That time I was the evil opposite of Neoliberalism

I was supposed to learn what “Neoliberalism” means back in the early 1990s, in seminary. Alas, I stopped reading that book on page 51 when I came across the author’s example of the epitome of all that Neoliberalism opposed. That turned out to be, well, me. [Read more…]

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Love > tolerance; but (love – tolerance – subsidiarity) < love

Take away all indirect responsibility and all of our more direct, more proximate responsibilities become enormously more challenging. If we begin to treat those direct responsibilities as exclusive — as precluding all of the indirect responsibilities — then we’re soon going to find that it’s impossible to manage them. Without the network of mutuality, we’re on our own for everything — which is to say, we’re screwed. [Read more…]

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The national ID card and the Mark of the Beast

For a big chunk of those voters, Orwell’s language of “Big Brother” isn’t the preferred literary metaphor for the totalitarian nightmare they fear. They’re not worried about Big Brother, but about the Antichrist. This is why it’s so startling and jarring to see demand for a national ID card as one of the top issues on the agenda of these Trump-loving voters. Because everybody knows that a national ID card is the Mark of the Beast. [Read more…]

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Subsidiarity is really important, whether or not you call it that

If I abdicate my direct responsibilities, I will end up placing a heavier burden on those with indirect responsibilities — forcing them to play a more direct role. If I neglect my indirect responsibilities, I will end up placing a heavier burden on those who bear a more direct responsibility — possibly causing them to fall under the weight of it. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (1.21)

Ursula K. LeGuin reminds her local paper that public land belongs to the public. Maria Konnikova on why we fall for con games. Woody Guthrie on that racist New York slumlord Old Man Trump. And Carol Howard Merritt on the wage gap in the church. [Read more…]

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Sometimes so strange, sometimes so sweet

The resignation of Wheaton College president Philip Ryken wouldn’t completely unsoil the sheets there, but it might be a good start. Plus: Municipal broadband beats however you’re reading this; Ted Cruz has some hideous friends; the Webby Awards apparently still exist; and yes, of course I’ll link to a piece on “Buffy” and the folklore of Hell. [Read more…]

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For some it’s a con, for some it’s a game, and for some it’s a gnostic cult. And sometimes it’s all three at once.

I used to think that the audience supporting any given conspiracy theory was made up of three distinct kinds of people: Cynics, true believers, and hobbyists. That’s in the past tense because I no longer quite believe that. What I’m starting to believe, instead, is that any individual supporter of any given conspiracy is made up of all three of those things. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (3.20)

Conor Williams dissects David Brooks. Robin DiAngelo on white fragility. Kevin Kruse on the corporate creation of “Christian America.” And Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess on the simplicity of consent. Plus, Christian leaders from across America come together to acknowledge that Franklin Graham is awful. [Read more…]

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