About the Upcoming Manhattan Declaration 2.0

While same-sex marriage in all fifty states may appear to be a foregone conclusion, a group of what this article calls “a high-profile alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants” is convening to issue a new call to arms against what they consider to be a “graver threat” than divorce and cohabitation:


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Massive Resistance, the Squeakquel

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is scheduled to hear arguments on whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage in April. A ruling in the affirmative would strike down the remaining same-sex marriage bans at the state level and allow LGBT people to get married in in all fifty states, even in the Deep South. Given the divided nature of the court, the outcome will be anyone’s guess, but conservatives are pre-emptively preparing for the possibility of state-sanctioned gay marriage. Culture warriors like Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal are already talking about resisting any SCOTUS ruling that would legalize same-sex marriage, and it’s safe to assume that their supporters among Tea Partiers, white evangelicals, and white conservotrad Catholics are doing the same. While I expected apocalyptic rhetoric about the advent of same-sex marriage and the intent to keep on fighting even if SCOTUS rules in favor of universal gay marriage, my assumption was that conservatives would realize that continued resistance to same-sex marriage is politically unfeasible. That was until I read about this story:


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The Lasagna was Vegan

This upcoming March will be my fourteenth anniversary for being a vegetarian (I’m now vegan, in case anyone in interested in such things). I made the decision when I was a senior in high school after learning about factory farming from the PETA website, a decision that was later solidified after reading Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation. It was a major step for me, because up to that point I was a dedicated meat eater who loved barbequed ribs, fried chicken, and all the other staples of Southern cuisine. But once I learned the truth about where meat actually comes from and made the connection between living, breathing animals and the stuff on my plate, I decided that I could do without my former favorites. Research indicates that many people who become vegetarian or vegan later decide to go back to eating meat. Interestingly, the statistics for ex-Catholics are somewhat comparable, with the Pew Research Center stating that 10 percent of all Americans are ex-Catholics and that 1/3 of “cradle Catholics” leave the church (http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/americas-former-catholics/). So why did I stick with vegetarianism but not Catholicism?

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And Someday, Together, We’ll Shine: MLK, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Escaping From Religion

Note: contains spoilers for the”Revolutionary Girl Utena.” For more information see:



The ending to the anime series “Revolutionary Girl Utena” usually leaves viewers confused and somewhat frustrated, because it’s unclear what happened to the titular character and, on the surface, it appears like nothing has changed for the supporting characters. This was the impression I got when I first saw Utena back in 2004 when I was a junior in college, but after my religious misadventures and some repeated viewings of the series, I now view the ending in a very different way.

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Some More Stuff on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Re-posted and edited together from this thread (http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2015/01/quote-for-day-political-cartoons-are.html):

The two brothers who killed the staff at Charlie Hebdo and the other guy who killed the people at the kosher market explicitly said that they were doing so to avenge the damage done to Muhammad’s “honor.” Plus, when someone shouts, “Allahu Akbar” while brandishing an assault rifle, is there any real doubt that religion is motivating that person? I do not think that Islam as a whole is responsible for this tragedy, but a particular strain that arose in the mid-twentieth century from the works of one Sayyid Qutb, whose writings inspired Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, and probably other groups as well:


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Je suis Charlie

As I write this, Al Qaeda in Yemen has taken responsibility for the recent terrorist attack against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, as well as today’s attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris. While I only recently learned about the existence of Charlie Hebdo after Wednesday’s massacre, its “blasphemous” cartoons seem to be in the proud skeptical and anticlerical tradition that was forged more than three hundred years ago during the Enlightenment philosophes. In fact, I’d have to say that no one does anti-clericalism better than the French; I guess having the honor of being the denizens of “The Eldest Daughter of the Church” will inevitably lead to some major rebellion. From Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie to Notre Dame de Paris (AKA The Hunchback of Notre Dame) to the long tradition of convent pornography, the Catholic establishment hasn’t been sacred to many French for quite some time. This distain has also been extended to  the two other Abrahamic religions (France has Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim populations).

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