January 3, 2014
The Increasingly Un-Religious America

The Increasingly Un-Religious America

About 20 percent of Americans identify themselves as no religion in particular, agnostic or atheist — a figure that has doubled since a similar survey was taken in 1990. Also, that number increases to a third when you focus on people under 30.

That’s not…

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November 14, 2013
Trailer: Noah

Director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan) dropped out of making ‘The Wolverine’ so that he could instead make a biblical epic about Noah’s ark, called, ahem, ‘Noah’. It stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson,…

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August 2, 2013
Bootlegging in Karachi

Obtaining alcohol in Pakistan isn’t that easy, especially for Muslim women. And, like in prohibition-era America, some have carved out a unique niche selling hard alcohol on the black market to those willing to pay.

And like in any relationship, Bilal…

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August 8, 2012
A Peak Behind the Scientology Curtain

John Brousseau was a high-ranking member of the Church of Scientology for 32 years. He left the organization in 2010 and recently shared his story with the Village Voice. You’ll want to read the entire piece and then stick around for the comments as one of the people featured in Brousseau’s story checks in with a few corrections.

August 1, 2012
Colonel Sanders is Gay-Friendly

By now, you’ve probably heard that Chick-Fil-A doesn’t like gay people. Which should only be shocking to anyone that doesn’t already know they are essentially a Christian fast food hate organization. Okay, that’s really hyperbolic, but the company adheres to its Christian principals through and through, including not opening on Sunday.

That they hate gay people is about as shocking as Anderson Cooper coming out of the closet.

Don’t like their politics? Don’t buy their food. If only it were that simple because Chick-Fil-A’s food is so tasty. So tasty that Serious Eats J. Kenji Lopez-Alt decided to reverse engineer the chicken sandwich.

The classic Chick-Fil-A sandwich is a thing of simple beauty. A juicy, salty, crisply fried chicken breast. A soft, sweet, buttered and toasted bun. Two dill pickle chips. That’s all there is to it.

All of that is to say that John Goodman makes a very convincing Colonel Sanders, who would like to remind you that his fried chicken is gay-friendly.

July 31, 2012
Brainwashed by the Westboro Baptist Church

Vice Magazine continues its run of high-quality pieces with an examination of Westboro Baptist Church:

We followed the story of the Westboro Baptist Church as families split and children were brainwashed into picketing funerals and bashing homosexuals.

During that time, we interviewed more than a dozen members of the reviled group, including some of the only members not related by blood, the Drains. They welcomed us into their homes and gave us access to 17 years of home video footage. In return, we produced an unbiased look into the lives of one of America’s most despised organizations.

Part 2 can be found here. [via highdefinite]

April 12, 2012
Vatican and Bodleian Libraries to Digitize Ancient Texts

The Vatican Library and Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries have announced a plan to digitize many of the Vatican’s ancient text collections.

The project, which will be undertaken in collaboration with Oxford’s Bodleian Library and supported by a $3.2 million grant from the Polonsky Foundation, will make some 1.5 million digitized pages freely available online from the two institutions’ collections of Greek manuscripts, 15th-century incunabula, Hebrew manuscripts (including a 9th-century manuscript believed to be the earliest surviving Hebrew codex), and early printed books.

“Two of the oldest libraries in Europe will join forces in an innovative approach to digitization driven by the actual needs of scholars and scholarship,” Monsignor Cesare Pasini, the Prefect of the Vatican Library said in a statement, calling the project “a great step forward in the Vatican Library’s entry into the digital age.”

The Vatican Library reopened in 2010 after much-needed renovations. Its collections contain more than 180,000 manuscripts, 1.6 million printed book, 300,000 coins and medals, and 150,000 prints, drawings and engravings, according to the New York Times.

April 10, 2012
The Bible and Homosexuality

Two different stories about homosexuality and the bible floating out there in the world within days of one another is just two good to pass up. So here they are, lumped together for your reading pleasure.

1. Dan Savage highly recommends a new documentary on the subject by Matthew Vines:

Matthew Vines is a young gay man who grew up in Kansas. His family is Christian and very conservative. After coming out, Vines took two years off college to research and think deeply about what the bible says—and doesn’t say—about homosexuality. You could argue that what Vines has to say is irrelevant to non-Christians. But Vines’ argument and his insights are highly relevant to gay Christians, to their families, to Christians who point to the bible to justify their bigotry and the pain they inflict on LGBT people (including their own LGBT children), and to anyone who happens to live in a country that is majority Christian.

You can check out a trailer for the documentary here.

2. A student group at BYU, which isn’t regarded as one of the most friendly campuses for LGBT students, has made an “It Gets Better” video that features gay Mormon students sharing their struggles to reconcile their sexuality and their religion.

If we find one more example of the bible and homosexuality we’ll have a full-blown trend story on our hands folks.

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