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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The culture wars are class war, and vice versa (2.12.17)

“Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious …” [Read more…]

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The culture wars and the class war have merged

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” [Read more…]

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Relief agencies sound a red alert

“Donald Trump has issued a number of executive orders targeting vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers, which means your voice of opposition is more critical than ever. History has taught us the deadly consequences of slamming the doors of this country shut on people just because of who they are and where they are from. We must prevent this administration from repeating the mistakes of the past.” [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (12.15)

“The premise for empathy has to be equal humanity,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reminds us. Daniel Schultz on what it is that you’re leaving if you leave white evangelicalism. Plus: Rebecca Traister on “identity politics;” John Broich on journalists and autocrats; and Church World Service on how you can help refugees. [Read more…]

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