Mike Huckabee, Helpless Women, and Straw Men

In The Moral Landscape, atheist Sam Harris writes that much research on deductive reasoning suggests that people have a “bias” for sound conclusions and will judge a valid argument to be invalid if its conclusion lacks credibility. Mike Huckabee’s speech to the Republican National Committee winter meeting last Thursday brought Harris’s words to mind. In what may have been a strategic effort to stoke speculation about his potential candidacy in the next presidential election, Huckabee took on the … [Read more...]

Brain Death and Dialogue: What Two News Stories Can Teach Us about Responding with Grace

by Amber Stamper Have you ever obsessed over a news story? Become totally and personally invested? Glutted yourself on coverage? Set Google alerts? Consumed every report—mainstream, local, liberal, conservative, print, radio, TV, Web—you could access? Endlessly scanned comment threads, blogs, and social media commentary?If—like me—you have, you might have expected to eventually gain quite a bit of expertise on the subject. Instead, what you likely found was that source overload can lead to a … [Read more...]

Marijuana Legalization in Black and White: The Racial Cost of the Status Quo

My friend Matt was caught smoking pot with his friends in the high school bathroom. He got a slap on the wrist and spent a night in a juvenile detention center. After paying the fines, his parents never mentioned the "incident" again. Matt went on to receive a graduate degree from a top-tier university, and now he's a homeowner with a beautiful family and thriving career. He also happens to be white.I met my friend Jimmy later in his life at a homeless shelter. He was arrested at a young age … [Read more...]

How I Changed My Mind About Abortion

To give you a taste of the kind of content found in each issue of Christ and Pop Culture Magazine, each day for the next two weeks, we’ll be counting down our ten favorite features from the magazine in 2013, allowing you the rare opportunity to read each exclusive magazine feature in full. For more features like this, download the magazine for iPad and iPhone from Apple’s Newstand.  Number 3: Julia Herrington has a remarkable change of heart.by Julia Herrington Abortion was not an issue tha … [Read more...]

Persecution Continues: Political Reform in Myanmar May Not Be The Progress We Think It Is

When Myanmar president Thein Sein made a state visit to London last July, the British foreign secretary congratulated him on Myanmar’s slew of recent reforms: direct government censorship of the media had been abolished the year before; the newly free Aung San Suu Kyi had been permitted to win a seat in parliament; and since becoming president in 2011, Thein Sein had released 1,300 political prisoners.Along with cautious praise, the British government presented Thein Sein with millions t … [Read more...]

Pajama Boy is Everything That’s Wrong with American Manhood! (and Other Misconceptions)

When I first saw this ad, I was at my parents’ house for Christmas, sitting on the sofa, scrolling through Twitter. I was drinking coffee, and if you want to know the truth, I was probably wearing pajamas, or at least leggings. Someone had retweeted the ad with a dismissive remark about Obama or man-boys or something, and I sighed and moved on. But apparently a lot of people haven’t moved on.  Apparently to a number of people, the biggest problem with this ad is that it represents everything tha … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Free Lunches and Child Labor

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.This year, I’m a little more obsessed than usual with the Dickens story A Christmas Carol; I started rereading it again this weekend after taking my elder daughter to a performance of the story by The Puppet People. It’s always given me chills when Scrooge inquires about the prisons and the workhouses. After learning that “many would rather die” than go there, he spit … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: White Santa and White Jesus at Home

Last week, Slate’s Aisha Harris called for a new image of Santa, asserting “That this genial, jolly man can only be seen as white—and consequently, that a Santa of any other hue is merely a  ‘joke’ or a chance to trudge out racist stereotypes—helps perpetuate the whole ‘white-as-default’ notion endemic to American culture (and, of course, not just American culture).” Instead, Harris asked for a penguin, but that point seems largely missed in the media maelstrom that followed Harris’s foundational … [Read more...]

The Knockout Game Myth and its Racist Roots

"Groups of black youths roam the streets looking for a solitary pedestrian, preferably white (hence the alternate name 'polar-bearing') but Asian or Hispanic will do. The trick is to knock him to the ground with a single punch. . . . Widely available video exists of almost all Knockout incidents, since the really cool thing is to have your buddies film it and upload it to YouTube. And it’s so simple to do in an age when every moronic savage has his own 'smart phone.'" --Mark Steyn, National Re … [Read more...]

How to Revitalize Young Conservatives: Don’t Pal Around with Fools

Like many evangelicals of my generation, I'm trying to reorient my political vision after a childhood spent under the dysfunctional influence of far-right religious conservatism. Growing up, Rush Limbaugh was on the car radio and voting Democrat was a sin. For some, this reorientation has led to a wholesale rejection of conservative positions on life, the power of the federal government, and our rights and freedoms. Others have sought to rethink what it ought to mean to be conservative, what … [Read more...]