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The God Squad takes Manhattan

posted by Donna Freitas

The front page feature for this Sunday’s Metropolitan section of The New York Times is about how it is becoming more and more common to be both a New York City hipster and a Christian these days. That, in fact, […]

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Cheryl Klein has “Second Sight”

posted by Donna Freitas

Okay, no she doesn’t–not really. But while Cheryl Klein–Senior Editor at Arthur A. Levine Books at Scholastic–may not be a clairvoyant or have the power to see into the future, she does have other powers that might be relevant to […]

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Lauren Winner on Rob Bell

posted by Donna Freitas

The essay at the back of The New York Times Sunday Book Review belongs to Lauren Winner this week, and she gives her take on the book (and author) that everybody and their mother is giving their take on these […]

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Easter “Sunday”: Rebecca Black “Friday” Church Parody

posted by Donna Freitas

Okay, so if you haven’t already had enough of Rebecca Black’s tragically hilariously bad “Friday” song that has you chanting “Friday, Friday” every time someone mentions this particular day of the week (oh it is so horribly catchy you can’t […]

Mary Gordon’s “The Love of My Youth”

posted by Donna Freitas

Mary Gordon is one of the great Catholic novelists of our time. In the vein of Walker Percy and Flannery O’Connor, she deftly weaves questions about faith, doubt, sin, and the stuff of the Catholic tradition (priests, mass, saints, among […]

The Deep End of the Ocean: The Very First Oprah Pick

posted by Donna Freitas

I was in the bookstore the other day, hoping to find a page-turner, something that would compel me from start to finish like Emma Donoghue’s magnificent “Room” did this fall. For some reason it popped into my head that I’d […]

Justified: Boyd Crowder’s Crisis of Faith

posted by Donna Freitas

Really, really, really and truly: Boyd Crowder on FX’s ‘Justified’ might be my all-time favorite character of faith (and doubt) on a television show ever. Everything about Boyd–from his charisma, to his misguided preaching, to his encounter with doubt–is so […]

Do we really need another Twilight book?

posted by Donna Freitas

Next week, a new book in the Twilight Saga will be published. And no, don’t get overly excited. It’s not as though Stephenie Meyer has written another installment or finally finished (and published) Midnight Sun or even turned out another […]

The 30 Minute Seder?

posted by Donna Freitas

Passover is coming up, and this year as you ponder celebrating the Seder meal, perhaps you should consider making it a quick one and use the “30 Minute-Seder: The Haggadah that Blends Brevity with Tradition.” I was flipping through the […]

Yoga for Laughs

posted by Donna Freitas

Friday I was flying home on Jetblue and caught a news segment on a form of yoga called Laughter Yoga. A laughter yoga class “combines traditional yoga breathing with prolonged laughter” and involves “playful exercises…that involve deep, long lasting belly […]

Vampire Vanquishes Bank, Appears on CNN

posted by Donna Freitas

Yes, you read that right. A known Philadelphia vampire–and what I mean by that is a man who claims “vampire” as his, well, orientation–publicly took on a bank for failing to award him money he was owed from mistakes on […]

Russell Brand and TM

posted by Donna Freitas

TM stands for Transcendental Meditation and apparently celeb Russell Brand is the newest poster boy for this spiritual practice. The Style section of The New York Times just did a big feature on Mr. Brand and his new agey ways, […]

The Book of Mormon Musical: Top 10 Reasons To See It

posted by Donna Freitas

Oh yes, I saw The Book of Mormon musical last night, with Beliefnet’s very own blogging Mormon, Jana Riess, (can I say that? or am I still under the influence of South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone and their […]

The Book of Mormon Musical, Tonight!

posted by Donna Freitas

Yahoo. This evening I am headed first to dinner with my lovely friend, Jana Riess, (of Flunking Sainthood), and then we are off to see Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s The Book of Mormon musical on Broadway! It’s still in […]

Jay-Z: Preaching the Prosperity Gospel

posted by Donna Freitas

I like Jay-Z’s music (for the most part) and for this I am in good company. His god-complex is a bit overwhelming, however, and I have difficulty with folks who collapse faith with financial prosperity, as Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s book, […]

‘The Good Wife’ and Jesus

posted by Donna Freitas

In the fall, one of the storylines on ‘The Good Wife’ involved Alicia’s daughter teenaged daughter Grace, whose Christian friend was trying to convert her. Grace showed a newfound fascination with prayer and faith, and this clearly made her mother, […]

It’s Oscar time!

posted by Donna Freitas

I have to say, I’m pretty excited that Anne Hathaway is hosting the Oscars. I think she is as winning as Julia Roberts and wonderfully funny. I can’t say I feel the same about James Franco though–I’ve never enjoyed him […]

‘Breaking Dawn': Filming has begun

posted by Donna Freitas

Everyone is all abuzz because the cast of Twilight has just arrived in Vancouver to start filming the fourth and final installment of the Twilight Saga. Well, correction: the fourth and final installment which has been broken into two. Which […]

Book of Mormon Musical Blessed by The New York Times

posted by Donna Freitas

Perhaps this isn’t so surprising? But The New York Times seems rather already in love with this, well, not-so-traditional musical interpretation of the sacred texts of Mormonism by the creators of ‘South Park,’ Trey Stone and Matt Parker. Just this […]

‘Justified’ is Back!

posted by Donna Freitas

Last spring I blogged a lot about how much I loved the new series on FX called ‘Justified’ starring Timothy Olyphant as a US Marshall who is quick on the draw. I think it’s one of television’s best new drama, […]

The Book of Mormon Musical, Coming soon to Broadway!

posted by Donna Freitas

No, it’s not a joke! The creators of ‘South Park,’ Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have turned the Book of Mormon into a musical that will have its debut on Broadway next month. Given the South Park folks penchant for […]

Confession App: Wow

posted by Donna Freitas

The other day my inbox was flooded with people sharing the news about the supposed, officially-approved, Catholic Confessions App for the iPhone. I kind you not–that is the word on the street. And I quote from one of the many […]

Yoga Heresy

posted by Donna Freitas

Last month I wrote about people who think of outsourcing their souls and the fact that there is now such a thing as stripper-pole yoga. If there is any type of yoga that can be considered heretical, I would think […]

Vogue Features Twilight Star

posted by Donna Freitas

Everybody is Twilight-focused these days, even the high fashion magazines apparently. Kristen Stewart, who plays Bella, the star-crossed love interest of Edward Cullen, the world’s most famous vampire, in the Twilight movies, has the cover of the latest issue of […]

HBO’s ‘Big Love’ Careens toward an Ending

posted by Donna Freitas

The newest and last season of ‘Big Love’ just kicked off on HBO this week and everyone is talking about it. (Don’t worry: no spoilers here if you haven’t yet watched episode one.) I’m still undecided about whether I’m committed […]

Young, Hip, Jewish, and Yearning: Reboot

posted by Donna Freitas

Mormon youth have a super-tight culture informed by their faith. So do evangelical Christians. Catholics not so much. And unless you are Orthodox, apparently being young and Jewish may leave you longing for something more from your tradition as far […]

The Tiger Mother is Apparently All-Powerful

posted by Donna Freitas

Have you read about the Tiger Mother yet? Everyone else has–and is talking about her–so I suggest you get reading. The mother’s name is Amy Chua, she is a professor at Yale Law School, and where I first heard about […]

