US Catholic Faith in Real Life

A woman at last

In ‘Wonder Woman’ accomplishment trumps beauty.

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

In Wonder Woman, there are moments so uncommonly witnessed in film that the audience can almost hear paradigms shifting, like giant tectonic plates of cultural attitudes grating over one another as they struggle to realign. Of course, such shifts should have happened long ago, or should have never been needed at all, and there have been lesser and occasional positive tremors along the fault lines before, here and there in film. 


Ritual and prayer are what we have in common, says documentary ‘Sacred’

A new documentary explores ritual and prayer as primary human experiences.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

“From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history [and] the recognition of a Supreme Being . . . . This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense.”


‘American Gods’ is an unlikely tale of interfaith cooperation

The ‘s’ is there for a reason.

By Shanna Johnson |
Article Culture

A coworker urged me into watching the new television series, American Gods, based off the Neil Gaiman novel by the same title. I was skeptical at first, and waited many weeks before I finally caved and settled in for a weekend of intense binge-watching.

The series did not disappoint.


What does shipping have to do with your faith? More than a little.

A new podcast teaches consumers a lesson in globalization, its promise, and its potential liabilities.

By Michael Skaggs |
Article Justice

Most of us devote little thought to ocean-borne shipping. Yet it plays an enormous role in our lives, as around 90 percent of everything that needs to go from point A to point B does so on the seas. As Americans, globalization has risen to the top of our national discourse and as Catholic Christians, how globalized shipping affects workers and the environment resonates deeply with our sense of community, stewardship, and economic exchange.


‘Homecoming King’ tells a story of family, identity, and forgiveness

‘Homecoming King’ navigates serious subjects while still being laugh-out-loud funny.

By Elizabeth Lefebvre |
Article Culture

When you think of a traditional comedy show, you might think of a single microphone, a spotlight, a cup of water, and a brick wall that a comedian stands in front of to deliver a string of jokes. But Homecoming King, the Netflix comedy special by Hasan Minhaj, is anything but traditional. The 72-minute show, which Minhaj originated as a one-man off-Broadway show in 2015, is an energetic piece of storytelling that is a comedic but insightful reflection on Minhaj’s experience of growing up “brown” in America.


Biblical dominion and ‘The Handmaid's Tale’

Hulu’s new show portrays a world where the bodies of women are used and discarded, exploited much like the land and water Gilead’s people have destroyed.

By Sarah Margaret Babbs |
Article Culture

What if you woke up one morning and everything and everyone you knew and loved was gone? What if it happened slowly over time? In Hulu’s new series The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the 1986 book by Margaret Atwood, this is the situation in which protagonist Offred (Elizabeth Moss) finds herself. She goes to sleep in the United States of America and wakes up in the Republic of Gilead, an oppressive regime based on the perversion of scripture and patriarchy taken to the extreme.


Why ‘Madam Secretary’ breaks bold new ground

In CBS drama “Madam Secretary,” patriarchy matters a little less.

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

Madam Secretary (CBS, in its third season) breaks bold new ground in media portrayals of women leaders: Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s friends, family, colleagues, and even the President of the United States treat her as if, in fact, she can lead. 


‘Pure Comedy’ is pure joy

Father John Misty’s not actually a priest, but you should still give him a listen.

By Ann Christenson |
Article Culture
Pure Comedy
Father John Misty (Sub Pop, 2017)

Joshua Tillman is a prolific indie folk/rock musician with eight studio albums under his belt. But it’s under the name Father John Misty (a persona, not a priest) that Tillman has achieved notoriety.


The documentary that looks at the criminalization of black men

“13th” reminds us that America’s original sin of racism is still waiting to be confessed and cleansed.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

13th, the documentary by Selma director Ava DuVernay about mass incarceration, was screened for the first time just days before the 2016 presidential election. In the film the first thing we hear is the voice of President Barack Obama saying that, while the United States is 5 percent of the world’s population, it locks up 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. 


‘Moana’ and the power of female friendship

“Moana” is the story of a young woman who brings healing to her tortured “sister” simply by being present.

By Jessica Mesman Griffith |
Article Culture

“Take your broken heart; make it into art,” Meryl Streep said through tears, quoting her late friend, fellow actress Carrie Fisher, when she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes earlier this year. 

Streep’s controversial comments were directed at those who felt brokenhearted at the election of a certain president, but her visible grief for her lost friend reminded me—of all things—of a powerful scene in the Disney animated feature Moana


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