Links from around the web

Links from around the web Soccer and the Sublime in the Shadow of Apartheid | Religion Dispatches
The World Cup in its pure state is not much different from the theologizing of Christmas; it is artistry embodied in flesh—a kind of divine incarnation. When one watches a highlight reel of Brazilian soccer hero Ronaldinho, words fall short but grace permeates. I think to myself, “now that’s what it means to operate out of freedom.” It’s like watching every divine superlative that describes the ineffable embodied. Yes, it’s grace incarnate on a soccer pitch. Top-tier athletes make too easy the writing of hagiography.

What Have You Done Today to Make You Feel Proud?| The Bilerico Project

By having conversations with friends, family, and co-workers about marriage we’ll put a human face on the issue outside of heated ballot campaigns and give our straight friends the opportunity to support us.

Parazzi’s Poker Face for Lady Gaga | GetReligion
The video, which came out Tuesday and already has at least 10 million hits, features Lady Gaga in a latex/leather nun’s habit, wearing a cross-shaped patch on her crotch, suggestively swallowing rosary beads. If you’d rather skip the 8-minute video, MTV has conveniently compiled a list of the most shocking images. Warning: Not safe for work.

This isn’t just about religious imagery, though. In May, the singer told the Times, “[The video is] a celebration and an admiration of gay love—it confesses my envy of the courage and bravery they require to be together.”

Brain Scans Show How Meditation Calms Pain | Wildmind
People who routinely practice meditation may be better able to deal with pain because their brains are less focused on anticipating pain, a new British study suggests.

The finding is a potential boon to the estimated 40 percent of people who are unable to adequately manage their chronic pain. It is based on an analysis involving people who practice a variety of meditation formats, and experience with meditation as a whole ranged from just a few months to several decades.