Stripper-pole Yoga?

posted by Donna Freitas

Yes, you read that right. So yesterday I blogged about an article I found that discussed outsourcing the soul, and today, while reading the latest issue of New York Magazine I came across a big, splashy “best-of” yoga article, “Highly […]

Outsourcing the Soul?

posted by Donna Freitas

Um, what? At least that was my reaction when I read this phrase in the recent, very tongue and cheek New York Times article, “Searching for the Soul to Cleanse It” by Ariel Kamner, about the weird rituals that city-dwellers […]

Top 10 Must-See Muslim Films

posted by Donna Freitas

A confession: I have never seen a Muslim-directed movie before, which I think, according to at least Haroon Moghul over at Religious Dispatches and I’m sure a few others, makes me rather impoverished. In his recent article, “How to Meet […]

Twilight is the People’s Choice

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s old news that everyone loves Bella, Edward, Jacob and the rest of their furry, fangy friends. But it’s just recently that they took home lots of kudos at the People’s Choice Awards for their performances in ‘Eclipse,’ the third […]

Oprah’s Anti Mean-spirited Campaign

posted by Donna Freitas

Absolutely everybody must know by know that Oprah has her own cable TV network. OWN launched on January 1, to great fanfare, interest, and speculation about its possibilities for success. Over the last decade especially, Oprah has become a guru […]

Remembering Mary Daly, 2010

posted by Donna Freitas

I will never forget reading “Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation,” by the famed, or better said, infamous feminist theologian and thinker Mary Daly back when I was in graduate school. It was one of the […]

Hip to be Old, White, Religious, and Male?

posted by Donna Freitas

I read New York Magazine more or less every week. I think of it as hip, snarky, fashionable, funny, political, and a great guide to all-things-now. Rarely do they touch on the topic of religion, though (gee, I wonder why?), […]

The Next Elizabeth Gilbert?

posted by Donna Freitas

I don’t care what you say about Elizabeth Gilbert. I loved “Eat, Pray, Love” and I don’t care who knows it. That’s why, when I read this recent New York Times book review of Claire Dederer’s “Poser” (just out from […]

Ethical Shopping?

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s that time of year when we bust out the credit cards and drop all sorts of cash on our friends and loved ones. Or, if you are like me, you shop all year round. Maybe you even shop as […]

‘The Good Wife’ on Faith

posted by Donna Freitas

Faith has an interesting, rather uncomfortable role on CBS’s hit law drama, ‘The Good Wife.’ Peter’s (the husband) spectacular and spectacularly public fall from grace leads him into a black, Protestant church, and seeking the spiritual direction of its pastor–much […]

Vatican Video: Hilarious

posted by Donna Freitas

When you watch this you’ll be laughing even as you want to cover your eyes with your hands–it’s so funny and so wrong it’s almost painful. Four acrobats (translation: buff young men) have an audience with the pope–they are to […]

‘Dexter': Season 5 Finale Redux

posted by Donna Freitas

Oh how I love Dexter! More and more and more with every season. How is it that the writers of Dexter managed to make a serial killer not only so unbelievably likable, so much that you root for Dexter no […]

‘The Walking Dead’ Debrief: Zombies, Zombies, Zombies!

posted by Donna Freitas

Hear me now: if you did not watch AMC’s new show ‘The Walking Dead’ then you have seriously missed out. Yes there are gory parts–just cover your eyes for those–but the show is so well-written, well-acted, and the special effects […]

AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead,’ Zombies, and Higher Meaning?

posted by Donna Freitas

Everything’s coming up zombies lately! So much so that one of my favorite New York Times op-ed columnists, Gail Collins, devoted an entire column (“The Zombie Jamboree”) to these flesh-rotting creatures recently, calling this fall “the era of zombies” and, […]

Buffy Reboot: Tragedy in the Making

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s really going to happen: a remake of Buffy is in the works and Joss Whedon is not a part of it! Oh the horror. How could they? Don’t they know that all of us cult Buffy fans are devotees […]

My Online Bar Mitzvah?

posted by Donna Freitas

Extravagant bar mitzvah’s (you know, Long Island extravagant) have been all the rage for years now. The parties for twelve and thirteen year old boys and girls that cost something approximating the price tag of a house in order to […]

Happiness: Why iPhones Hinder It

posted by Donna Freitas

Newsflash: the epidemic of distraction provided by technology today in the form of email, iPhones, blackberries, and other gadgets that foster multi-tasking seriously get in the way of our happiness. The ability to focus on a single task, to be […]

Get Your Celebrity-Fashion Tarot Cards

posted by Donna Freitas

The world seems fascinated by anything occult-related lately. If it isn’t a creature of the undead variety (you know, vampires, werewolves, zombies, oh my!) then it’s magic, witchcraft, and other ghostly enterprises. With the Harry Potter 7.1 about to release […]

Angelina Jolie: “Our Saint”?

posted by Donna Freitas

So a few days ago I was on an airplane and somebody left a copy of a recent Us Weekly in the back pocket of the seat in front of me. While I would never subscribe to Us Weekly, I […]

Rapper Turned Orthodox Jew?

posted by Donna Freitas

The journey from rapper to prison inmate for trying to gun someone down in a club back to rapper to Orthodox Jew in Israel may not be a likely story but it’s a true one for the rapper Shyne, friend […]

‘Glee’ GQ Photos Still Stirring Up Controversy

posted by Donna Freitas

It seems like everyone is aflutter about the GQ ‘Glee’ photo shoot that has Lea Michele (Rachel) and Dianna Agron (Quinn) taking most of it off and posing like strippers, while their male costar, Cory Monteith (Finn), is fully clothed. […]

‘The Walking Dead': Flesh-Eating Zombies for Halloween

posted by Donna Freitas

While I do enjoy a fun vampire/werewolf story now and then (or even more than now and then), I am not one of those people who loves the zombie. The whole flesh-eating, chunks of rotted skin falling off business is […]

TV’s Morality Police are Losing Their Grip

posted by Donna Freitas

The Parents Television Council gets upset about just about everything and recently they’ve been up in arms again about, well, everything: Glee cast members, Miley Cyrus, Cee Lo Green, the new CBS sitcom starring William Shatner, “$#*! My Dad Says,” […]

Taylor Swift’s New Album is Sweet Revenge

posted by Donna Freitas

Who doesn’t love Taylor Swift? And who didn’t get upset about the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards spectacle between Kanye West and Swift, when he virtually humiliated her before she accepted her award on live television? Awful. Especially because she’s […]

‘Breaking Dawn’ Movie: Giving up Chastity

posted by Donna Freitas

On Friday, rumors started flying that the sex scenes in the film version of the Twilight Saga’s book four, ‘Breaking Dawn’ are extra steamy. With Bella and Edward getting married in the first scene of this last installment of this […]

Clint Eastwood: Spiritual after all?

posted by Donna Freitas

Critics are abuzz with praise for Clink Eastwood’s newest film, ‘Hereafter,’ which just released in New York City on Friday. But I have to say, as much as I respect this actor and his moviemaking sensibilities, when I first saw […]

The Spirit of Harry Potter Lives through Quidditch!

posted by Donna Freitas

With part one of Harry Potter VII about to release in movie theater in November, we all have Harry Potter on the brain lately. (Or at least us fans do!) So one of my favorite little news clips I’ve come […]

