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The List: Irreverent Watch

The favorite faith-friendly satirical and sassy websites of John D. Spalding,founder and editor of SoMA: A Review of Religion and Culture. John is currently writing a book about daily life in Jesus' world.

Ship of Fools

This U.K.-based "magazine of Christian unrest" eschews cynicism in favor of gentler prodding from an orthodox vantage. Popular features include Signs and Blunders, Fruitcake Zone, and Mystery Worshipper, in which anonymous reviewers attend services around the world, reporting on sermon length, pew comfort, and coffee temperature.


Lives up to its billing as "holy mischief in an age of fast faith." Both subversive and edifying, this Canada-based site offers voices from opposing beliefs to keep it fresh and unpredictable. They recently held a sermons-you'll-never-hear-in-church contest, calling for "words that are too hot, too happy, too whatever for the church to handle - yet still need to be said."

The Revealer

A smart review of religion in the news that winks as it scolds the press for getting religion wrong. Demands better coverage of faith - sharper thinking, thicker description. Mantra: "Belief matters, whether or not you believe." Editor Jeff Sharlet writes that he was "raised in as many churches, synagogues, and ashrams as his Christian/Jewish parents had friends."

Busted Halo

Paulist Young Adult Ministries - a Catholic organization - sponsors this hip online mag for 20- and 30-something seekers. Features balanced and though-provoking articles (with titles like "Oxymoron No Longer: On Being Black and Catholic in America"), reviews, and interviews. Cool video and audio clips, too.


This satirical Jewish "zine for the plugged-in and preached-out" is so funny and topical that only the most dour of goys could visit it without breaking a smile. Its mission encompasses the prophetic ("a plague on modern-day pharaohs") and the fun ("a Carnival cruise to the Garden of Eden"). Covers arts, culture, and politics.

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