world

""Pastrix" is a demeaning term used to refer to female ministers by certain Christians who believe in male-only pastoral ministry. But Denver-based Lutheran Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, a tattooed yet traditional liturgist, has reclaimed it as a title for her brand of faith. “It was an insult, and anytime you can reclaim an insult as a good thing, you win,” says Bolz-Weber." [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 8, 2013 - 23 comments

“They feel like they were tricked or betrayed.”

Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt
"The church is grappling with a wave of disillusionment among members who encountered information that sabotages what they were taught about their faith."
posted by andoatnp on Jul 21, 2013 - 135 comments

"Her name transcends all religions, really."

Faith the Dog has only her hind legs, so she does what any other biped would do and walks upright! She was until very recently involved in morale work with returning soldiers and would travel by air sometimes, and it's just fun to watch her go. Bonus: watch Oprah's heart just melt in real-time! [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on May 16, 2013 - 26 comments

"There was no return from apostasy."

Leaving the Witness. "In one of the most restrictive, totalitarian countries in the world, for the first time in my life, I had the freedom to think." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 21, 2013 - 26 comments

"Pop Culture Often Mocks My Faith, But Fallout Treated It Right."

Skip Cameron, a Mormon, writes for Kotaku on the respectful treatment of Mormons and Mormonism in Fallout: New Vegas.
posted by Pope Guilty on Mar 6, 2013 - 81 comments

25 Years Of Keeping The Faith

October 30, 1987 is the anniversary of the release of Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou's first solo album. It would go on to sell over 8 million copies in the first year of its release in the US alone, spawn six Top 5 singles (including four which hit #1, another reaching #2), would reach the top of the album charts in countries around the world, and to date has sold over 25 million copies across the planet. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, George Michael's Faith is 25 years old. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Oct 27, 2012 - 78 comments

Just a handshake.

"Confessions of an Ex-Mormon: A personal history of America’s most misunderstood religion." by Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air and Lost in the Meritocracy. (Via)
posted by zarq on Jul 17, 2012 - 45 comments

Michael Tolkin's "The Rapture"

(MAJOR SPOILERS EVERYWHERE) [Michael Tolkin's The Rapture] is one of the most radical, infuriating, engrossing, challenging movies I've ever seen. There are people who love it and many who hate it, but few who can remain on the sidelines. ... Movies are often so timid. They try so little, and are content with small achievements. "The Rapture" is an imperfect and sometimes enraging film, but it challenges us with the biggest idea it can think of, the notion that our individual human lives do have actual meaning on the plane of the infinite. - Roger Ebert
posted by Trurl on Dec 8, 2011 - 54 comments

"I always call you Jesus, you always call me Sonny. This Sonny talking."

"Thirty minutes into the screening, studio executives began leaving the theater to wheel and deal outside."

In the early 1980's, Robert Duvall wrote a movie script about a subject he loved dearly. It languished for 15 years. Then he put five million dollars of his own money down to make it. It was called, The Apostle. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12, 13.)
posted by timsteil on Nov 6, 2011 - 35 comments

"I felt like I'd been catapulted from one end of the universe to the other"

This weekend marks the time of the Hajj, a core pillar of Islam in which great tides of humanity venture to the ancient city of Mecca to honor God. Predating Mohammed's birth by centuries, the pilgrimage comprises several days of rites, from congregation like snow on Mount Arafat and the ritual stoning of Shaitan to the circling of the sacred Kaaba (the shrouded cubical monolith Muslims pray toward daily) and kissing the Black Stone (colored by the absorption of myriad sins, and believed by some to be a fallen meteorite). While the city has modernized to handle this largest of annual gatherings -- building highway-scale ramps, gaudy skyscrapers for the ultra-rich, and tent cities the size of Seattle -- it remains mysterious, as unbelievers are forbidden from entering its borders. Richard Francis Burton became famous for touring the city in disguise to write a rare travelogue, but contemporary viewers have a more immediate guide: Vice Magazine journalist Suroosh Alvi, who smuggled a minicam into the city to record The Mecca Diaries [alt], a 14-minute documentary of his own Hajj journey. Browse the manual to see what goes into a Hajj trip, or watch the YouTube livestream to see the Grand Mosque crowds in real time.
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 4, 2011 - 31 comments

blood so clear you could read the paper through it.

