ANNALS of FAITH: A Tale of Two Cities, As It Were

3677296594_318dca730f_o (1)Behind me, many leagues down a long and forlorn road lay the ruins of a city. Years have passed since a raucous mob burst through gates once thought impenetrable and pulled down walls once thought insurmountable. In the interceding years, rains have washed the fire-blackened soot from the streets. Ravens and swallows have built nests in the partially exposed timbers of burned-out houses. Rabbits have built warrens beneath the stones of the empty square and squirrels scamper along upper ledges, gracefully bounding across the void when they encounter a collapsed facade. No people reside here anymore: they all died in a futile attempt to defend the doomed polis as torches set it ablaze, fled in terror at the destruction, or else departed in its wake to seek greener pastures elsewhere. With that description, it would certainly be easy to look upon this scene in sadness and remorse, but not so for me. Were I to travel back along that rutted road to the place I left long ago, I would not see the remains of a place once happy and vibrant, but one that was full of oppression, confusion, and heartache. I would feel neither regret nor loss, but something akin to a soaring contentment, perhaps not unlike to the sort of feeling a freeman might experience were he able to look from a place of safety upon the decrepit estate of his deposed former master. This city is not a real place, as you may have guessed by now. It is instead a metaphor for something that once existed within and held great power over me but does no longer. That thing would be my faith. Continue reading

Communique No. 5: Avatars, Faith and Doubt, and Jodie Foster

Deutsch: Jodie Foster bei der deutschen Filmpr...

Jodie Foster at a premiere in Germany, 2007. (Photo: Wikipedia)


I don’t watch the Golden Globes. I also don’t watch the Oscars, the SAGs, the Grammys, the VMAs, the CMAs, the Emmys, or, for that matter, any of the other manufactured news events where celebrities from the entertainment industry gather in a big room to gush all over each other on the back for a couple of hours.

Add the fact that so many people do watch them–gobble them up, in fact, as though they’re truly examples of prime television–to the list of things I fundamentally don’t understand. At any rate, I did catch a few of the highlights the next morning, the most notable of which being Jodie Foster’s stirring speech after accepting the Cecille B. DeMille Award. Continue reading