Former Obama Official Shows How Politics Trumped Faith

This weekend, as President Obama makes way for Donald Trump, and media outlets ponder Obama’s legacy, one of the first memoirs from a former Obama administration official hits bookshelves. Michael Wear’s Reclaiming Hope: Lessons learned in the Obama White House about the Future of Faith in America, highlights Wear’s faith-based campaigns and outreach via the … Continued

Politics

What Mark Wahlberg Could Teach Hillary Clinton About Faith

You don’t have to look very hard to find strong anti-religious sentiments in 2016 America. Look no farther than, for example, the latest WikiLeaks email dump to get a good flavor for what modern-day anti-Catholic bigotry looks like. In one of the leaked email exchanges, Clinton campaign chair, John Podesta, and Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer … Continued

Celebrities

Mother Teresa and the Media’s Miracle Skeptics

Mother Teresa will become St. Teresa on Sunday, confounding no one but Christopher Hitchens, wherever he is. The diminutive nun who was widely revered for her work with the poor- and whose given name was Agnes, making her the real Agnes of God – was said to be fast-tracked to sainthood, her canonization coming just … Continued

Culture

‘Pete’s Dragon’ and the Power of Faith

It’s an impressive feat. Director David Lowery filmed a live-action remake of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon cartoon, and the finished product stands on its own as a sweet and sincere tale of childhood, imagination, and faith. There’s a kindness and warmth that suffuses the whole movie—much as the tremulous touch of the lost child Pete magically … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

New ‘X-Men’ Movie Isn’t About Apocalypse. It’s About Faith.

It’s called X-Men: Apocalypse, but the re-awoken wannabe mutant god Apocalypse, played by a nearly unrecognizable Oscar Isaac, is the least interesting part of this new installment in the movie franchise. The movie’s creators should have gone with X-Men: Apotheosis, because the film represents the full flowering of comic book storytelling in movie form, and … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Did You Know Prince Was on the Pope’s Playlist?

Turn on the radio today and you will likely be bombarded by “When Doves Cry” or “Little Red Corvette.” Radio stations and pop music fans are mourning the death of Prince, who passed away yesterday at the age of 57. Anyone alive during the 1980s remembers Prince and his music—as well as his flamboyant style. The … Continued

Celebrities, Entertainment, Music

‘Midnight Special’s Supernatural Faith

It’s a good time for faith-based films in America. No, I’m not referring to the ghastly God’s Not Dead 2, but rather to the indie sci-fi movie of the moment, Midnight Special. A Texas-set adventure with humble production values befitting its rural American setting, Midnight Special tells the story of quasi-supernatural eight-year-old Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Marx vs. Faith on ‘The Americans’

Study the history of civilizations, open your fridge, look in the mirror: everywhere you will see the unmistakable signs of decay. Entropy is as inescapable in the realm of culture as in nature, which is why so much of what we see on screen seems so familiar—or so I believed until I began watching The … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Is Charlie Brown an Atheist?

The battle for the soul of Peanuts comic strip creator Charles Schulz had observed a truce, much like Snoopy’s temporary peace with the Red Baron at Christmas. But it resumed recently with the opening of a Peanuts movie and a new book on the faith of the legendary cartoonist. A Charlie Brown Religion, by Stephen … Continued

Comics, Culture

God is My Co-Pilot. And the Mets’ New Assistant Coach?

If the Mets win the World Series, Maureen Edelson may want to take credit. On opening day of the 2015 baseball season, the New Jersey fan created a blog, Pray4Mets, to invoke “another form of power,” one more muscular than even Jake Arrieta’s pitching arm. So far, it appears to be working. Edelson’s prayed-for Mets … Continued

Entertainment, Sports