"How did a libertine who lacks even the most basic knowledge of the Christian faith win 81 percent of the white evangelical vote in 2016? And why have white evangelicals become a presidential reprobate’s staunchest supporters? These are among the questions acclaimed historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez asks in Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, which delves beyond facile headlines to explain how white evangelicals have brought us to our fractured political moment." [more inside]
An intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. [more inside]
"The American political scene today is poisonously divided, and the vast majority of white evangelicals play a strikingly unified, powerful role in the disunion. These evangelicals raise a starkly consequential question for electoral politics: Why do they claim morality while supporting politicians who act immorally by most Christian measures? In this clear-eyed, hard-hitting chronicle of American religion and politics, Anthea Butler answers that racism is at the core of conservative evangelical activism and power." [more inside]
It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend. One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They're going to need to ask it a lot.
A small-town pastor struggles with his faith. [more inside]
Inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou--a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of Métis communities. Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year--ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One hung-over morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher.
Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter refuses to fight in the German army or swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler in WWII. Directed by Terrence Malick, based on a true story. [more inside]
Strange Angel: Aeon Season 2, Ep 7
Susan and Patty's relationship reaches a breaking point when Susan learns of her sister's indiscretions - nevertheless, they must join forces to use Virgil as a means to an end. After Marisol receives devastating news, she gains a new perspective on her relationship with Richard. Jack has a chance to get back into the military's good graces, but the conditions may be too tough to swallow. Jack's power within the Agape rises to new heights; however, the arrival of a new prospective tenant at the Parsonage threatens to change all that. [Season finale] [more inside]
Strange Angel: The Tower Season 2, Ep 6
Following the party at the Parsonage, Jack must strike a dangerous bargain, while the police investigate the Agape. Meanwhile, Richard, Chiang and Mesulam are sent to London for a military research project, where Richard goes to great lengths to clear Jack's name. Devastating truths come to light, putting Jack and Susan's future in doubt, and relationships continue to change. [more inside]
Strange Angel: The Hanged Man Season 2, Ep 5
Facing increasing suspicions from the federal government, Jack tries to clear the air with a summer dinner party and everyone is invited! Ernest pushes Jack to find his true path. "A man of fire should not be bowing before a man of clay."
Strange Angel: The Wheel of Fortune Season 2, Ep 4
Jack's earns Ernest's loyalty but divides the rest of the devout. Marisol confronts her father about the secret that destroyed their family as Richard deals with his broken heart by diving deeper into the rocketry project. Meanwhile, when Susan's attempt to use bureaucracy to the group's benefit hits a roadblock, she turns to Ernest in hopes of putting a stop to Virgil's harassment once and for all.
Strange Angel: The Lovers Season 2, Ep 3
When Jack's secret notebook goes missing, he looks for guidance, and seeks out Ernest's help to deal with the situation, while Susan attempts to mollify their conservative, upper crust neighbors. Virgil turns the screws to his confidant. "I do love a good propaganda film. Everything is so black and white. If only life were so simple."
Strange Angel: The Fool Season 2, Ep 1
Two years since the events in season one of Strange Angel, the U.S. Military offers Jack, Richard and their team a classified mission that could turn the tide of World War II, but which comes with increased scrutiny of Jack's personal life. As Jack strives to straddle the worlds of mysticism and science, Virgil Byrne's crusade against the beliefs of Jack and Susan, they offer the religious family safe haven, and find a familiar face returns.
Strange Angel: The Magus Season 2, Ep 2
Ernest's intentions are questioned, and alliances shift with new revelations. Richard seeks Marison's family, and finds more than he anticipated, and has more questions. Patty works to become a valued participant in the war effort, and at home. Jack finds help from an unlikely source.
Strange Angel: The Sacrificial Dance Season 1, Ep 10
When Jack receives an invitation to ascend to the next degree, the Parsons must decide if this is what they both want for their future. After uncovering the truth about her own past, Susan is forced to deal with the chilling revelation back in the real world. Richard and Jack finally find common ground, rallying the Suicide Club for a dangerous final demonstration. Jack has all he needs except for one crucial element.
Strange Angel: Sacrament of the Ancestors Season 1, Ep 9
Susan turns to the religion that seemed to hold so much for Jack, while he becomes increasingly disenchanted it, with so much promised yet so little delivered. Richard and his rocket team hit a massive stumbling block, forcing Richard to invite Jack and Susan out to a lavish dinner in an attempt to gain Jack's help. But Jack has been offered a promotion at Pueblo Powder and must decide between providing Susan with the life she always wanted or burying the hatchet...
Strange Angel: Evocation of the Elders Season 1, Ep 8
Richard goes alone to present the team's proposal at the Department of War. But without Jack there to do the talking, Richard looks elsewhere to find the confidence he needs. Meanwhile, Jack continues to drift away from Susan, skipping work to go on a spontaneous road trip with a troubled Ernest. Meanwhile, Susan searches for answers behind Jack's behavior by confronting Jack's mother Ruth and the potential source of all Jack's troubles.
