Real Cheese and the Eucharist: On the Rhetoric of Dietary Restrictions

The other day, I went to a local coffeehouse for breakfast. The restaurant is an entirely gluten-free facility that also caters to other dietary restrictions. The restaurant is somewhat of a hot-spot for those of us with food allergies or dietary restrictions because it accommodates most all of them. While the entire facility is gluten-free (not to be confused with wheat-free), they also have vegan breads and cheeses, so anyone can order most anything on the menu. Continue reading “Real Cheese and the Eucharist: On the Rhetoric of Dietary Restrictions”

God Hates Procedural Crime Dramas: The Politics of Religion, Denigration, and Humor

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As someone who lives only a few hours from their Topeka, Kansas headquarters, I have twice seen Westboro Baptist Church protesters in action. The group is probably best known for their ‘God Hates Fags’ signs posted visibly at public events. Their theology — as one might guess — centers on the idea that America is a cursed nation because it has tolerated homosexuality, a boundary breach that inexplicably spills over into a variety of other social venues that they also criticize. The first time I saw them was four or five years ago when they lined the streets surrounding a large high school near my home; they were there in response to the student body’s election of an openly gay prom king. The second time was just a couple of years later, at a Bon Jovi concert, wherein the throngs of concert go-ers were told in no uncertain terms about what the conditions of their collective afterlife will be like. Continue reading “God Hates Procedural Crime Dramas: The Politics of Religion, Denigration, and Humor”