To peek into the world of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is to peel back the curtain of America’s culture and see, through one artist’s creative lens, the temple of what the culture truly worships. It is a perverse world that feels too ancient, and yet uncomfortably familiar. In one way it feels like a post-colonial protest. In another it feels like an anthropological experiment. This is an untold story not just of the religious practices America does not admit are religious, but also of the religious practices that have carried over from immigrants across the world. Continue reading
The Handmaid’s Tale has been much talked about ever since the famous novel became a miniseries on Hulu. Like any good dystopian story, the novel wasn’t meant to ask “what if” about the future so much as “how so” about the present. Dystopian stories warn us of what might happen tomorrow. Great dystopian stories plumb deeper, asking what it is about us now that could bring us there.
Part II—All the Colorful, Useless Peafowl
[Read part I here]
In part two of O’Connor’s story, Mrs. Shortley has left the farm and Mrs. McIntyre is left with the displaced Pole and her black workers. We’re given more insight into her character through her conversations with the older farmhand, Astor. While Astor remembers well her husband, the Judge, Mrs. McIntyre is haunted by her late husband. Astor has noticed two things: The decline of the peacocks and the incline of Mrs. McIntyre’s greed.
For fans of Flannery O’Connor, “The Displaced Person” is a a short story that occupies a special place, not only because it exhibits her love for peacocks, but because of its more overt religious themes. The story takes place on a farm, the inciting incident being the hiring of a “displaced person” (or refugee) from Poland. O’Connor, a devout Catholic, is one of America’s most famous writers, known for her southern stories of grotesque people encountering beautiful grace.
Chain mail has been around for a long time. You may have been first introduced to them when you first received an email telling you that if you didn’t forward it to at least 5 people, something bad would happen. Or if you did forward it to at least 50 people, something good would happen. The more gullible people were, the more viral the email.
What if the abortion debate was settled by one piece of legislation that compromised both sides?
In 2016 I embarked on a journey to read through the entire Bible, which I hadn’t attempted in over a decade.
I made a deal with the middle school class in our congregation. If I did it, they would do it.