‘Modern Family’ Takes On God, Hilarity Ensues

posted by Donna Freitas

‘Modern Family’ is perhaps the show I look forward to most every week (aside from ‘Glee’ of course), and last week’s episode, “Earthquake” was as hilarious as usual, and Jay, Gloria, and Manny took up the task of theology, too. […]

Glee on God & Theology: Pretty Amazing

posted by Donna Freitas

I’ve heard lots of ranting about how much people hated last Tuesday’s newest installment of ‘Glee.’ But I loved it. I thought they tackled belief, religious diversity, and being the lonely atheist among the many faithful with incredible sensitivity. It […]

Twilight’s Renesme is Cast for “Breaking Dawn” Movie

posted by Donna Freitas

In my opinion, Renesmee, the part-human, part-vampire spawn of Bella and Edward (and really, I think spawn is the right word), is the creepiest, oddest character of everyone in Meyer’s “Twilight Saga.” Renesmee disturbs me and so many readers mostly […]

Study Shows that Meditation is Good for your Health

posted by Donna Freitas

Just the other day I posted about how meditation and happiness are connected, and the new book “Why Meditate” makes a case for how the practice fosters such positive outcomes. Now today in the Science section of The New York […]

Meditate Your Way to Happiness

posted by Donna Freitas

Meditation does not make me happy. Maybe it’s because I’m not very good at it, though. Off and on throughout the last decade, I’ve dedicated myself to practicing daily mindfulness (for example) of the Tich Nhat Han variety, and usually […]

‘Dexter’s’ Michael C. Hall Rebounds from Cancer

posted by Donna Freitas

Like many others, I am a diehard fan of ‘Dexter,’ Showtime’s incredibly riveting show about a serial killer who only kills people who “deserve it”–child murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and the like–and somehow manages to make its title character utterly sympathetic. […]

‘True Blood’ Takeaways: Godric (the vampire) as Angel, Salvation through Love

posted by Donna Freitas

The most depraved show on television, HBO’s vampire/fairy/shapeshifter-filled ‘True Blood,’ finished its latest season with a plethora of rather Christian-themed images and ideas about salvation, if presented in a somewhat blasphemous fashion. The first: Salvation through love. Godric, who is […]

Woody Allen talks about Faith

posted by Donna Freitas

Woody Allen, the writer, director, and producer of movies that I love, apparently sees no difference between the worlds religions and fortune-tellers, according to the recent New York Times interview between reporter David Itzkoff and the famous, lifelong New Yorker […]

Hilarious Twilight Spoof in The Onion

posted by Donna Freitas

I love “The Onion,” but never more than when they spoof on Twilight, especially since they always do so in good fun (and not maliciously) and always in such hilariously creative ways. Earlier this year they published the article, “Woman […]

Deepak Chopra Tries Fiction

posted by Donna Freitas

Guru of just about everybody including Oprah, Deepak Chopra is known for his many self-help, inspirational bestsellers. But for his latest book project he is trying out fiction–religious fiction I suppose you could say, since Chopra has chosen to fictionalize […]

The Pope is a Susan Boyle fan!

posted by Donna Freitas

Will late-in-life singing phenom Susan Boyle bring tears to the Pope’s eyes, just like she’s done for so many millions the world over? We will soon find out, since Boyle is set to “to sing her signature song” as Time […]

Saving Lindsay Lohan

posted by Donna Freitas

Unless you live under a rock, you are aware that Lindsay Lohan has had more than her share of troubles in the last few years and there have been a number of moments already when folks have speculated she is […]

‘True Blood’ & Rolling Stone

posted by Donna Freitas

Oh. My. Word. Have you seen this upcoming Rolling Stone cover for September? That magazine drives me nuts because of the way it portrays young women (often teen) pop stars–almost without exception–either naked, or almost naked, while (almost) never asking […]

New York Times Gets Readers to Unplug

posted by Donna Freitas

I write a lot about unplugging from technology and in particular, from the web here on Idol Chatter–from internet sabbaths to giving it all up for Lent. So I was particularly interested by this recent New York Times feature on […]

Katy Perry Talks Sex & Spirituality in Rolling Stone

posted by Donna Freitas

Pop phenom Katy Perry’s evangelical Christian background is infamous at this point, since it seems to contradict her conduct, choice of attire, and all around image. So I suppose it comes as no surprise that she’s the cover story of […]

‘Eat, Pray, Love': Best Chick Flick in Ages

posted by Donna Freitas

Well, at least since ‘Julie & Julia.’ I made it a point not to read the critics’ reviews of the film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s smash hit memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love,” starring the always wonderful Julia Roberts–I wanted to enjoy […]

It’s Official: Teens Choose Vampires!

posted by Donna Freitas

The Teen Choice Awards were last night, and perhaps unsurprisingly so, it was pretty much all vampires, all the time, getting the love from teen voters. Most especially, everything Twilight related (Twilight garnered 12 awards!), but also ‘Vampire Diaries’ too. […]

The Path to Happiness is Minimalist?

posted by Donna Freitas

Books about happiness, talk of our happiness quotient and level and how to be happy is all the rage these days. And what, with the film adaptation of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ coming out on Friday, featuring Elizabeth Gilbert’s fantasy road […]

HBO’s ‘True Blood': Season 3 Goes ‘Twilight’ (with a twist)

posted by Donna Freitas

Yes, yes, yes: despite the fact that I think HBO’s smash hit series ‘True Blood’ is as depraved as it gets, which is not exactly up my alley, I still keep watching it. It might be the train wreck effect […]

Death on Facebook: Not so Graceful Apparently

posted by Donna Freitas

I’ve occasionally wondered what happens to a person’s facebook account when they die. I suppose it’s up to family members and friends to deactivate the account–that is, if they know the password. Or maybe you contact the some administrator at […]

Purity Promises on ‘Make It Or Break It’

posted by Donna Freitas

Chastity pledges and promise rings are all the rage on ABC Family’s hit shows (even if some teens are also having sex on those very same shows). Between a high school club called “Real Love Waits” on ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ […]

‘The Gates': Oh, But I Want So Badly to be Good!

posted by Donna Freitas

Yes it is true that I watch any and every show that features vampires and werewolves. I just can’t help myself. The latest addition to this tv series trend is ABC’s new, ‘The Gates.’ To be honest, I didn’t even […]

Real Love Waits on ‘Pretty Little Liars’

posted by Donna Freitas

So I confess: I am pretty obsessed with ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Yes, it’s ABC Family’s newest high school soap, but it’s more or less a ‘Gossip Girl’ series with a mystery twist. And the girls are more likable (more or […]

In the Age of Twitter: Bringing Hindu Epics to Film

posted by Donna Freitas

These days people tweet mass on Sundays. My fellow Beliefnet blogger, Jana Riess (of Flunking Sainthood) is even tweeting the ENTIRE bible, one tweet per chapter–she calls it the Twible. (Yes, really, Jana is doing this–it’s awesome. And her tweets […]

‘Eclipse': Why I Loved It

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s official: ‘Eclipse’ is not only the third movie installment in the ‘Twilight Saga,’ it’s also the best. It’s fast, intense, dramatic and manages not to take itself too seriously (at one point Edward quips–to Jacob: “Do you ever wear […]