The Academic Ob/Gyn: Taking Care of the Dying Jehovah’s Witness. The comments are good too.
posted by the young rope-rider on Oct 26, 2011 - 83 comments

"An epidural is a proper Christian woman's only chance to get wrecked."

"I think Christians have gotten a bad name because of Christians. Like, I don’t blame other people for the rap that Christians have." Yvette Nicole Brown, who plays Shirley on Community, talks faith, fandom, and show business with the A.V. Club.
posted by psoas on Sep 22, 2011 - 62 comments

Ask the atheist

Ask the atheist "Have a question for an atheist? Ever wonder what atheists think about morality, faith, science, etc.? How do atheists live their lives without a god? How do they know right from wrong? Are they just angry at god? Do they really NOT believe?" [more inside]
posted by Paragon on Oct 13, 2010 - 211 comments

The Passion of David Bazan

David Bazan was the lead singer for a band called Pedro the Lion, who were big on the Christian rock circuit. A few years ago, Bazan began questioning his faith, and ultimately left Christianity. He has found understanding from his fans.
posted by reenum on Sep 23, 2010 - 52 comments

99 Names of Allah and the Glassmaker

Andrew Kosorok, a sculpture professor, has embarked on a project to create 100 glass sculptures inspired by the 99 Names of Allah. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Aug 1, 2010 - 26 comments

Faith in tables

Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense
posted by fish tick on Jul 17, 2010 - 61 comments

Genetic material and informed consent

The Havasupai Tribe of Grand Canyon won a $700,000 settlement from Arizona State University, plus the return of remaining blood samples, regarding the use of members' blood and DNA for research. The Havasupai had originally contacted researchers at ASU concerning the Type II diabetes that has ravaged that tribe and others, particularly in the Southwest. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Apr 22, 2010 - 96 comments

Pray with me, while I pretend to pray.

[pdf] Clergymen in the closet -- not because they are gay; because they don't believe in God. Here's a followup.
posted by grumblebee on Mar 20, 2010 - 162 comments

Losing my Religion

Deconversion 2.0. A series of Youtube videos detailing the author's separation from his faith. His diction, with...pauses, is a little odd to get used to but worth getting around.
posted by notsnot on Nov 1, 2009 - 37 comments

Harvey Cox Says Atheism Won't Last. Here's Why You Should Care What Harvey Cox Thinks...

Harvey Cox, one of the foremost American theologians of the twentieth century, recently retired from Harvard, where he held the oldest tenured professorship in the nation. You've seen him discussed here before for more bovine pursuits. But more importantly, he has argued that atheism is a passing fad; his new book contends it emerges in response to factors that will change the face of faith in the coming generation. Why should you care about an old theologian's last hurrah? His prior predictions have been right.
posted by jefficator on Sep 28, 2009 - 265 comments

Premanand will not recant

Basava Premanand, rationalist and founder of The Indian Skeptic, is dying. [more inside]
posted by vanar sena on Sep 28, 2009 - 17 comments

Say Hello to the New Boss

Obama's Faithful Flock. Sarah Posner reminds us that Obama promised to reverse the most egregious aspects of Bush's faith-based policies and asks why he's extending them.
posted by Mayor Curley on Jul 19, 2009 - 66 comments

The seeming nonsensicalness of this incredible universe

"Workmanlike" astronomy: The Vatican Observatory, among the oldest astronomical centers in the world, brings a team of Jesuits to the papal summer residence. Its scientists play a large part in the church's efforts to reconcile faith with reason. [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jun 22, 2009 - 31 comments

"Greetings from Idiot America"

