The Origins of Easter


Christians celeberate a feast day called “Easter,” on which they honor a murdered son and his miraculous return to life through the power of the Father.  This story reinterprets the much earlier, Babylonian myth of Osiris, in which Isis, “the Giver of Life,” mother of the sun, and “oldest of the old,” restores Osiris to life, mates with him, and then … More The Origins of Easter

What love does for you


Life is going fairly well at the moment.  I’m so happy, in fact, that I haven’t once descended in my usual grinchy, grumpy pre-Christmas mood.  Christians insisting on coercing or manipulating or guilting me and all other Americans into celebrating the holidays as THEY insist you should, believing in the same implausible theories about the … More What love does for you

Of Gods and Humans


I’m watching Of Gods and Men.  It’s about a group of French Trappist monks who chose to stay in their community rather than flee to safety during the Algerian civil war.  They were kidnapped in 1995 by terrorists, but their death was never explained.  Some have argued that Algerian soldiers killed them during a botched rescue … More Of Gods and Humans

Pittsburgh to Doha


I’m taking my son, Brendan, to Nepal, for two months this summer.   At first he was really excited, but now he tells me that he does not quite understand why he feels so miserable about leaving the United States and going to teach English in a Buddhist monastery.  He worries that he will not know … More Pittsburgh to Doha

Catholic Bishops Actively Oppose Equality of Women, Again


The bishops are all hot and bothered about women in the church again, and, as usual, it is a nun who has driven them to distraction. People who believe in divine revelation universally agree that revelation is received through language.  Language expresses and is shaped by the culture in which it is spoken.  Language reflects … More Catholic Bishops Actively Oppose Equality of Women, Again

Naked Truth


The quotation from Schiller, “Kannst du nicht allen gefallen durch deine Tat und dein Kunstwerk, mach’ es wenigen recht; vielen gefallen ist schlimm,” loosely translated, reads “If your deed and your art do not please everyone, do it as well as you can; pleasing everyone sucks.” The painting scandalized bourgeois Viennese art viewers because it … More Naked Truth

Tawakul Karman: Brave Muslim Feminist Arrested in Yemen


What is happening in Yemen and why should we care?  Tawakul Karman, a feminist activist was arrested today for her role in student demonstrations against the government last week.  She and her husband, Mohamed Ismail al-Nehmi, were making their way home yesterday evening when the police came for her.  He has no idea where she … More Tawakul Karman: Brave Muslim Feminist Arrested in Yemen

Bikram 54


I don’t feel like I’m on day 54, but rather much more like I’ve just begun this practice.  It’s really hard and I’m not very good at it and I don’t think I ever will be.  I hurt my back about a week ago.  I don’t know how I did it, and the injury is … More Bikram 54

What is Gender?


The people in this cartoon are “doing gender.”  What does this mean? What is gender? Gender is an embodied social program, an ideological construction of the body that we do not simply perform in language and gesture, but also inhabit and experience somatically (from the Greek, soma), in the body . Gender is durable, although not inevitable, … More What is Gender?

The Origins of Easter and some thoughts about fertility and gadflies


Christians celeberate a feast day called “Easter,” on which they honor a murdered son and his miraculous return to life through the power of the Father.  This story reinterprets the much earlier, Babylonian myth of Osiris, in which Isis, “the Giver of Life,” mother of the sun, and “oldest of the old,” restores Osiris to life, mates … More The Origins of Easter and some thoughts about fertility and gadflies

Rough Day with Margaret leads to Ephesus and the Myth of Temple Prostitution and the Anxiety of Some Really Scary Christian Men (and Women)


3/10/10 (mistakenly deleted and reposted today) What a day!  I was storming out the door, fuming for no reason in particular, on my way to the library, finally, to get to my writing, my real work, and then stopped, stupidly, on the sidewalk as soon as I saw her and remembered. Margaret, good old thing, … More Rough Day with Margaret leads to Ephesus and the Myth of Temple Prostitution and the Anxiety of Some Really Scary Christian Men (and Women)