Strange Angel: Glorification of The Chosen One Season 1, Ep 7
While Richard and the rocketry team leave's Jack and his work for more conventional pursuits, Jack turns to other means to convince General Braxton that reaching the moon isn't just comic book fantasy. Susan's concerns about Jack grow after she researches Aleister Crowley and confronts Maggie with the mysterious truths behind this cult religion. Susan's questions leave Maggie at a breaking point, forcing Ernest to confront his inner demons.
Strange Angel: The Mystic Circle of Young Girls Season 1, Ep 6
Recent experiences have Jack wanting more, inspiring him to push boundaries at home with Susan, despite her misgivings. Ernest's sudden presence at the Rocketry Team's new testing facility has Richard questioning the whole endeavor, until he meets a mysterious woman who helps restore his faith. Meanwhile, Maggie has doubts about Ernest's fidelity.
Strange Angel: Dance of the Earth Season 1, Ep 5
The team finalizes their prototype but, in a role reversal, Richard has confidence in the design while Jack doubts it will work. Jack leaves the team to test fire without him as he and Susan accept Ernest and Maggie's invitation to go camping in Joshua Tree. While Susan gets better acquainted with Maggie, Ernest expands Jacks' mind, showing him a way forward. "We just have 51 more prototypes to go."
Strange Angel: The Sage Season 1, Ep 4
Jack's expert witness testimony at a high profile trial thrusts the rocketry team into the spotlight and helps land them a coveted invitation to The Athenaeum. Meanwhile, Virgil drops off Patty, Susan's rebellious teenage sister, for a trying weekend stay, and Ernest's wife, Maggie, makes a surprise return. When Jack's evening at The Athenaeum doesn't go as planned, Jack seeks out Ernest to blow off some steam and ends up on a detour into a darker part of Los Angeles on Hallween.
Strange Angel: Ritual of the Rival Tribes Season 1, Ep 3
Feeling the pressure to succeed and provide Susan with the life he promised, Jack urges the rocketry team to take a risk and start testing their experiments at full volume. Sensing the Parsons' mounting frustrations, Ernest offers a way to make all their dreams come true. "I promise you, our life will never be boring."
Strange Angel: Ritual of Abduction Season 1, Ep 2
Jack and Richard set off to create the first ever rocketry university-sponsored team. But with uncertain acceptance, coupled with Ernest's looming presence, Jack and Susan are feeling more on edge than ever before, desperate to figure out Ernest's intentions. “Can I get there by candlelight?”
Strange Angel: Augurs of Spring Season 1, Ep 1
In 1930s Los Angeles. Jack Parsons (Jack Reynor) works as a janitor at a chemical factory by day, but, by night, he nurses a secret ambition: to build rockets that will take mankind to the moon. The pressures of his double life are further complicated when Jack and his wife Susan (Bella Heathcote) are confronted by a mysterious new neighbor, Ernest Donovan (Rupert Friend), who appears to be leading a double life of his own. [more inside]
From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” From IndieBound.org.
In The Lost Book of the Grail, author Charlie Lovett weaves together elements of romance, historical fiction, and mystery into an engrossing novel that is hard to put down. The book chapters alternate between two settings:
- Historical fiction set in a Christian monastery charged with hiding a Grail related artifact from first Viking hordes, and later the British monarchy stamping out undesirable religions.
- A modern day setting of a university professor and Grail enthusiast chasing down clues to the location of the Holy Grail, which he believes is somewhere in the small British university town where he teaches.
God Friended Me: Season 1 Discussion Season 1, Ep 0
An atheist's life is turned upside down when he is "friended" by God on Facebook. [more inside]
Castlevania: "Old Homes" Season 2, Ep 2
More back story is revealed and several characters are scheming inside Dracula's War Court of Dignitaries ... [more inside]
Elementary: How to Get a Head Season 6, Ep 15
An investigation into the murder of a religion professor puts Holmes and Watson on a hunt for a killer connected to the occult; the duo consider replacements for Detective Bell after finding he may be asked to join the U.S. Marshals Service.
