‘Somebody else’s babies’

These signs are, on the one hand, a laudable appeal to empathy — a useful bit of instruction in empathy. Their message carries the moral authority of the Golden Rule. It asks passing motorists to consider the children of this neighborhood with the same care and concern they have for their own children. And that’s good. But, on the other hand, there’s also something terrifying and monstrous about the message of this sign. [Read more…]

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Make Neptune Great Again

You remember Steve Guttenberg in Season 2 of Veronica Mars? He played Woody Goodman, the millionaire with a dark secret who became mayor of Neptune. This is a story about Woody Goodman, but with a different dark secret. And it’s not really about Woody, or Neptune. It would make a heck of a TV show, but a lousy reality. [Read more…]

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Ignorant jerks abusing ‘the poor will always be with you’ will always be with you

That’s what Jesus is saying. “The poor will always be with you” because you are disobedient, hardhearted, exploitative and devious. The presence of poverty is not some inevitable law of the universe, it’s the consequence of sin — your sin, the sin of the wealthy, not the sin of the poor. The fact that the poor are with us is a rebuke. It is evidence of our guilt and failure and wicked thinking. [Read more…]

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Postcards from the class & culture wars (3.2.17)

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments … are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” [Read more…]

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‘Where I come from’ we claim universal generalities as our peculiar virtues

“Folks ’round here love their families,” the Very Nice man says. “We value hard work and honesty.” And the Very Nice man seems Very Nice, until you realize that what he’s actually saying is that he and his community imagine that other people in other places do NOT love their families and that “those people” do NOT value hard work and honesty. Once you realize this is what they want and need to believe about everyone else, the Very Nice man and his Very Nice community no longer seem quite so nice. [Read more…]

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The IndigNation

American society is marked by the baffling phenomenon of the haves resenting the have-nots. This is such a common feature of American life that we almost get inured to how dazzlingly weird this is. The wealthy deride the poor as “takers.” The rich resent the poor. White folks indignantly resent people of color. Men resent women. The powerful resent the powerless. This is ass-backwards and utterly illogical. [Read more…]

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Postcards from the class & culture wars (2.21.17)

“I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” [Read more…]

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The culture wars are class war, and vice versa (2.12.17)

“Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious …” [Read more…]

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