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Religion


Praise Be!!!…Indeed…

The Handmaid’s Tale, streaming on Hulu, is not for the faint of heart, y’all. I’d argue, though, that it’s worth the ride. “HMT” rejects the instincts in us that reduce religion to a power-play, useful only for control and exploitation. It also embraces the Gospel. If you’re privy to the main story, you know that […]

Super-Moms, Über-Dads, and Other People Who Don’t Exist

Another peek into the Family Issue, which is available now. If you’d like more to sample, there’s Ethan’s Opener here, and the special episode of The Mockingcast, here.  This article was adapted from Chad Bird’s newest book, Upside-Down Spirituality, available wherever books are sold.  Gathering dust in the far western portion of Texas is a […]

Fr. Walter Ciszek Did Not Mind Talking About Himself

“The man who is truly humble and very close to God does not mind talking about himself. And so I’m going to talk about myself.” – Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J.[1] The speaker of the above words survived twenty-three years in the Soviet Gulag. He was tortured, sentenced to fifteen years of heavy labor, and all […]

The Grace of Ordinary Dog Days

It’s summer and the liturgical calendar rolls through Ordinary Time. True enough, the phrase “The Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time” doesn’t exactly titillate the senses. But this “ordinary” does not imply commonplace or routine events. It refers to a sequence of ordinal numbers—first, second, third and so on. For followers of Christ, this “ordinary” denotes […]

Three Thoughts on Denunciations and Deconversions

This is like an Onion headline, my friend texted, under which came the link “Christian dating guru says he’s getting divorced, denounces faith.” Sigh. It wasn’t a joke. If you’ve been anywhere near the Christian interwebs for the last few days, you know that he was referring to Joshua Harris, the heavy-laden author of I […]

Hands Full of Life in the Valley of the Shadow of Death

The Eucharist is honestly bizarre. To the untrained observer, the sight of a coterie of nicely dressed congregants sauntering up to an altar, kneeling with outstretched hands and soberly sanguine faces proves utterly bewildering. Of course this is only the modus operandi of some more traditional denominations; others have learned how to logistically and visually […]

Welcome to Your Foxhole

I listen to a lot of sad music.  As an Enneagram Four, I am drawn to what Ian Morgan Cron calls “delicious melancholy”. I have several playlists on my Spotify dedicated to songs that are guaranteed to make me cry or at least fit the gray mood I often find myself in. This proclivity towards […]

Can You Love Your Enemies?

Tread lightly is a phrase I have been hearing (and using) a lot lately, especially when it comes to discussing what does and does not get published on this site. Tread lightly: not because the mission at Mockingbird is apolitical, necessarily, and not because our writers are all above the fray. I have my opinions […]

The Church and the Whorehouse: What’s the Difference?

“The church and the whorehouse arrived in the Far West simultaneously. And each would have been horrified to think it was a different facet of the same thing. But surely they were both intended to accomplish the same thing: the singing, the devotion, the poetry of the churches took a man out of his bleakness […]

Boys, Please, No Ties on a Thursday

I’ve always considered myself a little too proud to read autobiography. Which person writing an entire book about themself really has that much to teach me? Well, one answer is Will Willimon. Willimon’s captivating and exuberant testimony (which comes out today!) is replete with grace, from the preacher’s childhood in Jim Crow South Carolina to his discovery […]

The Improbable Persistence of Calling

In one of his final stories for The New Yorker, “The Long Black Line,” former Jesuit John L’Heureux offers a funny and heart-rending tale of a Jesuit novice who leaves the order. [If you have the time, check out a beautiful reading and commentary on the story by one of his former students, and don’t […]

A Litany for the DMV

O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works doth proceed, come, we pray, to the DMV. Make your presence known and lead us away from all temptation. For the supervisor of the waiting room who repeats the same instructions all day every day, vainly hoping for a preponderance of […]