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While we are currently at our maximum number of regular contributors, Mockingbird is happy to publish quality writing from guests. To submit something for consideration, simply email it to info@mbird.com. We can’t promise anything, but we will take a look. Naturally, the best way to get a sense of what we are looking for is to read the site.

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    Training My Enemies

    Training My Enemies

    This one comes to us from Geoffrey Sheehy.

    When I pulled from the Greek treasury for bedtime stories, I frequently became a mythological revisionist. Zeus’s appropriation of any woman he desired? Excised, or, if necessary, declared legal marriages. Hera’s rage over Zeus’s infidelity? Simple quarrels. I knew they were important, but not to my three and five-year-old daughters. Not yet, anyway.

    I take solace in knowing I was in good company. In his Tanglewood Tales, Nathaniel Hawthorne manipulates the story of the Minotaur to save Ariadne and Theseus’s reputations. They both have reputations worth saving: Theseus is the Athenian prince who has volunteered…

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    Sting and Linger

    Sting and Linger

    This one was written by Andrew Taylor-Troutman.

    From the backseat, our four-year-old firstborn asked why the road sign said 100. An unusual formulation of the question, I thought, and continued to drive, while his mom explained from the passenger’s seat. She spoke of how a number can also be a name and then the child’s mind fluttered to other things. But I reversed to five years ago when that slick Mazda flew past the stop sign and stung our old Volkswagen’s right front bumper, spinning us into the median and the previous Route 100 sign.

    Our firstborn’s favorite question is, you guessed…

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    Jorts Be Gone! Queer Eye and the Power of Imputation

    Jorts Be Gone! Queer Eye and the Power of Imputation

    This one was written by Ben Maddison.

    I wear roughly the same outfit combination every day. Tight-ish jeans, brown leather shoes, button up shirt with a smart print, blue blazer and accompanying accessories. I have enough of these outfits to work a Monday-Sunday schedule, then wash (sometimes) and repeat. I’m certainly no style expert; I know what I like, and I have a general sense of what’s currently fashionable, but they don’t make cost-friendly stylish clothes for people my size. The hell that is trying to find non-pleated pastel-colored shorts is too real.

    It’s not that I don’t want to dress well….

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    The Killing of a Sacred Deer: A Pantheon of Suffering

    The Killing of a Sacred Deer: A Pantheon of Suffering

    This fascinating movie review was written by Caleb Ackley:

    While I don’t typically correlate film-induced anxiety with a shopping mall on a banal Wednesday afternoon in Southern California, Yorgos Lanthimos’s latest offering succeeded in my conflation of the two.

    Upon entering the theatre and settling in, I, alongside the scant audience of polite 60-something’s, am greeted with an unnerving close-up of a naked, beating heart. Slowly, the camera pans out, Schubert playing mournfully in the background, the cold glare of the fluorescent lights now showing not only beating heart but the brushed grey metal of a surgeon’s slab. Cut to black. Fantastic….

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    Is Jesus Really God?

    Is Jesus Really God?

    This one was written by Charis Hamiltonius.

    I’ve waded through the arguments and read the commentaries, and most scholars agree. When it comes to the question of the divinity of Jesus, it seems there is one, inescapable conclusion: Jesus isn’t God. Whoever you imagine God to be, Jesus isn’t him (or, if you prefer, her). The standard, unsatisfactory, argument goes something like this. The God of the universe created all things: the universe, stars, planets, all creatures great and small, humanity, and this fragile earth, our island home. God is infinitely powerful, infinitely present in all things, infinitely knowing of all…

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    Push Notification Masochism: Killing Ourselves & Boasting in Our Busyness

    Push Notification Masochism: Killing Ourselves & Boasting in Our Busyness

    This one was written by Brad J. Gray.

    Twitter’s no longer on my phone. Yep, I deleted it. I’m not saying that so you can see how much better I am at self-control than you are. (I know my own heart enough to know for sure that’s not the case.) Nor am I saying that to sound super-spiritual or Puritanical in my devotional walk with God. I did it because I needed the break. Mind you, I’m not leaving the social platform altogether, neither am I about to wax eloquent about the inherent evils of using such a medium as Twitter….

