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Crossed

By Melissa Knox Essay

I was fine with the ceramic statues of Mary, flaming heart jumping out of her chest. I liked the bright blue robe, gold stars, and shell-like halo of the Virgin of Guadalupe. But the big wooden crucifixes, that crown of thorns digging into Jesus’s brown locks, skinny white arms yanked above so that he’s pitched forward—they spook me the way Dracula spooks me.

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A Fire in This House

By Rachel Sturges Essay

In our solemn conversations about the firemen, in our statements of unconditional loyalty and trust, I realize that maybe instead of the moral authority of God in our household, I have given Toby the firemen. Brave and noble, yes, but a shabby substitute for the Almighty.

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Taboret

By Andrew Hendrixson Essay

When I hear my parents’ voices lilt with Midwestern shame, our pernicious lineage, I want to set the bench on fire or bury an axe head into it.

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Gratuity: Who Gets Paid When Art Is Free

By Ted Gioia Culture

Music is what I call an anti-commodity—a thing that isn’t exhausted when used or given away but gets larger and more valuable, like the fish and loaves in the gospel. In that way, a song is like love or friendship or trust, those other anti-commodities that increase with the giving.

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Exposure

By Paul Lisicky Culture

If I’m to be serious about my music, or any art, I shouldn’t put it toward anything as problematic as God, but toward ambition, achievement: the only reliable gods.

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