What if we learned about the Bible from the people who got it right?

The victims of injustice tend to have a far better theological track record than the defenders, perpetrators, and beneficiaries of it. We should try learning from them for a change. Perhaps it would be better to learn about the Bible from the people who got it right than to continue learning about the Bible from people who insist on getting it wrong. [Read more…]

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A generation which knew not Joseph

When it comes to the biblical story of Joseph, I’m with John Calvin. Joseph exploited the hungry and enslaved the entire world to curry favor with a tyrant. And that, Calvin concluded, was simply indefensible. “It is certain that all contracts which are not formed according to the rule of charity are vicious in the sight of God,” the reformer wrote in his commentary on Genesis. [Read more…]

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The politics of white resentment (a slice of local history)

Here’s a slice of very local politics from the 1970s that starkly parallels our national politics in 2016. This is from my daughter’s research on a Philly public housing battle during the Rizzo administration, but it illustrates the way that baldly racist segregationist policies get euphemized and repackaged as supposedly race-neutral policies today. [Read more…]

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Are the good times really over for good?

Merle Haggard wrote and sang some terrific songs, and he collaborated and hung out with some of my favorite artists in the world of country music, but I had a hard time getting past his angry right-wing tribalism (whether he meant any of that, or if he was just selling records, isn’t clear, but also doesn’t really matter). [Read more…]

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Donald Trump did not know the Standard Answer on criminalizing abortion

The Standard Answer is this: “Of course no one is talking about putting women in jail. No one has ever said that’s what should be done. We would only punish the abortionists, not the women.” That’s not intended to provide an answer for the question. It’s intended to prevent the answerer from having to think about it. [Read more…]

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South Carolina GOP threatens evangelical churches

South Carolina Republicans are pushing a bill that would hold churches criminally and financially liable if any refugees they resettle should ever — at any point in the future — be involved in or accused of negligence or violent crime. The S.C. GOP hopes this bill will intimidate churches into turning their backs on refugees. And they’re hoping that other states will adopt similar legislation. [Read more…]

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Educated men who are almost as ignorant about insurance as they are about human reproduction

Men who don’t understand how sex works or what contraception does are now suing the government, taking their case before a bunch of male Supreme Court justices who have no idea how health insurance works or what contraception does. And this group of ridiculously ignorant men would like to rewrite our laws regarding contraception and health insurance. What could go wrong? [Read more…]

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Heels

Pat McCrory really, really wants to look in your young daughter’s pants. And the North Carolina governor’s fascination with inspecting the private parts of private citizens is going to wind up costing residents of his state millions of dollars defending the lawsuits that will inevitably 1) challenge, and 2) overturn the law he just signed, which was hastily drafted and passed by Republicans in the state legislature in a special session yesterday. [Read more…]

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