Category Archives: religion

Gallup is Perplexed. Let Me Help.

It’s not clear why Americans would overwhelmingly prefer boys.”


It’s not clear why? BECAUSE THIS IS A PATRIARCHY, you twits. Land of the free! Home of the brave! Here we worship winners, cowboys, soldiers, tough guys, Don Draper and Tony Soprano, John Wayne and Gary Cooper. We hate femininity. We hate it so much we stamp it out in boys wherever it pops up.

Here men head the household because of some misguided Catholic/Christian notion that that’s the way God wants it. (The way he wanted it several thousand years ago, anyway, when last he bothered to weigh in.) Here be Mormons.

Why wouldn’t you want a child more likely to earn more, to be judged by something other than looks, to be able to have a child himself eventually — on his schedule, no pressure — and let someone else deal with the drudgery of raising it (and cleaning up after it)?

Yes, being a real man is expensive, and it certainly can be stressful and time-consuming. It’s still better than the alternative.

Some of my best friends are ladies and good lord, even *I* want to be reincarnated as a Dutch or Scandinavian man.

Bishops, Bishops Everywhere

The depression that gets to one after reading this article — Abuse Took Years to Ignite Belgian Clergy Inquiry — is at least somewhat relieved by reading this one, Church of England Paves the Way for Women Bishops. So I recommend engaging with them in that order, and then taking deep, restorative breaths.

Or avoid thinking about how religion often makes people’s lives worse instead of better altogether by getting away from the computer. Go to PortSide in Red Hook, Brooklyn (near to which, on August 3rd, you can watch Jaws on the water.) Read a strikingly good book, or several.

Play pinochle. Eat something delicious. See Bernadette Peters & Elaine Stritch together on Broadway.

Plan a drunken Popsicle party in Prospect Park. See writer-who’ll-change-your-world David Mitchell live at BookCourt. Watch pretty, joyous people kissing or a hot, dangerous woman kick ass.

Jon Hamm is helpful, in Mad Men and in person:

W: Rebecca, in stories earlier this year about the breakup of Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet—
Hall: Oh, you’re going to do that, are you?
W: —your name was mentioned in a way that implicated you in the breakup of their marriage. Is there any accuracy to that perception?
Hall: No.
Hamm: The reality is that I broke them up.
Hall: Jon Hamm was sleeping with Sam Mendes.
W: Wow. Does a sex tape exist?
Hamm: Does it? He directed it. It’s beautiful.

Oh Jon. You can Hamm me anytime.

At any rate, that’s how I’m getting by.

My favorite spam-fax from the Westboro Baptist Church is all about Figs. It’s also a clear rip off of Jeff Foxworthy.

“You might be a good fig if you:

  • confess that Jews killed Jesus, and repent and mourn that grievous sin;
  • put away your lie that God will bless you for pretending to eat kosher;
  • recognize that Israel is doomed because of the Jews’ proud sin.”

More likely you are an evil fig.

“You might be an evil fig if you:

  • would rather starve than eat the Bread of Life, whom you proudly crucified;
  • Loudly proclaim that you’re entitled to land you stole in your disobedience;
  • Are proud of the bloody butcher’s apron known as the Israeli flag.”

Until we got this sheet, I didn’t know why the sensitive and intelligent folks at the WBC chose to send the company I work for faxes everyday. (One we get frequently mentions Matthew Shepard, who it says “has been in hell these eleven years.”) Now I realize: it’s because we’re evil figs! Although I’m not sure we loudly proclaim we’re entitled to anything, or that we would turn down any free food, even the Bread of Life. Still, we meet the general requirements.

Guess what, Westboro Baptist Church? I may be an evil fig but I’ve got one up on you. Hear that whooshing sound? That’s me turning the other cheek.

Oh yes. That’s right. I FORGIVE YOU. I have out-Christianed you, and on Ash Wednesday no less. So stuff that in your fax machine. And have a nice day.


If you’d asked me, I would have said that there weren’t people whiter than Mormons, but what do you know — I would have been wrong. Know who’s whiter than Mormons?

Seriously, guess. Guess and be wrong, like me. It’s fun, almost as much fun as sitting in my living room in pajamas watching a foot of snow accumulate in my backyard. The weight of it is pushing a neighbor’s tree over our fence and building higher and higher on our patio table and I’m taking bets on whether by the end of the day the two will touch.

Jews. Jews are whiter than Mormons; they are whiter than anyone in America, in fact. And the most racially diverse people in America are Muslims. This is historically relevant because it puts Jews and Muslims at loggerheads for the very first time.

But seriously, well done Muslims and well done Islam. There is virtue to being diverse. It is apparently not the virtue the lord intended for his so-called chosen people, but we will have to make do with what we have, I guess. Which reminds me of a funny story. A friend of mine recently confided that when she was young she liked watching and rewatching Yentl.

“You had a thing for Barbara Streisand?” I asked. She shrugged: “I like big noses.”

We do have something in common though, you will be relieved to hear.

“The report also reveals that Muslim American women are one of the most highly educated female religious groups in the United States, second only to Jewish American women.”

There. That’s nice, isn’t it? Those wacky Jewish American women also make more money than their female counterparts of other religions, and Jews overall are most likely of anyone to say they’re thriving in America (56% — the Mormons come in second at 51%, presumably because they have to cope with the backlash to Mitt Romney).

Yet Jews come in dead last when asked how important their religion is to their daily lives. Nope, not that important, thanks for asking. Somehow religion is a distinguishing characteristic — generally in a good way, though I wouldn’t call being the whitest people in America a positive — and yet considered relatively unimportant. It’s a fascinating cultural conundrum and I’m not sure what to make of it.