Sanctuary and ‘civil disobedience’ (part 1)

Sanctuary is an old idea, existing since ancient times. Over thousands of years, the idea and practice has evolved, but it endures today. And in all that time, in all its various forms in various cultures, one thing has always been true of the refuge provided by the practice of sanctuary: It has been lawful and legal, a legitimate assertion of jurisdiction and not a form of “civil disobedience.” [Read more…]

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I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered

Wherein I’m not confident that the makers of “Kong: Skull Island” really understand the dynamics of ecology, evolution, or island biogeography. And speaking of insular dwarfism, here are some recent stories about the strange priorities and disastrous economic effects of anti-immigrant Trumpism. [Read more…]

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How did a ‘heart for missions’ lead to contempt?

The “10/40 Window” used to be a big deal in mission conferences at white evangelical churches. Nowadays, white evangelicals seem to view these countries differently. The “10/40 Window” is the region from which white evangelicals want to ban refugees and immigrants. It’s the region white evangelicals want their chosen president to carpet bomb, invade, and steal oil from. [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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The Pearly Gates are never, ever closed

The Pearly Gates of Heaven are a cliché image in popular culture. Every time a famous person dies, newspaper cartoonists churn out variations of the Famous Person at the Pearly Gates cartoon. The same Pearly Gates scene gets recycled endlessly in movies, TV shows, advertising, and more jokes than we could ever get written down. But in all of that pop-culture imagery and in all the religious folklore built around it, we tend to get one detail of John of Patmos’ vision completely backwards. [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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Don’t know a soul who’s not been battered

President Donald Trump held a press conference today. It was bonkers. Plus: Elizabeth Drew provides an overview of the first three weeks of Trump’s presidency; a Barton-ite Republican announces his candidacy; and Reverend Bruiser vs. Dr. Viper. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (2.14.17)

It’s never a bad time to re-read George Washington’s letter to the Hebrew congregation at Newport, but now seems like an especially good time. Plus: HIAS on religious liberty; David Blight on Frederick Douglass; and Austin Channing Brown on “identity politics.” [Read more…]

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