Calls to Conscience and Action

Varda, as much an essayist as filmmaker, explores gleaning as a hypertext of ideas: gleaning is an alternate economy; at times it’s a moral choice, at others a lamentable necessity; it’s both transgressive and communal; and, finally, it’s a metaphor for the artistic process itself.

Five Spiritually Significant Films

The fine folks at the Arts and Faith discussion forum have cast their votes, crunched the numbers, and released their second annual list of the Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films. In honor of their fine work, I offer my own obvious and predictable Top 5 list.

One of Those Political Posts

I’ve come to feel increasingly alienated from evangelical culture, and politics is an important reason. I used to write about this a lot more on Long Pauses, but I grew tired of my own voice and my own hypocrisies. Too much finger-pointing. Plus, the results of the 2004 election broke my heart. I’ve felt more than a bit defeated and hopelessly cynical ever since.

On the Newsstand

When I was contacted by an editor at Sojourners a couple months ago and invited to contribute to their Culture Watch section, I felt some ambivalence about the offer.

Presidential Referendum

Not surprisingly, President Bush was at his best last night when asked about his faith and family. Ignoring for a moment the relevance of such questions in a supposed domestic policy debate that never addressed the environment, the Patriot Act, or stem cell research, those two questions allowed Bush to put aside policy (which is awfully complicated) to talk instead about feelings and relationships.

More Church Stuff

My recent rambling on “relevance” is far and away the most-read, most-linked-to, most-commented-upon post in Long Pauses history, which is both strange and strangely comforting. The more I search, the more fellow travelers I find.


I don’t, by any stretch of the imagination, claim to be a Merton-like contemplative, but I am suffering the realization that I no longer know what relevance the evangelical church has for me. If I leave, I want it to be a considered decision rather than the slow consequence of atrophy.

Christian Entertainment

“No, sadly the popularity of Bad Christian Art is not the result of a lack of Good Christian Art. It is a result of the rejection of metaphor.” — Slacktivist

The Great Divide

I genuinely admire Jeffrey Overstreet for his willingness to write this stuff. I’m glad that someone is doing it. I’m even more glad that that someone ain’t me.

Shit Happens

I don’t get upset about things over which I have no control. I just don’t. It’s not in me.

This is Persecution?

So, while driving to and from Atlanta this week we heard two interviews with David Limbaugh, who is out promoting his latest book, Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity.

A Dangerous Admission

I’m slowly waking to the realization that I’m a socialist.

Christian Nation

“Christian” — if you mean by Christian what the Sermon on the Mount says — is a weighty word, and it’s serious, and, most remarkable of all, it’s full of grace. Please don’t affix that word to this country, which, for some reason, has been blessed with the delicate gift of democracy but will never deserve it.

The Agenda

Within the strange confines of my personal experience, many of the “Regular Joes” who support President Bush and his agenda seem to do so because he is pro-life and because he evidences publicly the recognizable signs of a “committed walk with God.” Within this community — this large, evangelical sub-culture — voting Republican is a “moral” act, a single gesture by which evangelicals hope to restore America to its Christian foundations.

American Triumphalism

I so want Bush to be the Christian President that many of my friends claim him to be, but then I read articles like this, in which he makes such ridiculous comments.

The State of the Union

A few words on Bush’s speech.

Tarkovsky and Sandwiches

I spent my lunch hour (and then some) sitting around a table with the senior pastor of a Presbyterian church, the priest of a local Orthodox congregation, and three other laymen, discussing Andrei Rublev.

Evangelical Fallacy

“But the mistake is in thinking that we should only attempt to treat — that is, pray for — the fallenness and sinfulness without dealing with their symptoms.”