Charles Pierce, author of the 2005 essay "Greetings from Idiot America" decrying the rise of faith-based anti-intellectualism, has expanded his rant into a full length book: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. (via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 12, 2009 - 65 comments

Philosophia Islamica

Meet the Islamic Philosophers. Arabic philosophy sought to reconcile the science and empiricism of Aristotle, the metaphysics of Neoplatonism, and the revelations of the Holy Qur'an. From the first thoughts of Abū Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī, to the 20,000 pages of Abū 'l-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Rushd, the influence of these Muslim polymaths profoundly shaped Western thought. [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Mar 31, 2009 - 12 comments

"So Say We All"

Fantasy Meets Reality. The very best works of science fiction illuminate controversial current events and the intricacies of human nature. So, it's no surprise that the United Nations Public Information Department and the Sci Fi (SyFy?) Channel co-hosted a panel yesterday evening on "humanitarian concerns" at the UN, with the creators and actors of Battlestar Galactica -- a show which regularly explores those themes. A 2-hour video webcast is archived here. (RealPlayer video). Entertainment Weekly has an additional write-up. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2009 - 57 comments

Faith and Ecstasy

Pakistan's believers in Islamic mysticism embrace a personal approach to their faith and a different outlook on how to run their country’s government. The BBC asks "Can Sufi Islam counter the Taleban?" The Economist reports "Of Saints and Sinners".
Meanwhile from two in-depth reporters; William Dalrymple : Pakistan is a country staring disaster in the face); and Moni Mohsin: A personal history of Pakistan on the brink.
The counterinsurgency tactics that seem to have worked so well in Iraq could backfire in Pakistan. (more articles from Nicholas Schmidle)
posted by adamvasco on Mar 4, 2009 - 34 comments

A nation of nonbelievers

"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion." ~ George Washington / "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature." ~ Thomas Jefferson / "The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion." ~ Abraham Lincoln / "A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison / "I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy / "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." ~ Barack Obama
posted by 0bvious on Jan 20, 2009 - 270 comments

radiant and reverent: religious festivals in China and Tibet

Armchair travel via three superb audio slide shows by photographer Reinhard Krause:
Monlam, the Tibetan Great Prayer Festival - Aba China
Catholics celebrate Christmas in rural China
Tibetan prayer meeting in Tongren [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 30, 2008 - 9 comments

Papa Palmérino Sorgente, the Pope of Montréal

Papa Palmérino Sorgente, the Pope of Montréal [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Feb 28, 2008 - 8 comments

A Charge to Keep

The Illustrated President.
posted by homunculus on Jan 26, 2008 - 60 comments

... in keeping with the Reform movement's tradition of liberal positions on human sexuality.

Official transgender blessings -- Kulanu -- the newly-revised manual for LGBT issues and ceremonies put out by the Union for Reform Judaism (1.5 million US Jews are Reform) now includes 2 blessings (written by a Rabbi now male) for those transitioning and who have completed the change, alongside the already existing same sex marriage liturgy and other documents and procedures. A first? (blessings text inside)
posted by amberglow on Aug 9, 2007 - 50 comments

Faith-Based Weight Loss

Gwen Shamblin's faith-based weight loss program, The Weigh Down Workshop, has been so successful that in 1999 she spun off her own Evangelical church, now found in over 100 cities worldwide. Her weight loss methods are not without controversy, and her church has recently been in the news.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 27, 2007 - 24 comments

persecution complex? prosecution complex?

