bible belt

As someone who left Christianity, I have my share of reservations.
I grew up hearing that it was impolite to discuss in public the three most interesting topics--politics, sex, and religion
It's hard to fathom that Ohio's kissing cousin Michigan just passed legislation to outlaw oral and anal sex and I am standing in a converted conference room -- now dungeon -- where 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in comparison seems so bland.
I hurt for those who are sitting in the pews, baptized as teenagers, and now barely holding on. I am crushed for the Christians seeking sanctuary on Sunday morning, who instead find one more obligation they must meet. The Christians who need a holy place to come, lay down their burdens, and simply rest.
If the names were removed from various speeches this political season, you might not know the difference in a talk given by Donald Trump or one by Jerry Falwell, Jr. A few years ago, I would have assumed these two would have very different rhetoric.
The picture in the Middle East these days is not good. The hybrid terrorist-army known as ISIS has conquered an area in Syria and Iraq that is larger than Britain and have taken the eight million people suffering in their proto-state/"Caliphate" back to the Middle Ages.
There should be something disturbing to people committed to love and peace about the fact that, among all economically-developed countries, the United States has by far the highest rate of gun-related murders in the world.
I'll admit it can take just one film to usually convince me to come to a film festival. In the case of this year's Berlinale, it was Jafar Panahi's Taxi. I knew I wanted to sit in that bursting at the seams press screening, first thing in the morning, to watch it. And, as is usually the case with my cinematic instinct, I was right.
Being known as a "gay-friendly" city in the bible belt is like being known for having a lot of lemonade in a place where everyone hates lemonade.
Tolerance is the word we now use to say, "you have to agree with my views." However, as one sees with teenagers, tolerance in truth means to disagree, but to respect. And in its highest, most beautiful incarnation, to disagree and yet love.
“It is extremely rare that the entire congregation will be privy to specific salaries,” he said. That’s one of the conclusions
This week I caught up with Brandiilyne Dear in hopes that our interview and the documentary she appears in, L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, might make it easier for those who are suffering with an inability to reconcile their religion with their sexuality to find the support that she is building in the South.
For well over 150 years, Robert Wuthnow, a professor of social sciences at Princeton University, reminds us, as Texas evolved from a backwater to one of the most populous, prosperous, and powerful states in the Union, many of its leaders and ordinary citizens have reveled in its status as a "whole 'nuther country."
It may seem counterintuitive, but divorce rates are higher in religiously conservative "red" states than "blue" states, despite a Bible-based culture that discourages divorce.
Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to the University of Texas at Austin as the University of Austin. The
A long time ago there was a remarkable man, a man who said that might does not make right, that the weak have a strength the strong do not have, and that what we call "justice" is often really injustice. He was a man who was condemned by traditional conservative society.
As a Native New York Jew who grew up in the counter-culture of New Mexico and spent my 20s in northern California, the American South is as foreign to me as Mongolia. So visiting the Bible Belt is a perfect opportunity for me to walk my talk and reject the impulse to "otherize."
For several years, I have waged an internal battle on how to bridge the gap between these two worlds: Latin America became one reality, and the Bible Belt of Kentucky another. In this disjointing of my life, the plague of stereotypes has become all too common.