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Of Millstones

Of Millstones

One of the most stark and terrifying verses in all of the world’s religions is attributed to Jesus not once, nor twice, but three times identically in three different gospels: “Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if he were thrown into […]

The Great Things We’ll Accomplish in the Grave

The Great Things We’ll Accomplish in the Grave

We’ve all had influential people in our lives who remain unaware of the impact they had on us. An elementary school teacher who inspired us to dedicate our lives to educating others. An older friend of our family whose kindness and generosity we’ve tried to emulate. Maybe it’s a random stranger who, like a guardian […]

I Am Not Better Than John McCain: I Am Worse (and You Might Be Too)

I Am Not Better Than John McCain: I Am Worse (and You Might Be Too)

Inevitably, when a figure who is much beloved by some–but not by all–dies, we are reminded of our opinion of that person. In our current cultural moment, this also means that by God we are going to share that opinion. In its most recent iteration, the death of Senator John McCain sparked an Opinion Fest […]

A Long Obedience in the Wrong Direction

A Long Obedience in the Wrong Direction

Author’s note: Over the past several months I’ve been asked the same question by multiple people, all in a very particular way. In the middle of a conversation, they will suddenly ask, “Who are you?” It’s not phrased in a demeaning way, but definitely with a politely confused inflection. My life doesn’t quite add up to them, and I […]

Can Jordan Peterson Walk Away from Omelas?

Can Jordan Peterson Walk Away from Omelas?

Full disclosure: the point of this article is to get clicks. Lots of clicks. Because, love him or hate him, the Canadian psychology professor and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson gets clicks. And despite all our talk at Mockingbird about not keeping score, Google Analytics is real and we are sinners and clicks are the currency […]

The Jeffersonian Ideal and the Unexpected Solution to Racism

The Jeffersonian Ideal and the Unexpected Solution to Racism

As you may know, Mockingbird HQ is situated here in happy, wealthy, intellectual, pastoral Charlottesville, Virginia. When I moved to Charlottesville for college almost 15 years ago, it was considered “America’s Happiest City” and one of the best places in America to raise a family. It still is. For this reason, and others, there is a […]

After Suicide

After Suicide

This one comes to us from Faith Perry. Hi, my name is Faith. I’m in Room 22. Today I’m feeling anxious and confused. My goal for the day is to get the most out of groups.” “Faith. Faith is feeling anxious and confused. Her goal for today is to get the most out of the […]

Charlottesville and Suffering: The Best Church Retreat I Ever Did

Charlottesville and Suffering: The Best Church Retreat I Ever Did

Last year, in late August, we began to hear that a storm was headed for our community. They were not sure what the extent of the flooding might look like, only that it was possible. My husband and I met during Hurricane Katrina, and I did relief work in the months that followed. I knew […]

The Difficulty of Drawing Near the Suffering

The Difficulty of Drawing Near the Suffering

This comes to us from Father Kenneth Tanner.  When I first came to the parish I serve, there were about twenty persons over the age of seventy. We have since buried a few, some have retired to Florida or warmer states, but until recently about half were still active participants in our worship and community. […]

Requiescat in Pace: The Naming Power of HBO's <i>The Leftovers</i>

Requiescat in Pace: The Naming Power of HBO’s The Leftovers

Last week, the Earth made a seismic shift, though mostly unnoticed. A gentle giant among us in terms of Anglican church music, John Bradford Bohl, died unexpectedly at the young age of 37. I had the joy of serving with him at Saint Paul’s K Street in Washington, D.C., and when I took over the venerable […]

Depraved Puppetry: Is There Any Good News in Dark Humor?

Depraved Puppetry: Is There Any Good News in Dark Humor?

A shining example from our Humor Issue, here’s an essay about rude puppets (and love, and death). You can order the magazine, or subscribe here. The most inappropriate show that has ever aired in the history of TV is Wonder Showzen. It’s amazing that the show survived MTV2 for two whole seasons, from 2005 to […]

The One Power Source That Never Fails ("Without Your Wound, Where Would Your Power Be?")

The One Power Source That Never Fails (“Without Your Wound, Where Would Your Power Be?”)

I don’t know about you, but in recent months I’ve been avoiding the news. It’s as if I’m using those skills we develop to screen out the advertising that bombards us in order to screen out the painful news cycles around me, only letting in the ones that seem to be key to my understanding […]