Invisible dancing after an invisible famine

As a young white evangelical, I didn’t remember hearing about any dancing in Jesus’ parable. If you’d asked me about it, I probably would’ve just assumed this dancing was a part of the prodigal son’s prodigality — one of the sinful, wicked things he squandered his fortune on while living sinfully and wickedly among the sinful, wicked outsiders. [Read more…]

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Donald Trump, ‘Playboy,’ and when bigots were kids

The world is supposed to be just like it was before — back when we were kids. That means bedtime stories, playing in the back yard, prayer in schools, leaded gasoline and lousy lightbulbs, women and minorities who knew their place, gays in the closet, white men in the White House, and centerfolds in Playboy. [Read more…]

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Scenes from the class war (10.12)

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” [Read more…]

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‘Who gets a casserole?’

When hardship comes good neighbors often reach out to help. And often that means bringing over a casserole. That’s a tangible, practical gesture. And it’s a way of saying and showing that we’re here for you, and we want to help. But not everybody gets a casserole. Some people, it seems, are not perceived as being casserole-worthy. [Read more…]

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The promissory note

Pope Francis broke one of the cardinal rules of American politics during his visit to the White House last week. The pope quoted from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. That’s fine, of course. It’s almost mandatory to praise that speech — provided you stick to the famous mountaintop kumbaya bits from near the end. But Francis quoted from the dangerous, forbidden parts at the beginning. And that just isn’t allowed. [Read more…]

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How to Lose Friends and Influence People

There’s a bit of folk-wisdom that says you should never lend money to a friend unless you are willing to part with one or the other for good — either the money or the friend. Something like that is true when it comes to lending your integrity to friends. You’ll need to be willing to part with one or the other because it may turn out that you’ll only be able to keep one of them, and you should decide ahead of time which is more important to you. [Read more…]

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If nothing is sacred, then everything is for sale

“Sacred” does not mean that something “is beyond question.” It means that something is beyond price. To say that nothing is “sacred,” then, is to say that everything is for sale. This is not just a deeply cynical thing to say about the world, but a bitterly cynical thing to say about oneself. [Read more…]

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Scenes from the class war (9.8)

“You have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?” [Read more…]

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