‘In Plain Sight': Once a Priest, Always a Priest

posted by Donna Freitas

I love ‘In Plain Sight,’ the Marshall Service/Witness Protection show on USA. Not only does it star two fantastic actors from West Wing, Mary McCormack and Joshua Malina, but I find the relationship (and growing, sweet romantic tension) between the […]

Top 10 Movie/TV Love Triangles

posted by Donna Freitas

In honor of the June 30th release of ‘Eclipse,’ the third movie installment in the Twilight Saga, I thought it would be fun to spend some time thinking about some tv and film love triangle favorites of mine (most from […]

The Real Live Edward Cullen: Pattinson’s Cross

posted by Donna Freitas

Poor Robert Pattinson, the living, breathing incarnation of the fictional heartthrob of every teen girl (and their mother) on this planet–Edward Cullen. The romantic, sexy vampire had girls swooning on the page long before it was even a thought in […]

Nuns Singing and Dancing!

posted by Donna Freitas

Who doesn’t love nuns at the theater? I remember when as a kid, my mother took me to see “Do Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”, a comedic play (originally a book) about girls at Catholic school beginning to their […]

This is Your Brain on Technology

posted by Donna Freitas

Last week The New York Times published two riveting articles about how technology–the constant texting, connectivity, emailing, cell phones, and other interactive media we use constantly via our iPhones and other PDA’s–is making an impact on our lives, our families, […]

Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Bree Tanner’ Available for Free

posted by Donna Freitas

Because Stephenie Meyer is really nice (and I suppose, because she is really, really rich, too), she has made her new little book, “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella” available for free download from her website! […]

‘Pretty Little Liars’ Premieres on ABC Family

posted by Donna Freitas

ABC Family’s syrupy, sex-fixated, rather awfully written ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ that features Christian girls and boys deciding to have sex and later regretting it, not to mention teens having babies, had its third season premiere last […]

‘True Blood’ does the Love Triangle a la ‘Twilight’

posted by Donna Freitas

The third season of HBO’s vampire-centric hit ‘True Blood’ premiers a week from Sunday on June 13th. Crossover fans of ‘Twilight’ have a lot to look forward to since it seems a major story line of the show this summer […]

‘The Passage’ by Justin Cronin: Is It the Next Twilight?

posted by Donna Freitas

So unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that indeed, the bookshelves are still glutted with paranormal romances galore, and yes, the vampire trend still seems to be bearing itself out despite years of “Twilight” knockoffs (as I’ve […]

Boyd Crowder: Bad-boy Preacher-Convert on ‘Justified’

posted by Donna Freitas

Well, I know deep down that I am supposed to dislike Boyd Crowder, the complicated villain from FX’s new show ‘Justified’ who bombs a black church in episode one. After Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) nearly kills Boyd while trying to apprehend […]

The End of ‘Lost': Hated it!

posted by Donna Freitas

My Idol Chatter colleague, Esther, did a wonderful summary and analysis of why the ‘Lost’ series finale was disappointing, but I can’t resist chiming in for a few moments on this because while Esther feels disappointed, I feel even stronger: […]

Silence is All the Rage in a Noisy Culture

posted by Donna Freitas

A couple of years back I reviewed “Into Great Silence” for Idol Chatter, a several hour film that chronicles the lives of Carthusian monks at Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps. These monks take a vow of silence and so, […]

‘Letters to Juliet': Sappy and Sweet

posted by Donna Freitas

My theory about romance movies these days is that they hover around one of two poles–either the horrid, slapsticky variety where pratfalls and humiliating scenarios abound (think ‘Fool’s Gold’) or the Nicolas Sparks variety that are too syrupy to get […]

‘Sex and the City’ Has Lost All Its Original Heart

posted by Donna Freitas

A few years back when the “Sex and the City” movie hit theaters, I eagerly paid my money to see it and about an hour in I walked out of the theater and out on Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda, […]

Wiccans on ‘Bones’

posted by Donna Freitas

Mostly I watch “Bones” for the ongoing, will they or won’t they? romance between Booth and Bones, but last week’s episode was unusually interesting because the murder case took Bones, Booth and the team straight into the middle of a […]

‘Justified': Way Better than ‘Saving Grace’

posted by Donna Freitas

Until this second segment of season three for ‘Saving Grace,’ I’ve been fairly devoted to this guardian angel/cop show starring Holly Hunter. Hunter is a fantastic actress and she turns what could be an utterly cheesy part (having a guardian […]

Yoga and the Price of Zen

posted by Donna Freitas

While some churches get a negative rep for conning dollars out of their community members, we don’t often talk about the money side of alternative spirituality–even though it’s big business. One of my favorite overviews of this subject is the […]

The Sexy Mormon Vampire: A History

posted by Donna Freitas

I’ve written a bunch about hot chastity in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series because, well, really, it’s difficult not to notice the erotic tension between vampire Edward Cullen and Bella, his beloved, even though they barely even kiss in the first […]

Current TV Series Romances: My Favorites

posted by Donna Freitas

I am totally the target market for the ongoing, “Will they or won’t they?” romantic story line of the television series. You know, those ongoing love stories where you wait and wait for the characters to get together and they […]

Give Me That Old-Fashioned Jewish Deli Any Day. . .

posted by Donna Freitas

I am a foodie, and so I was somewhat amused and somewhat distraught to see a recent New York Times article about the current updating of the old-school Jewish deli sweeping the nation (or at least some of its cities). […]

Election 2012: Sarah Palin vs. Vampire (?!) for the Republican Nomination

posted by Donna Freitas

So this has to be the weirdest announcement of a run for the presidency in history, for both the Democratic and Republican parties combined. Even weirder than Sarah Palin getting a spot on last election’s ticket as VP candidate and […]

Top 10 Reasons to Love ‘Glee!’

posted by Donna Freitas

Yippee, woohoo: ‘Glee’ returns tomorrow night, Tuesday, for its spring run of episodes after what has felt like the longest hiatus ever. Over the last few months without my weekly ‘Glee’ episode my life has been without song! Without a […]

Ordination Barbie: I Want One!

posted by Donna Freitas

Introducing Feminist Theologian Barbie. Reverend Barbie. Pastor Barbie! I literally cannot get over this: Barbie is getting ordained in the Episcopalian Church. I mean, I know she’s been president and entered into a whole host of other professions, but a […]

‘Saving Grace': Season 3.5 Premier Difficult to Stomach

posted by Donna Freitas

Last weekend I was excited to see ‘Saving Grace,’ TNT’s cop show starring Holly Hunter, back in my DVR queue–it meant a new season was beginning. The gritty stories and characters appealed to me from the very start, much to […]

Stephenie Meyer to Release ‘Eclipse’ Novella

posted by Donna Freitas

The other day I got a notice from Amazon to my email informing me Not to wait! Pre-Order Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Eclipse’ novella now! Despite my obvious fandom of ‘Twilight’, my first thought was: Novella? Why would I want to read […]

‘The Last Song': Another Nicholas Sparks Weepie

posted by Donna Freitas

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I jumped on the opportunity to see a press screening of Nicholas Sparks’ latest movie adaptation, ‘The Last Song.’ Yes it stars Miley Cyrus and yes it’s a film that essentially shows Cyrus […]

Nurse Jackie: Holy Shift!

posted by Donna Freitas

I love Edie Falco though I’ve never watched ‘Nurse Jackie’–I love her from the good ole days on ‘The Sopranos’ and because on that show she talked (both with accent and word) like all the Italian ladies I grew up […]

