‘It means not having to think about any of this, ever’

“What does it mean to be privileged?” Jamelle Bouie asks, “It means not having to think about any of this, ever.” And the rabbi says “Amen.”
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Outsourcing theocracy to Uganda: This is what bad fruit looks like


Uganda is 85-percent Christian. The U.S. is 70-percent Christian. This is not about missions or missionaries or the gospel, this is about outsourcing theocracy. And what these purported Christians are promoting in Uganda is evil. This is a tree bearing bad fruit. [Read more...]

Roe v. Wade backlash myth clouds real history of state’s rights and segregated schools


White evangelicals in the 1970s were upset with the U.S. Supreme Court, but that anger wasn’t about Roe v. Wade or about abortion at all. That anger was about — to borrow Ronald Reagan’s preferred euphemism — “state’s rights.” It was about the belief that “that we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment.” [Read more...]

Who should pray at the inauguration? How about nobody?


We do not need prayers at inaugurations. We need to not have prayers at inaugurations. Those sentences are true whether the “we” refers to we Americans as a nation or to “we” Christians or “we” religious people. Mingling of church and state is not good for either church or state. [Read more...]

How President Obama reminds me of Ron Sider (and why that’s both good and bad)


Ron Sider’s response to personal attacks was to reach out, to invite his critics to meet with him. Even when his critics were clearly acting in bad faith, his response would be to reach out to them in the hopes that he could convince them to act in good faith. That is something I have always admired about him. It is also one of the greatest sources of frustration for anyone who has ever worked with him. [Read more...]

When Christians argue that Jesus Christ has no religious significance

This is not Sallman's "Head of Christ." This is Hunstein's Head of Cash. I like this better.

An Ohio public school superintendent is defending the ginormous reproduction of Sallman’s Head of Christ that hangs in a Jackson City school building. He says the iconic portrayal of a white Gentile Jesus does not privilege or establish religion, but merely reflects “the culture of our community.” [Read more...]

Your lips say ‘school prayer,’ but your eyes tell me ‘desegregation’


Part of the problem with arguments about “prayer in schools” is that quite often they don’t seem to really be about prayer in schools. The anger and resentment over the loss of cultural hegemony the 1962 school prayer decision has come to symbolize seems to trace back earlier than 1962. About eight years earlier, I think. [Read more...]

Church & state and ‘beliefs’ that believers don’t care about


Hospitals really aren’t looking to hire medical professionals who don’t believe in professional medicine. Hiring a nurse who doesn’t “believe in” flu shots is a bit like hiring an auto mechanic who doesn’t believe in internal combustion. [Read more...]