Selected Essays and Journalism

We Are Not Middle Aged, from On Being

“It starts happening before you realize it and by the time you do, the slow, grinding erasures have already begun.”

Mary: Our often reimagined, always radical mother, from Religion News Service

“Mary [is not] a sentimentally perfect woman, meek, mild and passive, a religious Hallmark card who has come to represent the idealized mother figure most of our own mothers would struggle to measure up to.”

Letter from California, from Commonweal

“Californians have adapted. We know what to do in a disaster. Stop, drop, and do your best to hold on.”

A School Grows in Oakland, from America

“Because redlining was a common practice in Oakland, it was illegal for people of color to buy homes in many parts of town. Fruitvale was one of the exceptions.”

Popesplaining, from Religion Dispatches

“We choose our unhappiness. But in its decision to exclude women from serving as priests and in its insistence that, at best, women can be ‘strawberries’ on a theological cake, the Catholic church also chooses unhappiness for us.”

The Conservative Resistance Inside the Vatican, from The New Republic

“Long ago, the Vatican and its leadership lost their connection to the ordinary lives of the billion Catholics worldwide. Now, they privilege reputation above truth, and, like many of the current accusations flying around, that instinct is rotten.”

I Got Shushed at a Yo-Yo Ma Concert, from Slate

“Classical music isn’t dying, but our ways of experiencing it are becoming ossified.”