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I was extremely disappointed to read Margaret O’Brien Steinfels’ dismissal of the Pussy Riot “brouhaha” over at dotCommonweal, but perhaps not very surprised. (Tom wrote about PR’s “punk prayer” protest here back in April. This past Friday, PR was sentenced to two years in prison.)

I have very little to add to the critique offered by Bridget, a Ph.D. candidate at Notre Dame, in “Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Become a Feminist” at Women in Theology. While acknowledging the legitimacy of critiquing Pussy Riot’s protest on tactical grounds, Bridget rightly flags O’Brien Steinfels’ language as “not merely critical [...] but dismissive and gendered”: (more…)

HuffPo writer Paul O’Donnell has an interesting post about Wilco up, over at the Commonweal-sponsored blog called Verdicts.  According to O’Donnell, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy’s perspective on the whole religion thing pretty much functions as the voice of a whole disaffected generation:

Tweedy’s music is as Christ-haunted as the American landscape itself. Christianity comes up on nearly every Wilco album—in the voice of a skeptic, in words that sound like genuine praise, and in closely observed moments from the pews.

O’Donnell highlights the character-driven nature of Tweedy’s writing.  His songs “sound like more like quoted matter than Tweedy’s own theologizing.”  Still, even this second-hand faith rings true and heartfelt to O’Donnell’s appreciative ears.  “Tweedy’s thrashing out of religious themes sounds like a genuine discussion, one you’d have with your kids or close friends. His spiritual self waffles, pushes back, despairs,” O’Donnell writes, “Tweedy is not selling Christian religion or, it doesn’t seem likely, buying it. But he’s certainly dragged it and its issues out to the places where it all started.”

Unfortunately, Commonweal has a rather draconian website policy, often firewalling most of its good content, so I don’t know if you’ll be able to get to the post if you’re not a subscriber.  If you’d like to try, though, the full post is here.

If nothing else, try to get over there and leave some comments.  The one lone commenter this afternoon, who wrote, “My goodness. This is popular music? Are all young people sour, angry, resentful, confused, whiny?” seems to be missing the point.  It might be worth someone’s time to correct the misconception that genuine religious questioning is indicative of resentment and confusion.  I mean, think of Thomas, after all.  One can doubt even when standing next to the Lord himself.