New Jersey people they will surprise you

I’ve been cautiously monitoring the court battle over marriage equality in New Jersey, the place of my birth. As John Gorka says, “I’m from New Jersey, I don’t expect too much,” and so I’ve been skeptical of the positive signs and reluctant to celebrate until it seemed clear that such celebration wasn’t just some cruel illusion. That’s the Jersey way of looking at things. But I think maybe we can celebrate now. [Read more…]

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A gay (Gol)goth(a) scene

It’s not possible to stand with only some people against the bullies, or — to use that theological language again — to share in God’s preferential option for only some of the oppressed. Any attempt to do that means accepting the bully’s bargain, so vividly portrayed in this video: Either join them in casting stones, or become a target of those stones yourself. [Read more…]

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Postcards from the culture wars (10.7)

Pope Francis, Saudi morality police, Lysol, Mary Magdalene, Chvrches, white male theology, improperly directed hate crimes, the terrorist Robert E. Lee, reparative therapy and climate change, sexual predators on the mission field, and yet another lesson for Rick Warren. [Read more…]

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Who said this?

“I would rather die in the battle for truth than continue living under the chaos and tyranny that is coming upon us. And so some things are worth dying for, whether it’s in our own emotions or in our own ambitions or whether it’s actual, physical death. Some things are worth standing for and it’s time for us to stand up.” [Read more…]

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Postcards from the culture wars

“We need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the Senate,” said a senator doing his best to be one of them — while also proving Patterson Hood’s thesis that “Southerners love electing dumbasses.” Michigan says the state’s job is “to regulate sexual relationships.” And more … [Read more…]

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Pillars of the community: Racism, rape culture and the superintendent

The local firestorm over this has focused on the giggling racism exchanged by Como and Donato, and that’s understandable. But the misogyny and rape language is just as disturbing, and it’s woven throughout their “conversations.” Their standard term for female students and teachers is “piece” and they’re seething with resentment that, as white men, they’re denied the free use and abuse of women’s bodies in the way that both seem to think is their entitlement. [Read more…]

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‘Everybody’: Blazing Saddles, religious pluralism and the American Constitution

The history of America is summed up in one brief scene of Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks’ ridiculous, exuberantly rude 1974 masterpiece. It’s the story of how “But we don’t want the Irish!” slowly evolves into “Everybody!” [Read more…]

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Texas evangelicals argue against evangelism

If you’re an evangelical Christian and you find yourself arguing that “religious liberty” means that religious identity is immutable and unchangeable, and therefore that evangelism is unnecessary and impossible, then you need to rethink the trap you’ve set for yourself. [Read more…]

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