US Catholic Faith in Real Life

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 |
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


A cancelled series shows women’s inequality is still at work

Women can now wear pants in the office, but has so much really changed since the days of “Good Girls Revolt”?

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

Once upon a time, in 1969, women weren’t “allowed” to wear slacks at the office. This wasn’t for modesty—miniskirts and tight dresses were fine, 9–5. The dress code was to keep gender differences clearly delineated, as in the classic insult to assertive wives: “She wears the pants in that family.” When the chino ceiling finally cracked in office buildings across America, women could wear trousers in public, but only if they also wore a matching jacket. The female pantsuit was born.


The literary genius of Bob Dylan

Dylan's Nobel Prize opens up room in the cathedral of literature for every genius who has seen a light and can find a way to make us see it, too.

By Danny Duncan Collum |
Article Culture

Putting aside, for a moment, the election of a reality TV star as president of the United States, history may ultimately judge that the most significant cultural event of 2016 was actually the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan. That decision, handed down by those ultimate high-culture deciders in Stockholm, finally ratified the ascension of the American popular arts that began in the music and movies of the 1930s, built to a crescendo in the 1960s, and has been the new normal for most people ever since.


‘The Young Pope’ in the age of Francis and Trump

The show portrays a hotly contested leadership transition and the possibility of an unchecked leader pushing a potentially unpopular set of priorities.

By Elizabeth Lefebvre |
Article Culture

For a show about the papacy, it’s hard to pinpoint the most shocking part of the first few minutes of The Young Pope: The fact that the episode came with a nudity warning that is almost immediately realized; the titular pope emerging from a pile of babies, which later turns out to be part of a dream sequence; or hearing an American pope addressing crowds at the Vatican (especially one played by British actor Jude Law).


A story of northern racism

In “The South Side,” Natalie Moore points out that while cultural diversity is worth celebrating, high-poverty black segregation is not.

By Rosie McCarty |
Article Culture
The South Side
By Natalie Y. Moore (St. Martin’s Press, 2016)

Women and Christian witness

“The Strength of Her Witness,” edited by Elizabeth Johnson, contains articles by women around the world on the importance of Christ’s incarnation.

By Emily Sanna |
Article Culture
The Strength of Her Witness: Jesus Christ in the Global Voices of Women
Edited by Elizabeth Johnson (Orbis Books, 2016)

“What difference do women’s voices make in interpreting the meaning of Jesus Christ?” asks Elizabeth Johnson in her introduction to The Strength of Her Witness. This book, edited by Johnson, attempts to answer that question.


The good and the bad of the ‘Gilmore Girls' revival

Pro: Emily Gilmore and Paris Geller. Con: Lorelai Gilmore hiking in the wilderness.

By Molly Jo Rose |
blog Culture

In the spirit of Rory Gilmore’s love of the pro/con list, this review of the long-awaited return of our favorite mother and daughter duo will take the same form. While I’ll refrain from quoting the final four words, references to it will take place as I assume most readers will have pulled a Lorelai and Rory and binged all four episodes over the weekend while eating pizza and Pop-Tarts.


Another reason to love ‘Gilmore Girls’

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are proof that families are forged not by following social and cultural scripts, but by following the heart.

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Culture

Oh, to live in Stars Hollow, where crabby but hunky Luke runs the diner, quirky Kirk holds a long string of peculiar jobs, and a single mother and her daughter can be seen as a legitimate and respectable family.

On television and in film, single mothers are too often portrayed as hapless victims, struggling to raise children in the absence of a male breadwinner. Media’s single moms live in dismal apartments in gritty neighborhoods, dress in thrift-shop clothing, and seem wearily defeated by life. They have bad posture, bad hair, and bad luck. 


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