So Avatar Didn’t Win Oscar for Best Picture, Well…

posted by Donna Freitas

Well, whatever. I’m glad it didn’t win. I might be the only person in the world who didn’t like ‘Avatar’, but I don’t care: I thought the story itself was boring, overly basic, and oh-so-unbelievably derivative, especially for people who […]

‘Twilight: Eclipse’ Trailer: New Victoria vs. Old Victoria

posted by Donna Freitas

In terms of plot, I think “Eclipse” is my favorite of the Twilight Saga books. Well, aside from “Twilight”. It has lots of sign-worthy Bella-Edward romantic moments, plus some good Edward-Jacob conflict, and then, of course, the moment of reckoning […]

JD Salinger as Mystic?

posted by Donna Freitas

One of my all-time favorite books to teach is the Zooey side of JD Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey.” Without giving too much away for those who haven’t read this wonderful novel(a), the end has one of the most stunning, beautiful […]

‘Twilight’ Drops Off Bestseller List

posted by Donna Freitas

Well, sort of. The four books in Stephenie Meyers‘ mega-bestselling Twilight Saga, “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn” are still hanging on to USA Today’s bestseller list–just further down toward the bottom than usual. While it has become ubiquitous […]

Old School Animated Flick Starring Monk Gets Oscar Nod/Watch Trailer

posted by Donna Freitas

This Sunday we will find out who wins the Oscar for, among other categories, Best Animated Feature. Among the nominees are: ‘Up’, ‘The Princess and the Frog’, ‘Coraline’, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, and. . .‘The Secret of Kells’?I know. I haven’t […]

Chuck is a Christian?

posted by Donna Freitas

NBC’s series ‘Chuck’ is one of my favorite shows to watch every week. Zachary Levi as Chuck Bartowski is the most lovable tech-smart spy-geek (or is it geek-spy?) to hit television since Maxwell Smart of ‘Get Smart,’ though Chuck is […]

Twilight Cruise Anyone?

posted by Donna Freitas

No, this isn’t a joke. If you didn’t know already, there is actually a Twilight Cruise for Twilight fans. The New York Times was touting it in their special cruise review “Offering Whatever Floats Your Boat” in the Travel section […]

It’s That Pesky Condom Again!

posted by Donna Freitas

Perhaps it’s fitting that just when the results of a recent study announced that a certain sort of abstinence education within a very select group of very young kids (sixth and seventh graders) kinda sorta might work a little bit […]

Taqwa + Core = Muslim Punk

posted by Donna Freitas

The Arabic word Taqwa means God-consciousness. You often hear the word hardcore when people are describing all thinks punk. But now there’s Taqwacore, which is something like “Muslim Punk” or hardcore, God-consciousness, mohawks, screeching music and all.Recently, Hussein Rashid, Kaitlin […]

Angel v. Devil on ‘Bones’

posted by Donna Freitas

‘Bones‘ is my weekly, tv guilty pleasure. I watch not only because Booth (aka Angel) and Brennan are a reincarnation of the chemistry between ‘The X File’s’ Sully and Mulder, but also because of their ongoing faith vs. science debate. […]

Evolution of the Werewolf in Film

posted by Donna Freitas

Oh Stephenie Meyer, you’ve started two trends with Twilight: the vampire and the werewolf! Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black is perhaps the most famous movie werewolf at this point, but he’s one in a long line of other incarnations over […]

The Scotland Monk-Wine Controversy

posted by Donna Freitas

Who doesn’t love wine made in a monastery? What better than a group of monks who make their living through a winery? Kind of like Holy Drinking Water, blessed by priests in CA, and sold in convenience stores on the […]

‘Caprica': The First Cylon

posted by Donna Freitas

The new ‘Battlestar Galactica’ prequel series, ‘Caprica’ is turning out to be a gold mine of religious parallels and allusions. Among the most interesting topics and themes thus far, from its newest episode: The First Cylon: it’s a she. A […]

“The Church of Facebook”: Virtual Faith

posted by Donna Freitas

When I’m not blogging on religion and pop culture for Idol Chatter, my academic research centers on faith and youth, so when pop culture enters the picture in that realm, I pay attention. That’s why I’m excited to read “The […]

Excited for ‘Caprica’

posted by Donna Freitas

Finally, the ‘Battlestar Galactica’ prequel series ‘Caprica’ premiered on SyFy last Friday. Of course, the two hour pilot has been available on DVD and On Demand for months, but whatever. The real news is that new episodes are upon us […]

John Travolta: Steps in to Help Haiti

posted by Donna Freitas

A few years ago, John Travolta–probably better known for his affiliation with the Church of Scientology than his acting at this point–stepped in to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, jetting in food and meeting with the folks of Louisiana. […]

‘Fringe': Back this Spring with Exorcisms and Other Paranormal Fare

posted by Donna Freitas

So far, this fall, the second season of ‘Fringe’ was offering mostly time travel arcs, the trademark J. J. Abrams guru figure, and a lot of gross-out sci-fi stand alone episodes–not exactly my thing. Though I really loved season one […]

‘Make It Or Break It': Most Inspiring New TV Show?

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s official: my favorite new television addiction is ‘Make It Or Break It’–the one hour weekly gymnastics melodrama airing its second season now on ABC Family. The show revolves around four girls, all gymnasts, Emily (the poor, scholarship girl), Payson […]

The Onion’s Hilarious, Twilight Spoof

posted by Donna Freitas

If you’ve ever read my posts on The Twilight Saga and its author Stephenie Meyer, you know that I adore Edward, Bella, and even Jacob, and think that both the books and the movie are great fun. I’m definitely not […]

“Onward Christian Athletes”: What Mark McGwire and Tiger Woods Have in Common

posted by Donna Freitas

The publication this past October of “Onward Christian Athletes” by Tom Krattenmaker couldn’t be more timely, what with Mark McGwire all over the news acting explicitly penitent as he discusses his steroid use, and don’t get me started on the […]

‘Leap Year': Bad, Bad, Bad Romance

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s okay to borrow a title from Lady Gaga once in a while, right? Because in this case, ‘Leap Year,’ the new Amy Adams/Matthew Goode “romantic” “comedy” (notice how both those words are in quotation marks) can only be rightly […]

Katherine Paterson Takes Office as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

posted by Donna Freitas

Katherine Paterson is one of my all-time favorite children’s writers. Author of the beloved “Bridge to Terabithia,” which won the Newbery Medal for Young People’s Literature, and so many other childhood favorites, like “The Great Gilly Hopkins,” Paterson took office […]

Carpe Diem: The Importance of Pleasure-Seeking in the Here/Now

posted by Donna Freitas

Are you one of those people that puts off vacations? Going to that fancy restaurant for the exact, right fancy occasion? Opening that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for the appropriate, equally special event to occur in your life? […]

Jack Bauer Interrogates Santa

posted by Donna Freitas

We’ve now watched seven seasons of Jack Bauer interrogating all sorts of folks, from terrorists to the president–and using techniques I highly doubt are government approved (wink, wink)–on 24. As 24 fans get ready for season eight to begin on […]

Santa Claus: To Believe or Not to Believe

posted by Donna Freitas

I was horrified to learn recently that some of my friends who are also parents don’t even bother to pretend to their children about Santa anymore. Apparently, the danger of building up the whole Santa myth with your child is […]