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    Memories from the Future: A Word on Abandoned Houses, Nostalgia, and the Hope of the World

    Memories from the Future: A Word on Abandoned Houses, Nostalgia, and the Hope of the World

    Grateful for this incredible piece by Nate Mills:

    When I was 3 or 4 I had an apocalyptic vision. It may not have been as otherworldly as the Ancient of Days appearing in resplendent glory like in Daniel 7, but it was unmistakably surreal. My family was taking a road trip from our home in rural Canada across the 49th parallel when, as we crossed the Ambassador Bridge into Detroit, it appeared: Michigan Central Station, blazing in decrepit glory before my eyes. I was entranced.

    Abandoned since 1989, the stunning 18-story neoclassical building appeared as a monolith presiding ominously over the Detroit…

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    Vulgarity, Anguish…and Truth

    Vulgarity, Anguish…and Truth

    Punksters and non-punksters alike will be able to relate this one by Cole Hartin:

    I’ve always had something of a penchant for punk rock. Anything gritty, really. This eventually extended itself into post-hardcore. It’s kind of a guilty pleasure, though. I only listen to it once in a while, after sneaking glances over both shoulders, to make sure nobody is looking at my iPhone. I do feel a smug sense of pride in my curated list of higher pop: Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, S. Carey, Novo Amor, Julien Baker, and the like. But my love for Say Anything, Blink-182, and Brand…

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    The Deathless Death

    The Deathless Death

    This one was written by our friend Sean Dwyer.

    I’ve recently stopped attending my church. Putting many intellectual issues aside, the heart of the matter is the heart. I do not want to go anymore. I am unable to go. I am unable to bear the weight of the expectations, exhortations, and encouragements. I am sick.

    In the words of Hozier, my church has been dishing out a “deathless death.” In his song, “Take Me to Church,” he sings:

    Every Sunday’s getting more bleak,
    A fresh poison each week.
    “We were born sick,” you heard them say it.
    My church offers no absolution.
    She tells me, “Worship…

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    Behind the Veil

    Behind the Veil

    This one was written by Andrew Taylor-Troutman.

    “You may kiss the bride,” I said in my preacher voice just like I always did. This time the groom actually paused as if seeking permission—but not from me. He looked hesitantly at the jailer standing over his right shoulder. She nodded. So he dove in!

    “Alright kids,” the jailer intoned after a few moments. Maybe that’s how jailers always talk. But this one had been smiling the whole ceremony.

    ~

    I am a pastor’s kid, which affords insider’s perspective. So I have known for as long as I have been aware of such ceremonies…

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    The Gospel of Inclusion? An Assessment

    The Gospel of Inclusion? An Assessment

    Another provocative piece from Charis Hamiltonius:

    If you hang around certain circles of the church long enough, it’s hard to miss the central role the idea of “inclusion” plays in their daily life and theology. Everyone, it is said, is included in the community, a maxim usually contrasted with more judgmental versions of Christianity. This takes a number of forms, depending on the setting, ranging from the selection of leaders to the practice of open communion (the forgoing of baptism as a necessary prerequisite to receive). God accepts everyone, and perhaps the worst thing one can be today is exclusive, a…

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    What Steve Jobs Taught Me About Life and Death

    What Steve Jobs Taught Me About Life and Death

    Grateful for this one by Nicholas Davis.

    I made the decision to purchase an iPhone years ago because I already owned a MacBook and an iPad (why not have the whole system, right?). Steve Jobs invention has taught me much about life and death.

    As a whole, I’ve been pleased with how little effort it takes on my part to accomplish virtually anything I want (short of making me my morning cup of coffee…there’s no app for that). From searching to syncing, to going “paperless” by scanning print documents, handling finances from my phone, reading the Greek New Testament with a tap…

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