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Jennifer’s Body and Why I Like Buffy’s Body Better

…(made famous in Juno and United States of Tara) offers a feast for two usually incompatible groups: adolescent boys and fans who like to see a bit of clever irony upset the conventions of the horror film. Cody’s tale delivers, serving up both cheese and cheesecake in large portions. Fox plays Jennifer Check, head of the cheerleading squad, who is deeply and sincerely lusted after by every raging hormone in her high school. In a nod to the evangeli…

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Philly Gives Doctors Wide Leeway with Religious Exemption

…he city of Philadelphia has adopted a new religious exemption policy that allows doctors with objections to certain kinds of care to opt out of their provision, raising questions about the quality of patient care at publicly funded clinics in the city. Doris Fernandes, a long-time pediatrician with one of the city’s eight health clinics that serve low-income patients, sued the city in 2013, claiming that it fired her for refusing to comply with an…

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Trump Considers Pulling USA Out Of Human Rights Council; Indonesian President Blames Democracy For Rise of Militant Islamism; Global LGBT Recap

…Politico reported this week that the Trump administration is considering pulling the USA out of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Human Rights Council last year created the UN’s first independent expert position dedicated to investigating anti-LGBT discrimination and violence. ILGA noted this week that three trans women were reported murdered in El Salvador in less than three days, and that violence against transgender women was reporte…

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Do White People Think Black People Are Magic?

…his study is the first attempt to analyze “superhumanization bias” empirically. It may also have implications for religious studies since historians of religion have noted that the way we imagine the religious other overlaps closely with racist ideas about witchcraft and “voodoo” as well as forms of “romantic racism” such as the noble savage and the “oriental monk.” The study consisted of five tests that measured how white subjects associated word…

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Evangelical “Sexual Purity” Is Not About Sex—It’s About Power

…I was an evangelical teenager. When I was young, “Why Wait?” by Josh McDowell was the only national program available—everyone was watching this VHS series in Sunday School or Youth Group. One girl at my Christian school wore a shirt that said “I’m NOT Doing It” and listed all the bad things that could happen if you had sex. I myself wrote a letter to my local newspaper that had run a story about how teaching sexual abstinence was not realistic. I…

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Religion and Drag Coexist in ‘Drag Race’ Spinoff—but That Doesn’t Mean It’s Queer

…ue-popping drag queen and lovely fifth alternate from RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 2 and season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is now gracing our screens in Dancing Queen. This eight-part Netflix documentary series follows Justin Johnson, the man behind Alyssa, and the elite dancers at his Mesquite, Texas, Beyond Belief Dance Company. Viewers and critics may be tempted to comment on the prevalence of religion in Dancing Queen—perhaps to claim that i…

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How Anne Frank Turned Up At Occupy

…plore the thousands of hours of shaky-cam footage documenting the Occupy Wall Street movement this past fall, after they’ve parsed the Manichean struggle of agreeable jazz hands versus dismayed waggle fingers, and noted that a staccato prose style best lends itself to recitation via the people’s microphone, they might puzzle over a video clip date-stamped October 6, when Jeff Mangum, the man behind the beloved indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel, t…

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Does the Science Show that Spirituality Will Benefit Your Child?

“Spirituality may not speak to you at all,” Lisa Miller writes near the beginning of her new book, The Spiritual Child. “But it is foundational to your child.” Miller is a psychologist at Columbia University whose research focuses on how personal spiritual experiences shape the development of children and adolescents. The Spiritual Child Lisa Miller St. Martin’s Press (May 5, 2015) In The Spiritual Child, Miller draws on decades of research to ar…

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Asceticism á la Carte: Fasting for Ramadan as a Muslim Atheist

…fact that I’ve ostensibly cast aside the mantle of religion once and for all, I continue to fast for the holy month of Ramadan—or Ramzan, as South Asians tend to call it—which concludes this year on the 23rd or 24th of May, depending on the moon. This year is a return to form for me as I took a hiatus from Ramadan for several years. I’d fasted more or less regularly ever since I was an adolescent, following September 11th when I first became reli…

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Some Thoughts on Richard Dawkins’ Terrible Tweet

…Richard Dawkins recently tweeted, “have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge.” For good measure he sprinkled salt in the wound: “They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.” It happened so long ago, in internet time, that you might wonder the utility of a lengthy response. But in the great green country of Islamophobistan, where no argument goes unrecycled, what’s late one day might be on time another. Unfortunately, too, many…

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