1. It’s not just that evangelical Christians are more likely to divorce, but that the more evangelical Christians there are in any given community, the more likely everyone is to get divorced. It’s almost as though an obsessive focus on sexual shaming might be bad for healthy relationships. Who could have guessed?
2. “All of a sudden, Stephanie Recchi, who’d previously seen ‘television ads and some politicians talking on the news,’ saw the benefits of health care reform up close. ‘This is wonderful,’ she said.”
3. Great Moments in Republican “Minority Outreach” (cont’d.): “Turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.”
That’s from L. Brooks Patterson, a Michigan county executive: “In recent years, Patterson has also come under fire for comparing Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger to Hitler and for suggesting that Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano kill himself.” He seems nice.
5. For all the very public Bible-reading, praying and fasting done by Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone, you’d think maybe he’d realize that bearing false witness isn’t a Christian virtue. But no.
6. Sometimes they’re honest about their agenda: Scott Lively says he wants to outlaw abortion because it diminishes the “biblical authority” that husbands are supposed to enjoy “as heads of their households.”
7. Recommending Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Nature and Destiny of Man to a friend, I warned, “He’s really great on the nature, but not so good on the destiny.” Andrew Bacevich seems to have similar thoughts on Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History:
As a source of insight into the wellsprings of U.S. foreign policy, Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History is an invaluable text. If you want to understand the ambitions, claims, and conceits animating the United States during its rise to power and still lingering today, then Niebuhr’s your man and Irony the place to look.
As a policy handbook, however, Irony is all but devoid of value. When it comes to concrete and immediate concerns … Niebuhr’s not much help.
To the statesman beset with problems, Niebuhr may offer warnings, but he provides little by way of actionable guidance. At best, Niebuhr’s counsel serves as the equivalent of a flashing yellow traffic light at a busy intersection.