1. Here’s a round-up of a few of the more thoughtful responses to Thabiti Anyabwile’s Gospel Coalition post in which he urges Christians to find other people repulsive.
- Kimberly Knight: The importance of my gag reflex in accepting who God made me to be
- Eric Reitan: Sardines, Beondegi, and Not-My-Kind-of-Sex: The Irrelevance of Gag Reflexes
- Amy Mitchell: My Gag Reflex Is None of Your Business
- Zack Hunt: What If Jesus Had a Gag Reflex?
- Aric Clark: The Connection Between Conscience and Disgust
- Dianna E. Anderson: The Upside-Down Theology of Hate as Love
- Tony Jones: Bad Theology Triggers My Gag Reflex
- Richard Beck: On Love and the Yuck Factor
3. “Evangelicals take to Illinois airwaves to promote immigration reform.” Two things on this story. First, this is good to see — a sign of hope against the dimming prospects of reform, and a sign of hope against the dimming prospects of American evangelicalism.
Second, this is a local-angle rewrite of the Associated Press story by Francine Knowles of the Chicago Sun Times. That AP story on this ad campaign has been run by dozens of newspapers all over the country, but almost none of them bothered to localize it — even to check to see if these ads would be running in their area. That used to be routine, standard practice for every AP wire story running in the local paper: Find the local angle, move it up, add some local quotes for context. Newsrooms used to have enough staff to do that. Now they don’t have enough staff and now they only rarely do that. That’s a big loss.
4. CACI International, the disgraced defense contractors who helped to make Abu Ghraib prison just as bad post-Saddam Hussein as it was during the tyrant’s reign, just figured out a way to be even worse people than they already were. Torturers are indefensible. Torturers who later sue those they tortured would seem to require the kind of punishments that only someone like John of Patmos could dream up for them. (Yes, fine — alleged torturers who later sue those they allegedly tortured in those alleged pictures we all allegedly saw.)
5. RIP Elmore Leonard. Here’s the obituary from his hometown paper. Without Leonard around, we have to turn to real life to find the kinds of characters he gave us in an astonishing 45 novels. Consider, for example, Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury — who seems to have walked out of the pages of one of those books. And here’s the subplot unfolding in the background of that story.
6. I’ll give you my ironic contradictions when you pry them from my cold, dead hands:
The National Rifle Association has rallied gun owners — and raised tens of millions of dollars — campaigning against the threat of a national database of firearms or their owners.
But in fact, the sort of vast, secret database the NRA often warns of already exists, despite having been assembled largely without the knowledge or consent of gun owners. It is housed in the Virginia offices of the NRA itself.
7. Why “the event unfortunately known as the Big Bang” should really be called the “Everywhere Stretch.”