funeral

Communion or Disunion?

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The egregious breach of decency that led a Catholic parish priest to deny communion to a lesbian woman at her mother’s funeral has received widespread and well-deserved condemnation. Even the Archdiocese of Washington DC admitted that the priest had violated their policy.

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Arcade Fire and the Suburban Soul

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Has there ever been a major pop group more concerned with exploring personal anxieties, aspirations, and narratives through music defined so fundamentally by religious themes? The turmoil and paranoia of the last decade—wars, attacks, economic crashes, myriad color-coded fears—run through Arcade Fire’s three full-length records. The newest effort induces a look back to previous decades, when suburbia seemed to offer placidity and refuge from the wilderness downtown.

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“God Created You”: Bishop Supports Gay Ugandans, Defies Death Threats

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Despite the risk, Bishop Senyonjo has continued to minister to Uganda’s LGBT community. If he didn’t, it’s unlikely that anyone else would. After the other pastor’s invective against gays at Kato’s funeral, locals from his ancestral village refused to carry the casket to where it was to be buried. Some in attendance grabbed the activist’s white and gold coffin, which was draped with a rainbow flag, and carried it themselves. They would have had to bury Kato, who identified as Christian, without a blessing from any member of the clergy had Senyonjo not stepped in. “I believed that it wasn’t right just to dump the body there without prayers. I couldn’t bear it at any cost,” he said later.

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Dying in Dirty Places: How to Honor the Dead in the Era of Ecocide

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Everyone is in agreement that desecration is a bad thing. Across cultures and throughout time, most any human being would say that dousing a dead person’s tomb with millions of gallons of crude oil is wrong. We should take advantage of this rare instance of human unanimity, and use the spiritual appeal of honoring the dead to help frame political arguments about ecological preservation and restoration.

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Religion, Morality, and the Death of the American Soap Opera

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This week, the world will stop turning; or at least it will for the daytime soap opera “As The World Turns,” which officially ends after 53 years. But if we remember the soap opera solely as a torrid celebration of sexual transgression—or as a frivolous time-waster for bored housewives—we miss understanding something crucial about the relationship between popular culture and morality.

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