Today we Grieve but Tomorrow We March

Some of my readers have expressed an interest in space for talking through their feelings about today’s inauguration. I’ll start with a few words, and then leave space for collecting conversation and (yes) grieving.

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Why is Kylo Ren the Center of Episode VII Merchandise?

The heroes of Episode VII—the good guys—were Rey, a young white woman, and Finn, a young black man. But if you go to the Walmart website and google “Star Wars A Force Awakens shirt” there are half a dozen shirts prominently featuring Kylo Ren for every one shirt even picturing Finn. The same thing happens if you put those words in a google search.

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Voice in the Wind: Let’s Get Started

Rivers is setting up Hadassah’s fear as something she will overcome later in the book, but from where I’m standing her fear, at this moment, seems perfectly reasonable. Indeed, while they didn’t have the term back then, I’d imagine living through the siege, famine, and sacking of Jerusalem would give someone some serious PTSD. This isn’t a faith issue. It’s a living-through-things-no-child-should-live-through thing.

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Trump Agriculture Nominee Credits Serial Sexual Predator as His Spiritual Mentor

Over the years, many have compared IBLP to a cult, and Gothard to a cult leader. He had that affect on people—he could command unswerving loyalty and unadulterated devotion, and render people willing to ignore the warning signs. And Perdue, it seems, is one of those who fell under his spell. I realize that none of this has anything to do with agriculture. It has a lot more to do with judgement, though—and a white old boys’ club willing to ignore those trampled underfoot.

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Feminism, Abortion, and Coalition-Building

The organization New Wave Feminism isn’t simply anti-abortion. It’s a group that spreads medical misinformation, slut-shames women, and shares gross propaganda. But there’s a bigger issue at play here. Can you be anti-abortion and a feminist? Obviously, this isn’t a question I can answer. It’s something many people have argued over in recent decades; there is no gatekeeper for the label “feminist” and no one can stop anyone else from using it. I would offer a few thoughts, though.

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Could Women with IUDs Be Charged with Murder?

The problem with Foreman’s legislation, for Wilson, is not that it could involve charging women who have IUDs with first degree murder. That appears to be a-okay for him. The problem, for Wilson, is with making the charge stick in cases where intent to kill (i.e. first degree murder) is difficult to prove—something he says “the language of the bill” should take into account.

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The Pinkification of Girls’ Toys

What happened, exactly? The pinkification of toys geared toward girls today is impossible not to notice. Walk down any toy aisles at any box store—the “girls” toys are thoroughly pink and purple. It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when “girls” toys, while still geared toward girls, were a variety of colors. The extreme color-coded world children live in today is new, and not inevitable.

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DeVos on Accountability and the Right to an Education

DeVos’s confirmation hearings are this week. DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, has come in for a lot of criticism given her lack of experience with public schools (she has never attended, sent a child to, or worked at a public school) and her commitment to public charter schools and voucher programs.

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Martin Luther King, Jr., Shape-Shifter

I hate to sound like I’m picking on Kasich. He was the only Republican presidential candidate who refused to fall in line behind Trump, and based on my reading, he wasn’t appealing to King in an effort to silence people. Still, he followed a pattern set by all too many white people—he used King’s memory in an ahistorical way to make a point unconnected from King’s lived actions.

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What Spiritual Warfare Has in Common with New Ageism

I grew up in an evangelical household. I have been on prayer walks. Growing up, I was taught that the world around us is full of angels and demons locked in conflict, a conflict we (usually) cannot see. The prayers of believers have the power to banish demons. When we would go on a prayer walk around a neighborhood, that is what we would do—pray away the evil forces and pray down God’s protection.

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