Three longish articles for your enjoyment. Have a great weekend.
The Huffington Post republished an interview by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush with the host of of my favorite Public Radio program, This American Life. “Ira Glass, Religion and the Empathic Power of Storytelling” contains a few especially interesting observations, including this one about the structure of a good story. There is a kind of structure for a story that was peculiarly compelling for the radio. I thought I had invented it atom-by-atom sitting in an editing booth in Washington on M Street when I was in my 20s. Then I found out that it is one of the oldest forms of telling a story — it was the structure of a sermon.
An interesting perspective from Sofía Quintero on Night Catches Us, a film that got far too little attention last year. For those of us actively engaged in social justice movements, Night Catches Us challenges us to examine the personal impact of our political actions. To what extent such actions and their consequences are the inevitable sacrifice we make in the fight against oppression? Is it possible that some of the actions we justify as political resistance are actually rooted in personal wounds, some of which cannot be attributed neatly or wholly to social injustice?
Kevin Roose spent some time with Ted Haggard recently and has written a rather sympathetic profile in GQ. I’ve seen Ted move himself to tears more than once, but this time it seems less melodramatic, more like he’s plucking at some deeper internal tension. He’s admitted that he went through a period of spiritual disillusionment after his scandal, and maybe this is how he’s resolving it—with a church that’s more like group therapy and with a gospel centered on a new golden rule: Do unto others as nobody did unto me.