Monster or Human? It's a Fine Line: What Our Editors Are Reading | Sojourners

Monster or Human? It's a Fine Line: What Our Editors Are Reading

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I’ve never been a fan of Halloween. I’ve always been more of an All Saints’ Day kinda guy. Just joking; truth is I try to resist the impulse to constantly make distinctions between “the world” and “the church.” The lines between sacred and profane, monster and human, are not easily distinguishable.

The actual reason I’ve never enjoyed Halloween is because I don’t care for candy and I don’t get the horror thing. Also, I don’t care to dress up — but I would dress up if I got paid by New Zealand to dress up as a wizard

This week, I’ve been rethinking my dislike of Halloween — not because I’ve changed my mind about candy, but because I’ve started to see, thanks to JR. Forasteros, how the horror genre helps us confront the horror within us. Right now, there is a lot of horror going on: Workers are striking because of unfair wages, politicians are working against the interests of their constituents, and people are still refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

This horror stuff can get you down. But the interesting thing about horror is there is always a twist at the end. Usually, as Forasteros notes, the twist is that the monster is somehow still alive. The stories this week are about humanity’s horror and persistence.

1. I’m a Pastor Who Loves Horror Films. Here’s Why
Both horror and Christianity should be unsettling. By JR. Forasteros via

2. A New Zealand City is Taking its Official Wizard Off the Payroll After Over 2 Decades
The Christchurch City Council will end its contract with Ian Brackenbury Channell, reportedly the world's only state-appointed wizard. The “Wizard of New Zealand” has had a long and unique career. By Rachel Treisman via NPR.

3. The Christian Case for Vaccine Mandates
Calls for “religious freedom” often have more to do with whiteness than the Bible. By David W. Congdon via

4. “Pick Me” Girls and the Identity Politics of Krysten Sinema
The Arizona senator seems bent on proving to the world that she is not like other Democrats. By Lizzie Widdicombe via

5. These Families Are Opting To Homeschool — Without White Christian Nationalism
As homeschooling grows, marginalized students, parents, and their supporters are working to create inclusive communities. By Julia Oller via

6. To the Lost and Found Daughter
An essay about how escaping your family and your country can lead to a moment of sacred intimacy with a complete stranger. By Maggie Thach Morshed via Off Assignment.

7. The Subversive, Sapphic Spiritual Lives of Nuns in ‘Matrix’
In Lauren Groff's new novel, nuns challenge the patriarchy but their leadership is neither pure nor innocent. By Caroline McTeer via

8. What Does Child Care Look Like When It Works?
A center in Tennessee has a model that could make child care sustainable in the long run — by taking the business side out of day cares. By Chabelia Carrazana via The 19th.

9. Halloween and Jesus: Reconciliation in the Dark
Two years ago, my then 10-year-old son celebrated his first Halloween. He'd arrived in the United States from Africa just a few months before, and as far as we could discern no such Oct. 31 holiday exists in his native Malawi. By Cathleen Falsani via

10. Questlove on the Odd Way a Song by the Police Helped Him Find His African Roots
Fascinating new book Music Is History weaves drummer’s personal background with American history year by year. By Meagan Jordan via