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Sponsored Writing: Reasons You Should Go To Church, Even If You're Not Religious

(Note: I was paid to publish this at Radical Second Things. Sponsored writing helps make blogging a financial operation and thus something I can afford to do actively. If you have sponsored writing you would like me to publish, message me at mopowell07@gmail.com.)

It is fairly common for nonreligious people to completely dismiss the notion of attending church. After all, if they don’t believe in that particular faith or religion, why would they attend? However, there are a handful of benefits of going to church, both personal and altruistic, that a nonreligious person can have.

Community

The first reason, and possibly the most beneficial, is that church can provide a sense of community. Generally, churchgoers are good people that aim to be better people and to give back to their church and community. Surrounding yourself with these types of people is never a bad idea. If you surround yourself with good people, the chances of you being a good person and doing good things increase exponen…

An Interview With Melinda Clayton

My first article for Novel Blogs was a review of the excellent book by Melinda Clayton, Blessed Are the Wholly Broken. I got the book straight from her and so I subsequently asked some interview questions of her. Here goes!

What methods did you use to take the POV of a tragic male character? As for the male point of view, my husband helped, but mainly the attorney I thank in the front of the book. He’s an old friend of mine who also went to University of Memphis at that time, and lived in that dorm (come to think of it, he’s also the reason I was single that Valentine’s Day – ha!). He continues to believe the character of Brian was based on him (he wasn’t). He beta-read it to make sure I had my legal stuff right, but also to make sure I bad my point of view right as well as my memories of that place and time. Why the setting of Tennessee? I grew up in that area of TN. The dorm they lived in (Richardson Towers) was my dorm at University of Memphis. I actually also remember th…

An Interview With Ethan Gage Creator William Dietrich

Yesterday I published a review of William Dietrich's book The Three Emperors, the latest installment in his Ethan Gage series. I messaged Dietrich soon after and got a cordial reply. Now here is the result - an interview with Dietrich himself about his book series, his career and his influences. Enjoy and remember to donate! Be sure also to check out his website.




As I have said many times here, blogging is not free. I like the unique platform I have here - I am able to write about what I want and feel it's not a waste. I have been blessed with donations from readers and friends, as well as a small income from the paid advertising. Life is demanding however and, if you like what you read, please contribute so that I can keep doing this.

I was struck by the fact that you're from Seattle. There's another writer, Jim French, who created the character Harry Nile for radio dramas he produced and that were then aired locally. French lived in Kirkland most of his career and …

Review: William Dietrich's "The Three Emperors"

As I have said many times here, blogging is not free. I like the unique platform I have here - I am able to write about what I want and feel it's not a waste. I have been blessed with donations from readers and friends, as well as a small income from the paid advertising. Life is demanding however and, if you like what you read, please contribute so that I can keep doing this.



William Dietrich's The Three Emperors was a strange book to read after Amitav Ghosh's Ibis trilogy. While the Ibis trilogy takes place during the first opium war between the Chinese and the British in 1839, Three Emperors takes place at some point during the Napoleonic wars, which lasted from 1803 to 1815.

Both books see personal encounters with Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon makes a personal visit to India with character Bahram in River of Smoke in 1816, only five years before his death. Napoleon is a more intimate character in Three Emperors, as in his search for his wife Astiza, who has been impriso…

Sponsored Material: How To Find A Church If You're Looking For Community

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.



Finding the right church for you and your family isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful process either. For starters, don’t just pick the closest church that practices your religion. Just like you wouldn’t buy the first house you seen, it is wise to shop around and really get a feel for what suits you best.
By looking for specific traits, you should be able to find a church that fits well when it comes to your beliefs and your needs for community.
Denomination
The firs…

A Little Good News - Equality in Star Wars?

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.



The world is in flames. I am sure that few reading this would really need to be reminded of that. However, there is some good news out there and illustration that not everyone's mind is defiled with hate.

By now, a great deal of footage has been released from the upcoming new Star Wars movie - The Force Awakens. The evil and hate that many people are capable of has come out in full -a group of losers have protested the role of black actor John Boyega. Both Boyega's role as Finn and Da…

Paris: A Very Special Orion/Maiello Q and A

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.



I got Michael Maiello to respond to the Paris attacks in an unscheduled Q and A and as something different, I will be answering the same question I posed to him. 

For Maiello: My mom was in France when this Paris attack occurred. I was worried. Conflict is part of human history as far as there was such a thing but a conflict involving several world powers all meeting in venues with so many stakes. I think Pope Francis is right that we're seeing a third world war. What do you think?

I'…

Mailleo and Orion Have Their Monthly Talk on Catholicism, Star Wars and Marco Rubio

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.

Thanks to everyone who has donated so far!!



I wish I had this put together earlier in the month but I guess we were late again. Not a whole lot of questions this time but some pretty substantive ones.

Questions for Maiello by Orion
Am I wrong in thinking the last few Republican debates were exceptionally nutty? Agree with them or not I remember when the GOP was generally unified. They didn't agree on anything and their main candidates are bizarre.



I think the GOP has been nutty for longe…

Review: Amitav Ghosh - Flood of Fire

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.




I happened upon Amitav Ghosh's Ibis trilogy of books by accident. Seattle, Washington has a great deal of free books available in little alcoves throughout its many affluent neighborhoods. I picked up a copy of Sea of Poppies and quickly devoured it, enthralled by its characters. I read River of Smoke, its sequel, but was less impressed. Flood of Fire was a true return to form, however, possibly the best book in the series.
The Ibis trilogy is called that for the ship, the Ibis, which someh…

The Divine Feminine

A note - Blogging isn't free. Right now I provide gifts to my writers as a way of thanking people for writing. I would like to be able to afford to give them some sort of renumeration, even if it is small, for making this blog what it is. I'm in talks with a friend who may be able to help connect this blog, which has been in existence for one year now, with more religious communities dedicated to interfaith dialogue. Your donation will do a lot toward making that happen.



I originally submitted this article for Truthout, which published an essay by me about Thomas Merton a little over  a year ago. I got notified that it got passed over for publication by their editorial board. I thought it would be a good fit for the blog.


The Divine Feminine
If there ever was evidence for patriarchy, organized religion certainly is it. Throughout all of the major religions, men dominate the leadership structure and are the most predominant in figures of reverence. It's not simply a …

Maiello and Orion Worry About World Wars and Star Wars

It's been a while since I've talked with Michael Maiello. Maiello is a successful journalist who has written for Forbes, Esquire and other publications. Here we are, at it again. Enjoy.

Questions for Maiello


Instead of asking you what you thought of another shooting, I wanted to ask you about my hypothesis of what is happening.

We have a Republican president who is running on all sorts of liberal platforms shrouded in over the top racism and sexism. We have random shootings, leading to what may be possible executive action to stop it. We have a stand off between great powers in the Middle East, with one appearing confused and insane after the strain of endless wars and economic turmoil and the other resurgent after being untouched by such turmoil. There are apparently also going to be street protests of Islam in American cities. It sounds a whole lot like Europe in the 1930s, to be honest. All of those things basically happened in Europe then.
I think, at least on the domestic si…

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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