Black Metal Band Spirituality?

posted by Donna Freitas

Academics are known to get geeky about popular culture, especially if we’re talking about the mythologies of Joss Whedon across his many shows, especially Buffy, or anything to do with Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and lately, professors are […]

A ‘Twilight’ Christmas: The Top 10 Gifts for Your Favorite Twilighter This Holiday Season

posted by Donna Freitas

This year is the year of the insane, everything-Twilight Christmas gift. There is so much Twilight merchandizing, it was difficult to choose which to include on this list. But I picked some of my “favorites” (notice the quotation marks: they […]

Joss Whedon’s ‘Dollhouse’ Cancelled: It’s Too Sexy

posted by Donna Freitas

After watching ‘Buffy,’ ‘Angel,’ and ‘Firefly,’ it’s not hard to tell that Joss Whedon’s latest, ‘Dollhouse,’ starring Eliza Dushku of Buffy fame, and which airs on Friday nights on Fox, is not his best work. I’ve faithfully watched all Whedon’s […]

‘Twilight’ and Mormonism: Getting Beyond Chastity

posted by Donna Freitas

Stephenie Meyer might be the most famous Mormon to ever take the bookstores, movie theaters, and all-thing pop culture combine, and the press and fans seem to have an insatiable interest in exploring how this Mormon Mom of three came […]

‘Eclipse’ Release Date: More Twilight Saga Coming Soon!

posted by Donna Freitas

It’s true, people are still flocking to see ‘New Moon’ in movie theaters for the first time, (and second time and third time), but Twilight fans don’t have too long to wait before ‘Eclipse,’ the third book in the series, […]

Christian Vampire Novels: Finally Joining the Twilight Trend (sort of)

posted by Donna Freitas

The runaway success of Twilight long ago ensured that bookstore shelves would become saturated with vampire novels from authors and publishers hoping to hit the Twilight jackpot again. A little over a year ago I wrote a feature for Publishers […]

‘New Moon': Better than ‘Twilight’…and it’s Because of…JACOB!

posted by Donna Freitas

I was in the theater last Friday morning, the day of the release of ‘New Moon,’ with the rest of the screaming, teenage Twilight fans. Though, a good number of us were in the “I’m thirty-something and I love Twilight […]

‘New Moon’ the Movie: My Top Five Hopes for Twilight II

posted by Donna Freitas

The countdown to the release of ‘New Moon,’ the second movie in the Twilight Saga, is long underway. In less than forty-eight hours all will be revealed! OK. Maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic. Regardless, I’m excited to see what’s […]

Watch Video: Twitteleh!

posted by Donna Freitas

If you haven’t seen this already it’s a must. Twitteleh: Twitter for your Jewish Mother, is hilarious. Twitteleh is a spoof on both Twitter (obviously), and the affectionate reputation Jewish moms have for checking in on their kids a bit […]

‘Twilight’ Author Stephenie Meyer: To Appear On Oprah

posted by Donna Freitas

Stephenie Meyer will do only one appearance to promote New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight Saga (releasing Nov. 20th), but it’s a biggie: Oprah will feature Meyer for a full hour this Friday, November 13th, on her show. […]

Twilight Author Stephenie Meyer: A Biography (Graphic Novel-style)

posted by Donna Freitas

Everything you wanted to know about Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga that has turned into a world-wide vampire-loving phenomenon–is available today, Wednesday, November 11th, and it’s illustrated. A graphic novel biography series called “Female Force,” which has featured […]

‘Twilight”s Robert Pattinson is HOT: Oh Edward!

posted by Donna Freitas

Really: what’s a day without gazing at “Twilight”‘s Edward Cullen–I mean Robert Pattinson–and that gorgeous face of his. And those smoldering eyes! Can’t forget the eyes. The moody look. That twisted smile. Sigh. Okay. I’ll stop. But really: want to […]

‘The Lovely Bones’ as Ghost Story

posted by Donna Freitas

I’d never really thought of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel “The Lovely Bones” as a ghost story–though to call it haunting is an understatement, too. But there is no getting around the fact that the story’s protagonist, Susie Salmon, raped and […]

Internet Sabbath Software: Need Some ‘Freedom’?

posted by Donna Freitas

There’s a new software program out called Freedom and it’s the answer to my prayers: it blocks your computer from any and all internet use for upwards of eight hours per day. You may be thinking: but that’s crazy! If […]

Twilight ‘New Moon’ Cast Tour: Coming Soon to a Mall Near You!

posted by Donna Freitas

Do you love Edward Cullen? Can you not get enough of Robert Pattinson’s channeling of this vampire heartthrob? Or are you Team Jacob (boo!) and dream of Taylor Lautner at night? Well, lucky you: to gear up for the November […]

J.J. Abrams Introduces Yet Another Guru, this time on ‘Fringe’

posted by Donna Freitas

I can count way too many JJ Abrams television shows in my repertoire of TV addictions both past and present, but with Felicity as his only exception (unless you count Noel as a guru of sorts–he was an RA after […]

R. Crumb’s ‘Book of Genesis Illustrated’ Is Rated R

posted by Donna Freitas

The widely anticipated “Book of Genesis Illustrated” penned by R. Crumb, the famous comic book artist and graphic novelist released yesterday and the backlash from Christian groups and churches has already begun. I first heard about R. Crumb’s foray into […]

Why I Won’t See ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

posted by Donna Freitas

I know that Spike Jonze’s screen adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s beloved picture book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is getting fantastic reviews. I’ve seen the raves on the news and in newspapers, too, and listened to a Talk of the […]

Madonna: Judaism’s New Ambassador?

posted by Donna Freitas

Madonna, is of course, perpetually associated with religious controversy. My particular favorite in her repertoire was her live performance of a woman on the cross from her 2006 Confessions Tour, while she sang “Live to Tell.” I even did a […]

‘Twilight’ vs. ‘Wuthering Heights’

posted by Donna Freitas

Since I know that Idol Chatter readers are BIG fans of all things Twilight and Stephenie Meyer, I can’t resist pointing you to a podcast/radio show I did for the Penguin Classics series, “Vampires on Paper: The Enduring Appeal of […]

‘The Good Wife': Redemption Is Sweet

posted by Donna Freitas

Oh let me count the ways that ‘The Good Wife‘ is the best new show on television! Julianna Margulies is stunning in the role of Alicia Florrick, the wife of fallen politician Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), caught on video multiple […]

‘Bright Star': Transcendent and Above All, Romantic

posted by Donna Freitas

Jane Campion (‘The Piano’) returns to the screen with her latest and perhaps best work yet, ‘Bright Star.’ The film, about the poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, the girl who steals his heart and becomes his muse, is the […]

The New Spiritual Cowgirls

posted by Donna Freitas

Full disclosure: I am friends with (and proudly so) two of the women featured in the New York Times Style feature, “Seeing Yourself In Their Light,” about today’s new young women spiritual gurus, and how “there is a new role […]

Angels are the New Vampires

posted by Donna Freitas

Stephenie Meyer’s smash hit, Twilight (that’s an understatement, of course), its corresponding movie series, and merchandising of everything you could possibly think of and more, originated from the genre of fiction known as YA (young adult). Since Twilight, it seems […]

