“Should I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend or Family Member?”: Now open to non-subscribers

at Christianity Today:When I became a Christian, most of my friends and family were baffled and disappointed. They could not understand why I was subjecting myself to a repressive falsehood. Sure, the church’s paintings are nice, but what about the ethics? That’s why it was so moving to me that my best friend came to my baptism. She gamely let the priests shake holy water over her; she kept a wry, silent smile on her face while everybody else renounced Satan. I was under no illusion that she … [Read more...]

“Should I Attend the Wedding of a Gay Friend of Family Member?”: I’m in the current Christianity Today

subscribers-only for now. I'm one of four respondents (the others are Peter Ould, Lisa Severine Nolland, and Sherif Girgis) and the only "yes." It's a more-conciliatory but also more tightly-written version of the answer I give in my book. … [Read more...]

“Marilynne Robinson Returns to Gilead”: I review “Lila”

at AmCon--I think this piece turned out well: Ten years ago Marilynne Robinson began telling us the story of Gilead, Iowa, a tiny town surrounded by fields and farms. A droplet of water in which the whole world is reflected.She began with Gilead, a novel in the form of a long letter written from the dying John Ames to his young son. Ames situates the town in its historical context, showing how this apparently all-white enclave nonetheless falls under the shadow of racism, from the Civil War … [Read more...]

“Detroit’s ‘Walking Man’ Walks On”: Vice

reports: ...That's how it's been for a decade for James Robertson, Detroit's Walking Man. Twenty miles a day. One-hundred miles a week. More than 5,000 miles a year. In total, the equivalent of two trips around Earth. In that time, Robertson has never missed a day of work."I just believe a man should work," he told me. "Work takes care of your soul. The rest takes care of itself."This outlook may have made Robertson rich in spirit, but it has not made him rich in fact. He can't afford a … [Read more...]

Jason Byassee on Christians and “Christian”

This is the part that really irks me the most on eschewing “Christian.” It’s as though we get off scot-free for historical Christian sins (the crusades, racism, you name it) by just calling ourselves something else. Christians believe there is a way to forgiveness and purity—but it passes through confession, restoration, and repaired relationship. The much more costly way to disassociate from those who have done ill in Christ’s name is to set about loving as fanatically as they hated.here; vi … [Read more...]

Who Counts as Family? A Rich Connecticut Neighborhood* Tests the Boundaries

via Ratty, and super-relevant to conversations here about friendship as kinship: A neighborhood kerfuffle on one of the city's wealthiest residential streets has triggered a cease-and-desist order, fervent appeals and debate over what constitutes a family.The controversy centers on 68 Scarborough St., a nine-bedroom brick mansion shared by eight adults and three children — an arrangement among longtime friends who share monthly expenses, chores and legal ownership of the stately home, said J … [Read more...]

The Mayor-for-Life, At Least

Marion Barry, RIP.Look, Barry started out as a civil-rights organizer throwing block parties in the hood, and ended as an advocate for people coming out of prison. In between he presided over a decade and a half in which DC suffered disproportionately from the violence which swept through all US cities in the '80s and '90s. I know it started before we even had "home rule" (ish) and everybody else's city also suffered and hey, at least he didn't declare a state of emergency and try to call … [Read more...]


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