Promise Rings and Purity Culture

“You’re married?” a twenty-something Irish woman asked Darrin, one of my undergraduate students. She was backpacking through Scotland. He had enrolled in a class I was teaching on religion in the British Isles, with a band of religion and psychology students.

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Daniel van Voorhis
Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

Luke, trust your feelings

Sure, Obi-Wan could suggest this to Luke as he was attempting to destroy the Death Star by directing a missile into a vent like he used to bullseye womp rats from his T-16.  But for many of us, the idea of trusting our feelings is anathema.  After all, we know our feelings.  Our feelings are jerks.  Our feelings mess everything up.  Why would we trust them? Why does it seem so much of our culture is obsessed with feelings?

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Daniel van Voorhis
A Christmas Gift For You

Making a playlist is an art. I'm not saying I'm the best artist, but it's harder than I used to think. A playlist has to take you from a jolt to something familiar to something soothing, at least most of mine try to, unless they are super specific.

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Daniel van Voorhis
In Praise of Giving Thanks

Can I get some praise for the Cornhuskin’ Ben Sasse? How about for the bi-coastal and bi-racial Kamala Harris?

Uncomfortable? Yeah, I know.  These are two senators perhaps most loved by their base and reviled by their opponents.  But unless these current battles in Washington are worth ditching your citizenship you can probably see the value in both of them and then also appreciating other things you don’t particularly like.  After all, it is the holidays, lets hear it for some post-Thanksgiving Yule

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Daniel van Voorhis
Pornography, Methamphetamines, and Jesus: Addicted to Religion

We admitted that our lives had become unmanageable and came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.  So we kicked the booze, pills or other addictions and turned our lives over to a higher power.  But we are addicts.  We are professionals when it comes to taking something that could be good and twisting it in a myriad of awkward ways to benefit ourselves.  So why wouldn’t we do the same to our higher power?

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Daniel van Voorhis
Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic (and the Occult)

Our post-recession, anxiety ridden age might have found a cure for what ails them.  And don’t worry, it’s not the nihilistic atheism the older generation fears.  Rather it’s the occult and witchcraft.  And this might very well give some in the older generation a heart attack.

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Daniel van Voorhis