‘True Blood’ Season Finale: Nice Day for a White Wedding

posted by Donna Freitas

So there’s no singing, but the grotesque and the bizarre mixed with the comic is how I’ve finally come to see HBO’s most popular new series, True Blood. The season finale on Sunday came with a heavy dose of ridiculous, […]

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Starts Tonight!

posted by Donna Freitas

Question: Is it possible that we’ve gone a little vampire overboard? Answer: Naahhhh. Not according to me at least. When LJ Smith’s “The Vampire Diaries” series of books came out in the very early 90’s, I read them as an […]

Get Your ‘Hot Yoga’ Clothes: Yoga Fashion

posted by Donna Freitas

Despite the summer heat, Bikram yoga (hot yoga)–done at temperatures of at least 100 degrees and usually more–is ever more popular. I am not someone who can imagine subjecting myself to that kind of workout in dead summer, though in […]

Ramadan Is a time for Prayer, Fasting, and…TV?: ‘Freej’ and Grannies in Veils!

posted by Donna Freitas

I learned something new today. Apparently, at least in Dubai, Ramadan is a time for more than daily prayer and fasting, it’s a holy time for television, too: “it is also the Middle Eastern equivalent of sweeps month,” according to […]

‘True Blood': HBO’s Biggest Hit Next to ‘The Sopranos’?

posted by Donna Freitas

Despite (or perhaps because of?) all the cannibalism, orgies, blood-sucking, and shape-shifting in season two of HBO’s vampire-centric ‘True Blood,’ surveys say that ‘True Blood’ is a bona fide hit–HBO’s biggest in the history of the network next to ‘The […]

Stephenie Meyer’s Plagiarism Woes for ‘Breaking Dawn’

posted by Donna Freitas

Several weeks back allegations flew across the web that Stephenie Meyer, author of the world-wide book and movie phenomenon, “Twilight,” had plagiarized parts of the fourth book in the series, “Breaking Dawn.” The accusation came from little known author Jordan […]

Spike (James Marsters) to Star on Caprica!

posted by Donna Freitas

James Marsters, who played Spike on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” will be starring on SyFy’s “Caprica” as a terrorist.

Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Will Finally Get their Sequel

posted by Donna Freitas

Today, the New York Times ran an article announcing that Elizabeth Gilbert’s long awaited and much anticipated sequel to her bestselling spiritual memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love” is at the publisher and is officially due out in January of 2010. (Woohoo! […]

Attention Team Jacob: Get Your Werewolf Shoes in time for ‘New Moon’!

posted by Donna Freitas

Team Jacob (as in Jacob Black, the werewolf hottie best friend of Bella in ‘Twilight’) fans have long been gearing up for the fall release of ‘New Moon,’ since it’s probably the most Jacob-focused book out of the four in […]

‘Bandslam': Too Cute (and Wholesome) To Miss

posted by Donna Freitas

People have been making fun of me for wanting to see ‘Bandslam,’ which just showed up in theaters (finally) Friday. I was a little embarrassed to admit that I wanted to see the movie simply because I can’t help but […]

A Vampire, A Werewolf, and a Ghost Meet in a Bar: The BBC’s ‘Being Human’

posted by Donna Freitas

Have you seen the BBC’s new tv series, ‘Being Human‘ yet? It’s the latest entry in a growing list of television shows (think HBO’s ‘True Blood’ and CBS’s one-season wonder, ‘Moonlight’) trying to capitalize on the phenomenon of people everywhere […]

Vampire v. Preacher, Werewolf v. Satan: ‘True Blood’ Careens to a Close

posted by Donna Freitas

“True Blood” is getting interesting again as it heads into the next four, and final, episodes of this summer.

Are you a ‘Family Guy’ Fan? Some Interesting News…(And one Native Rhode Islander’s Opinion)

posted by Donna Freitas

Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy,” has confirmed that Lois is Jewish and Stewie is gay.

Is Merchandising Ruining ‘Twilight’?

posted by Donna Freitas

Is it possible for merchandise to ruin something altogether? Are the stars of “Twilight” overexposed–or at least ridiculing Stephenie Meyer’s smash hit beyond the tolerable? I’m starting to think so.

Loving ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ and Dumbledore’s Moses Moment

posted by Donna Freitas

Although I loved the “Harry Potter” book series, I have generally not liked the movies. But the exception was “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” particularly the scene where Dumbledore has a Moses moment…

Why Did NBC’s ‘Kings’ Fail? (Or Not)

posted by Donna Freitas

I had the good fortune of going to an advance screening of the premier for “Kings“–a TV show based on the Old Testament story of David and Goliath and the succession of kings that follows–with the cast and writer, Michael […]

Quiz: The Pop Gospel According to Michael Jackson

posted by Donna Freitas

Can’t get enough of Michael Jackson now that he’s gone? If you liked Beliefnet’s recent quiz on Michael Jackson’s Spiritual Lyrics, here is another quiz for you to check out: The Pop Gospel According to Michael Jackson by David Buckna. […]

Can’t Find Work? Move to an Ashram

posted by Donna Freitas

With our economy in tatters, an interesting trend is occurring: folks who have been laid off, but even more so, those job-hungry post-grads, are turning to spiritual work to tide them over until they get that coveted investment banking job […]

The Church of ‘Twilight': Are you a Cullenite?

posted by Donna Freitas

Have you heard of Cullenism? Apparently, it’s been around for a while now, but I just learned of it today. Yes, that’s right: Cullenism, and its followers are called Cullenites. As in Edward Cullen, the star vampire from “Twilight,” the […]

The Church of Twitter Gets Randy: To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

posted by Donna Freitas

Christian church groups and all types of faith-based organizations and communities that have jumped on the Twitter and Facebook bandwagons as an albeit abbreviated online forum for everything from evangelization to basic connection have been in the news a lot […]

‘Saving Grace': Keeps Getting Better

posted by Donna Freitas

I’ve been watching “Saving Grace” since the pilot aired, and the show is so well-written, well-acted, and edgy that it converted me to become a Holly Hunter fan. Though the show’s angel-spirituality side can get a bit syrupy at times […]

‘True Blood’ Marathon This Weekend on HBO

posted by Donna Freitas

On Sunday, HBO will re-air the first three episodes of the second season of “True Blood.” So if you’re behind or just caught up from Netflix, or you simply love vampires, this is the night to wind down the Fourth […]

‘Cheri': Wonderfully Tragic

posted by Donna Freitas

Don’t let the trailer for “Cheri” fool you. While it seduces moviegoers with promises of period costumes and what looks to be a frothy romantic frolic between the beautiful (yet much older) Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer) and the equally beautiful (yet […]

Michael Jackson: Pop Theologian?

posted by Donna Freitas

Michael Jackson’s music is everywhere in the air in New York City today. Walking along this morning, his songs were pouring into the streets from the doorways of shops. There was a crowd of about ten people, outside, singing “I’ll […]

Buffy vs. Edward: Feminist Redux?

posted by Donna Freitas

So my esteemed fellow blogger, Esther Kustanowitz beat me to the punch by posting the hilarious Buffy vs. Edward video-mash-up flying around the net these last couple of days. But in addition to the sheer enjoyment provided by watching one […]

‘The Proposal': Cute, Predictable

posted by Donna Freitas

One of the summer’s few romantic comedies, “The Proposal,” released in theaters last weekend. After suffering through “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” in May, which is one of the worst, most unsatisfying romantic comedies I’ve seen, watching Sandra Bullock and Ryan […]