The First Freedom Project --new from the Dept of Justice, announced at the Southern Baptist Convention along with a call for their help---specifically and only to protect the religious from discrimination against them. Many are not impressed: The administration has often ignored the importance of the no establishment principle by supporting attempts of governments to endorse a religious message, using tax dollars to fund pervasively religious organizations, allowing religious discrimination in hiring for federally funded projects, ... Legal strategies and actions from groups like the Alliance Defense Fund and ACLJ are now official DOJ policy, it appears. ...In his statement, Gonzales mentioned several cases litigated by ADF and its allies ...
posted by amberglow on Feb 23, 2007 - 56 comments

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet...Scroll down and play the audio clip..."The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping." Sez Wikipedia: Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet is a piece of music composed by Gavin Bryars in 1971. It is based around a recorded loop of an un-named tramp improvising a hymn. The track was rerecorded with Tom Waits in the 80's, and can be bought on Amazon. Originally heard on CBC's (soon to end) Northern Lights.
posted by KokuRyu on Feb 14, 2007 - 27 comments

I Love You Kenisha

I Love You Kenisha. My dear sweet Kenisha, If you find this page, please forgive me for my failure to be a the kind of leader in our marriage and our home that God has called me to be. When ever you decide to come home, I'll be here waiting for you. If I'm 100 years old, and on my death bed, and you haven't come back yet, I'll still be waiting for you!!! I love you with all my heart!!!
posted by jonson on Feb 11, 2007 - 125 comments

guess who comes off as more angry (and more insulting)?

Jewcy asks The Big Question-- Why Are Atheists So Angry? with Sam Harris and Dennis Prager. Email exchanges on the topic--and if you can get past the incredibly loaded and one-sided question, really interesting.
posted by amberglow on Nov 29, 2006 - 246 comments

To have and to audit, with thetans and without, till Xenu do us part.

To celebrate Tom Cruise's wedding, ABC News reprints the 1992 Ted Koppel interview with Cruise's best man, and spiritual leader, Religious Technology Center chairman David Miscavige. It was his first and last significant interview, and you can see why.
posted by Arcaz Ino on Nov 18, 2006 - 81 comments

God-damned divorces! Err....

An interesting link breaking apart the myths of religious affiliation and the divorce rate. They also take on divorce rates in interfaith couples.
posted by Kickstart70 on Oct 6, 2006 - 82 comments

Reframing the values debate.

Democrats of Faith. Jesse Lava, co-founder, says the site is attempting "to help reframe the values debate to be beyond wedge-issue politics, beyond fear and division and more focused on justice and the common good."
posted by footballrabi on Sep 6, 2006 - 63 comments

Imagine a troubled gay teenager contemplating suicide...and getting James Dobson on the other end.

1-800-SUICIDE loses govt. funding: Despite the fact that almost 2 million callers have reached help and hope over the last 8 years, and a government funded evaluation stating the benefits of 1-800-SUICIDE, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), a division of Health & Human Services, has decided to create their own government run system where they would have direct access to confidential data on individuals in crisis. (SAMHSA has already scrubbed their websites of any and all LGBT information, and gay youth are 2-3 times more likely to commit suicide.) Save 1-800-SUICIDE website here.
posted by amberglow on Jul 28, 2006 - 68 comments

...the emancipation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from bigotry disguised as religious truth ...

Faith In America asks a simple question: Is using religious teachings to deny equal rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people any less wrong than using religious teaching to discriminate against people of color, against equality for women or against people of different cultures wanting to marry? (check their ad campaign too--some great ones) Meanwhile, clueless elected officials like Barack Obama continue to buy into the GOP lies that all people with faith are conservatives/Republicans, and that Democrats are hostile to people with religious beliefs.
posted by amberglow on Jun 28, 2006 - 116 comments

The God Delusion

Part One of the Channel4 program where Richard Dawkins challenges faith calling it 'a process of non-thinking'. [~48 mins] Part Two: The Virus of Faith. [~48 mins]
posted by econous on Jun 27, 2006 - 96 comments

...plainly jinxed by whatever faith he cringes before ...

President Jonah --an essay/history lesson/bible lesson/etc by Gore Vidal. ...We have also come to a point in this dark age where there is not only no hero in view but no alternative road unblocked. We are trapped terribly in a now that few foresaw and even fewer can define ...
posted by amberglow on Jan 28, 2006 - 33 comments

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