Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bedeutung Magazine

I love magazines. I know they are on the way out, and I love the internet and all, but I love magazines, especially finding a new one.

Bedeutung Magazine - the Human & Divine issue. Expensive, glossy, English, high-brow - Bedeutung (German for "meaning") is the perfect combination. There is an exquisitely gory photo spread and insightful interview with Vienna Aktionist art ritual organizer Herman Nitsch. So much blood and nudity, his epic plays are like bad Cinemax/drive-in gore movies gone transcendent. But for me, the price of admission was paid by this opening salvo from A. C. Grayling's essay "Are Religions Respectable?":

It is time to reverse the prevailing notion that religious commitment is intrinsically deserving of respect, and that it should be handled with kid gloves, and protected by custom and in some case law, against criticism and ridicule.

He's preaching to the Dawkins/Hitchens choir here, and delivers some well-formed ire toward the sacred cow of faith, but where this really shines is his proposal that faith return to the private realm as is sexuality, and does it without a hide-your-shame sheen to it. It is a difficult subject to broach without invoking the worst historical examples of human behavior, and I think this does it well. Even if you don't agree, the article is worth reading, because it asks that something as fundemental to our society as religion be subject to the same rigors as its competing aspects.

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