HBO’s ‘True Blood': It’s All About Being Saved This Season

posted by Donna Freitas

Finding salvation, redemption, forgiveness–HBO’s second season of the vampire-centric “True Blood” seems to be dripping with these themes in its premiere episode last Sunday, “Nothing But the Blood.” Of course, the forms of salvation, etc., may vary. Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s […]

More Vampires! HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Returns

posted by Donna Freitas

In my opinion, the jury’s still out on whether season two of HBO’s “True Blood“–premiering this Sunday, June 14th–is worth the commitment. Whereas season one started off promising–Sookie Stackhouse meets vampire Bill, who is not only good looking but old-fashioned […]

HBO’s ‘True Blood': Season Two Trailer

posted by Donna Freitas

While you’re counting down the days (hours and minutes–HBO actually has a countdown on the “True Blood” homepage), definitely check out the trailer for Season Two. Some of it’s rather sexy and romantic (i.e. promising), some of it is, well, […]

The End of Jewish Humor?!

posted by Donna Freitas

In an article called, “Twilight of the Tummlers,” also the cover story (featuring a photo of Larry David and Woody Allen together) in the latest edition of New York Magazine, Mark Harris predicts the “end of Jewish humor”–at least of […]

‘New Moon’ Trailer: OK, I Might Come Around…

posted by Donna Freitas

So after HATING the movie poster released for “New Moon” (did I mention hate? because I can’t emphasize how much I hate seeing Bella in Jacob’s arms and not Edwards, which I already posted about), I am rather encouraged after […]

‘The Brothers Bloom': A Must See!

posted by Donna Freitas

I love a good caper. I even love the word caper. Capers are my favorite kind of movie. “The Thomas Crown Affair” is a good one. “The Imposters” another. And now comes “The Brothers Bloom,” more mad-cap than most perhaps, […]

A ‘Buffy’ Movie?! (But Without Joss?!)

posted by Donna Freitas

Apparently there is serious talk about a new big-screen “Buffy” flick! My heart went all a flutter when I read the recent article, ““Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Returning to Big Screen” sent to me by fellow Idol Chatter blogger Kris […]

‘Terminator Salvation': Loud Yet Lifeless

posted by Donna Freitas

To say that “Terminator Salvation” is dark can’t be too understated. The entire movie is filmed in grey scale, there is only about a total of 15 minutes where something–or someone–is not exploding or being shot at, and then, there’s […]

‘New Moon’ Movie Poster: Ack!

posted by Donna Freitas

So I can’t help but respond to Dena’s Idol Chatter post about the release of the “New Moon” movie poster to the press–especially since I hate it! I am Team Edward through and through, and it was one thing to […]

‘The Higher the Hair, the Closer to God’? The Prom as Sacred

posted by Donna Freitas

As someone who both writes and adores YA (young adult) novels, and has her own share of prom-going experiences to draw on, I get a bit nostalgic this time of year when I see a limo pull up at a […]

‘Angels & Demons’ Review: Nonstop Melodrama and Fun

posted by Donna Freitas

The Catholic Church is under attack! There’s a war between science and reason! Quick, lock the Cardinals in the conclave or the Catholic Church is lost! The Pope’s been murdered! Call Dr. Robert Langdon of Harvard! He’ll save us–even though […]

Miss California’s ‘Bad Theology': A Scholarly Look

posted by Donna Freitas

Miss California, Carrie Prejean, certainly made ripples a few weeks ago at the Miss USA pageant when she took a stand against gay marriage–whether these were positive or negative ripples she sent outward depends on your politics. And yesterday Donald […]

Defending a Wall Between Church and Film? ‘Angels & Demons’

posted by Donna Freitas

This weekend, Terrence Rafferty of The New York Times looks at the tension that flares up whenever faith and cinema clash–“The awful thing about these religious-movie dust-ups is that there’s no resolving them to anybody’s satisfaction, either believers’ or nonbelievers’”–and […]

Vatican Declares ‘Angels & Demons’ Harmless

posted by Donna Freitas

According to an article from the Associated Press, the folks in Rome aren’t worried about the new Dan Brown movie, “Angels & Demons,” which premiered there on Monday, reporting that: “Reviewers at the Vatican’s newspaper have passed judgment on “Angels […]

Top 5 Summer Romance Movies Coming Soon

posted by Donna Freitas

At this point in the year, I am in need of a little post-winter inspiration and likewise, starved for a fun romance flick–emphasis on the fun and the romance as opposed to tragic and dark, which for me, defeat the […]

A.J. Jacobs’ Exegesis: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You?

posted by Donna Freitas

I see Esquire’s beloved writer A.J. Jacobs as a stunt man of a certain sort: he picks a crazy project with a beguiling, humorous hook–one of my favorites was when he “outsourced” his life to India, including arguments with his […]

Bono: The New Religion Opinion Columnist of The New York Times?

posted by Donna Freitas

Bono of U2 is certainly known for his works (of activism, that is) and his music has always been known for its Christian influence–but Bono the Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times? Taking a place alongside the likes of […]

Susan Boyle or Paul Potts?

posted by Donna Freitas

Like the rest of the world (or most of it), I am obsessively following talk of Susan Boyle–her glorious singing voice and her inspirational story (though I am the avoiding makeover talk because it is unfortunate and unnecessary.) And I’m […]

God Made Me Film It? ‘Audience of One’

posted by Donna Freitas

Over a decade ago, Pastor Richard Gazowsky, the focus of a new documentary called “Audience of One,” heard the voice of God, and God told him to make a movie (the audience of “One” is, of course, God):”The Lord spoke […]

Previous Posts

Debbie Gibson Still Amazes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6tHwESBFPA Debbie Gibson stars as Jessica in an inspiring drama about a woman who gives up her singing career to take care of her aging parents. Sweeping her dreams aside Jessica discovers that her dreams of becoming a singer and songwriter are not dead after bein

posted 10:14:01am Mar. 31, 2015 | read full post »

James is Back
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvQJbF2CXLQ Daniel Craig returns as James Bond for the 24th Bond film that is due for release on Nov. 6 in "SPECTRE."  The story will pick up where the "SkyFall" chapter left when Bond receives a case found by forensics at the "Skyfall" house. "You got a s

posted 2:02:26pm Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Meet Rose Arvale of "The Messengers"
Meet Rose Arvale, a main character in the upcoming CW show "The Messengers." “The Messengers” centers around five individuals who die as a result of an earthly phenomenon. When they return to earth as Angels with unique abilities, they must band together to stop the devil who has come to eart

posted 9:27:07am Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Academy Award Nominated Film Unbroken Releases on DVD
The highly acclaimed film Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie that tells the inspirational story of Louis Zamperini hits DVD on March 24, 2015. At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Louis Zamperini won a personal meeting with Adolf Hitler, who complimented his fast finish. In 1941, Zamperini enlisted in

posted 9:19:32am Mar. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Self/Less: 'God Created Man, Man Created Immortality'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71fWtJXEI0Q What would it really feel like to feel immortal and you know longer had to worry about failing health? Phoenix Biogenic offers this once in a lifetime offer where the new body will be genetically mastered to perfection. Only a select few are chosen to

posted 10:57:15am Mar. 13, 2015 | read full post »

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