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Posted inCulture

This pastor wants you to get high and find Jesus

Reading Time: 2 minutes Winter solstice, spring equinox, virgin birth, holiday trees, morality—all examples of things that predate Christianity but have been taken over, adopted, or encroached upon by Christians. Guess what… they’re not quite finished yet. Pastor Craig Gross, once known as the “porn pastor” who founded an anti-pornography church called XXX Church, has his sights set on […]

Posted inLGBTQ

Oscar Wilde’s ‘Confraternity of the Faithless’

Reading Time: 6 minutes It is sad – one half of the world does not believe in God and the other half does not believe in me. — OSCAR WILDE  On the 7th of July in 1896, Anglo-Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde was incarcerated at Reading Prison for “gross indecency”—what would now be simply described as gay sex. He […]

Posted inDeep Dive

The Allentown ‘Black Mass’ of 1985

Reading Time: 4 minutes When The Satanic Temple (TST) brought its first annual SatanCon to Scottsdale, Arizona last week, many detractors said they were going to perform a black mass and (through whatever supernatural mechanism) bring harm to the city.  Black masses aren’t really a thing People have been doing Satanic rituals like the ones done by TST and […]

Posted inCulture

SatanCon 0: The truth laid bare

Reading Time: 3 minutes SatanCon 0 was a historic event. In my vocation, it is exceedingly rare to be a party to such an occasion. Inside the hotel grounds and convention, everything was entirely pleasant and jovial. Many of the attendees were reuniting with good friends they hadn’t seen in almost a decade. Others had been online friends for […]

Posted inSpirituality & Ritual

Crystal clutchers and Bible thumpers: Birds of a feather

Reading Time: 4 minutes An unsettling CBS News article I read recently—“How conspiracy theories ‘infiltrated’ the wellness community”—reminded me of the inherent kinship between such seemingly divergent believers as, say, crystal clutchers and Bible thumpers. Profound truths and transformative powers are widely and loudly proclaimed, without solid evidence, for both New Age-y silliness (crystals) and ancient texts (The Good […]

Posted inSpirituality & Ritual

How secular rituals can give our lives meaning: An interview with Sasha Sagan

Reading Time: 6 minutes The late astronomer Carl Sagan once wrote in his book Contact, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” It’s only fitting, then, that his daughter Sasha Sagan has carried on his legacy with her own book focusing on secular rituals that provide meaning in our lives. In this exclusive […]