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.
I know that on occasion this column can skew left in its political leanings, and in the past I may have offended a few people
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.