Jehovah's Witnesses, Alex, Luisa, and their mother, are united in their devotion. But as Luisa starts to question the advice of the elders, she makes a transgression that leaves the whole family in fear of God's wrath. [more inside]
A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
A priest of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past. [more inside]
A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob. [more inside]
Wild Wild Country full series Season 1, Ep 0
In 1981, controversial guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (who later in life went by Osho) moved his ashram of followers from India to a 65,000 acre ranch in rural Oregon. Known for his teachings of free love and open marriage, his fleet of Rolls Royce cars, and his collection of diamond-encrusted watches, the guru, his confrontational personal secretary, and his followers quickly drew the ire of local Oregonians over their plans to turn the commune into an actual city. Over four years, tensions escalated rapidly, leading to the arming of the commune, plots to murder elected officials, busing in hordes of homeless people to overwhelm election voting, and the largest bio-terrorism attack on U.S. soil. [Note: this is meant as a full series thread for the 6-part Netflix series, which IMDB for some reason is listing as only a two hour movie.] [more inside]
The X-Files: Nothing Lasts Forever Season 11, Ep 9
While investigating human organ theft, Mulder and Scully uncover a mysterious cult consumed with macabre rituals. [CW: gory surgery and dissection scenes] [more inside]
Supergirl: The Faithful Season 3, Ep 4
Kara investigates a secretive new group whose leader, Thomas Coville, has a mysterious connection to Supergirl. Meanwhile, Samantha feels like she's letting Ruby down, and J'onn confesses an old secret. [more inside]
Penetrating the insular world of New York's Hasidic community, focusing on three individuals driven to break away despite threats of retaliation. Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, also the creators of Jesus Camp. [more inside]
Anyone else following? Worth discussing? [more inside]
In a dystopicly polluted rightwing religious tyranny, a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now rare fertility. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN Season 6, Ep 23
"A NATION AT HIS MERCY!" "INVISIBLE and DEADLY" Ahem! An escaped convict teams up with a mad scientist and gets turned invisibabble, but then have a disagreement as to how he should use his invisibabibility. With short The Days of Our Years: A minister tells us about his parishiners, who have to a man all been maimed, blinded or killed by machines, because God is just and holy. The poster for this movie, besides comparing the antagonist to a fart, also warned that the invisible man himself had vowed to make a personal appearance in every theater showing the film. Sigh. There is a particularly hilarious pre-movie host segment here, where Dr. F and Frank, as "Auntie McFrank," ask Mike and the bots to provide "local color" for their bed and breakfast. "Y'all got any matches for Mikey?" Jonah Ray is going to have a hard time living up this. We've also got a great short, the second of the two railroad-sponsored industrials, this one devoted to telling us about all the ways terrible, terrible machinery wages war against its creators. By the way, this is "TV's" Frank Conniff's penultimate show as Dr. F's assistant. YouTube (1h35m) Premiered March 18, 1995. [more inside]
In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun. [more inside]
This movie looks absolutely insane, blasphemous, reprehensible, and devoid of all merit. In other words, it's a perfect fit for Strange Club. It's also been super unavailable and impossible to track down in uncut form, UNTIL NOW: it appeared on the streaming service Shudder yesterday in a 109-minute unrated cut - "the most complete version of the film in existence." Lots of people are justifiably freaking out. Let's watch it. [more inside]
The Young Pope: Third Episode Season 1, Ep 3
In the wake of the Pope's controversial homily, Sister Mary is thrust into the spotlight, and Voiello is determined to discover the Pope's weaknesses.
The Path: The Era of the Way Season 1, Ep 2
Eddie and Sarah do some specialized Meyerist marriage counselling (spoiler alert, it's weird), while their son Hawk copes with the pressures of attending high school as the ultimate outcast. Meanwhile, Cal has big plans for the future of the movement. [more inside]
The Path: What the Fire Throws Season 1, Ep 1
Welcome to the Meyerist Movement, which is totally not a cult at all. Like, what, just because we plaster an emblem of a giant glowing eye all over everything, that means we're a cult?
If you were to walk into Gimlet HQ, there are a few things you'd probably notice right off the bat. First, it's crowded - like a grungy dorm room. Second, the lighting... it's not great. Not many windows. Third, it's white. Really white. 24 of Gimlet's 27 employees are white. In this episode, we look at diversity (or lack thereof) at Gimlet. And we try to figure out what diversity should mean for the company going forward.
Lake Of Fire is a very dark, very thorough, very good, and very triggering 2.5-hour documentary by Tony Kaye about the politics of abortion in the US in the ‘90s and early aughts. The film captures a range of beliefs about abortion, manifestations of community among the pro- and anti-choice, the blood that has been shed in the war, and (a fraction) of the reality of the process of getting an abortion. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: LGBT Discrimination Season 2, Ep 26
This week.... Hostilities flare up between North Korea and South Korea. Vladimir Putin bans the import of many types of food from the West. Greece President Alexis Tsipras resigns (but will still run for reelection) after just seven months in office amidst controversy over his bank-mandated austerity measures. And Now: Another Check-In With The Most Patient Man On Television. (That would be Steve Scully of C-Span's Washington Journal.) The main story: discrimination against LGBT couples still legal in surprisingly much of the nation. YouTube (15m) And Now: The Most Patient Man On Television Faces His Greatest Challenge. Finally, a follow-up on the business of John Oliver's church, Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption. They got rather a lot of mail, including a giant bag of seeds, followed by gianter bag of seeds the next day. They also got beef jerky and a 100-Trillion-dollar bill from Zimbabwe (worth about 40 cents). Last Week Tonight is taking a break for two weeks. [more inside]
Vikings: Breaking Point Season 3, Ep 9
The Vikings hit Paris with a second, more considered, assault. Emperor Charles dithers. Rollo kicks arse. Ecbert does the dirty. [more inside]
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