Witnessing tools and resentment

In a post last week — “You might be an evangelical …” — I touched on some of the esoterica of the evangelical subculture. Much of that post was inside-baseball, jargon and references some readers (maybe the luckier ones) found a bit bewildering. Such as this, for example: If you think the phrase “a witnessing [Read More...]

The greatest degeneration

I’m a big fan of these homefront propaganda posters produced by the U.S. government during World War II. There’s a peppy, can-do spirit about them. The posters convey what folks back then might have called “moxie.” And they presumed that the people reading them would share that spirit. The assumption was that Americans were full [Read More...]

'Stop kicking people when they're down'

If we want to reduce poverty, we have to stop doing the things that make people poor and keep them that way. Stop underpaying people for the jobs they do. Stop treating working people as potential criminals and let them have the right to organize for better wages and working conditions. Stop the institutional harassment [Read More...]

The tea party just cost you $322

The Tea Party just cost you $322. That’s the latest cost of their incoherent national tantrum — $100 billion in increased financing costs for which America gets nothing in return. That works out to $322 for every man, woman and child in the United States. So the Tea Party just cost you $322. They just [Read More...]

Evangelicals and the politics of spite

The headline is depressingly unsurprising: "Polling Evangelicals: Cut Aid to World's Poor, Unemployed." The combination of stupidity, selfishness and resentment for resentment's sake here is an unholy abomination that makes me want to scream and throw things. And I would, if I thought screaming and throwing things would help get through to these folks, but [Read More...]

Don't you know that you can count me out

The tea party and the loudest, most strident voices of anti-abortion politics love to flirt with the idea of armed revolution. This is, for the most part, just adolescent foolishness — a kind of fantasy play-acting that can be summed up in a single word: Wolveriiiiiines! By pretending to believe that America is on the [Read More...]

"Only a crazy person would take what we say seriously"

Violent language and violent rhetoric can be a problem, but I do not think it is the main problem afflicting our diseased political discourse.* The main problem, rather, is disingenuous rhetoric that coolly and calmly demands a violent response from anyone who believes it or takes it seriously. This talk may have nothing to do [Read More...]

"Humorless prig" is redundant

Is humor redemptive? Or, put another way, is not allowing oneself to have a sense of humor a sin? I think it can be. Or, rather, I think it can be the consequence of sin. Joylessness often is. What brings this up was a recent alert — I mean, ALERT!1! — that popped up on [Read More...]