Recently, while sitting in the kitchen as a friend helped me dye my hair, the topic turned to death. We had both experienced close friends dying in our early twenties, and we were discussing how we dealt with it. I sat facing away from her, as she checked the foils on my hair. “I just have to think that they are in a better place, in heaven,” she said.
I thought about those words for a minute. Then I replied, “For me, it soothes me to know there is no after-life. Like, there is completion in it. They are gone, that was their life, and it’s okay. I don’t have to worry about seeing them again. It’s been helpful to really process their death and know they are gone.”
My friend was intrigued. “I’d never thought about it that way,” she said.
The truth was I hadn’t always either. I identify as an atheist now. But I haven’t always. Keep reading »
Abortion is a big no-no in the Catholic church — but not from Tuesday until this Sunday. The Vatican is offering forgiveness to women who’ve had abortions during a six day-long World Youth Day prayer event in Madrid, which will bring 1.5 million pilgrims from all over the world. Catholic women who have had an abortion (and in the U.S., that will be four in 10 of us in our lifetime —UPDATE: to clarify, four out of 10 unintended pregnancies end in abortion while two in ten of all pregnancies end in abortion. Thanks to commenter @MrsG for pointing this out. I apologize for the error.) can confess and supposedly be spared excommunication; women who’ve been excommunicated for the sin of abortion will be welcomed back into the church. Keep reading »
Full disclosure: before I was hired to conceptualize and edit The Frisky, I spent 10 months working on a book about Scientology, written by journalist Janet Reitman. (I transcribed the vast majority of the interviews Reitman conducted with current and former Scientologists and organized the exhaustive collection of research she did.) As a result, I became pretty familiar with the material and extremely eager to see the book in its final form. Well, that day has arrived as Reitman’s book, Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion, hits shelves this week. While the last few years has seen numerous scandalous allegations against the church flood the interwebs, Reitman’s book is full of new information you haven’t heard elsewhere. It’s also an impeccable investigation into the church’s early development under founder L. Ron Hubbard and the downward spiral it’s seen in the last 25 years under current leader, David Miscavige. Inside Scientology is a fascinating read, one that never resorts to criticizing the faith of its members, but does reveal the disturbing control exerted over them by the church and its leaders.
I would like to declare a new genre of music: Scientology
soul. Hey, it could be the new Christian rock. Apparently, the Church of Scientology made this music video for the song “We Stand Tall” in 1990 and it features many a Scientologist of note, from John Travolta
to David Miscavige. Heck, it even shows L. Ron Hubbard himself. Anyone feeling the urge to convert after seeing those mighty … cruise ships? Oh man, this song is in my head now. [Huffington Post
Keep reading »
Why won’t Sarah Palin ever be president? It won’t be because of her shoddy grasp of foreign policy (“I can see Russia from my house!”). It won’t be because of the ethics investigations that dog her. It won’t because her pro-abstinence-only education, anti-abortion policies harm women and girls and a revolution of ladies have risen up to tell her where to shove it — although I wish that were it.
No, Sarah Palin will never be president because man shall never be ruled by a woman. Keep reading »
“[I'm] flabbergasted. It has been a really tough weekend. I’m looking for answers. But now I have nothing else to say. I’ll be back to work Monday and will say more then.”
—Harold Camping, the 89-year-old radio evangelist who predicted that the rapture was going to take place on Saturday at 6 p.m., responds to the fact that it didn’t. He had been reported to be “in hiding” after the time came and went, but a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle found him by … knocking on his door. Here’s betting he’ll have a new date pinpointed by the end of the week. [USA Today] Keep reading »
Katy Perry looks gorgeous on the new cover of Vanity Fair. And in the accompanying story, she talks about the thing we find the most interesting about her—the fact that she was raised by two ministers in an extremely evangelical household. It’s now common knowledge that Katy started her career as Katy Hudson, a gospel singer who’d only heard secular music at slumber parties, but in this interview she reveals some new details. “I didn’t have a childhood,” she explains, before divulging that she wasn’t allowed to say “Dirt Devil,” as in the vacuum cleaner, and that the only book her mother would read was the Bible.
After the jump, more details Katy’s shared about her upbringing. Keep reading »