I don’t think bombing is the answer. I don’t know what the answer is.

After the death of Elie Wiesel, thousands of people shared an inspiring quote from him on social media. But I do not know quite how to be inspired by it — I do not know what it is that it should inspire me to do or to advocate that others do on my behalf. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (7.29)

Laurie Penny on Milo and nihilists and … a lot (just read it). Patrick Blanchfield on America’s Gun. Michelle Obama gives a speech for the ages. Prof. Patricia Leary seizes a teaching opportunity. And Binyavanga Wainaina teaches us “How to Write About Africa.” [Read more…]

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RIP Daniel Berrigan

“One may reject the claims of sainthood made on his behalf (he never made any such claim himself, by the way), one may also reject sainthood as an ideal and therefore feel that his basic aims were anti-human: but regarded simply as a politician, and compared with the other leading political figures of our time, how clean a smell he has managed to leave behind!” [Read more…]

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Libya and Rwanda

The Obama administration’s 2011 intervention in Libya wasn’t about promoting democracy, or nation-building, peance and freeance, being greeted as liberators, purple fingers or painting schools. It was about Rwanda. Right or wrong, that was the thinking that shaped the decision and its execution. [Read more…]

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We talk like people who live in infamy

The “rules” of war may not carry legal consequences, but they do carry inescapable consequences of identity. It is always possible to “get away with” attacking non-combatants just so long as you go on to win, ensuring your war “crimes” are never punished. But you can’t break that rule without becoming a breaker of the rule. Which is to say, more bluntly, that you cannot break that rule without becoming infamous — a coward, a murderer, and an asshole. [Read more…]

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Just before it all blows to pieces

To tea-party Republicans in Maine, Episcopalians are dangerous “anti-Christian bigots.” Plus: An inspiring conversion narrative from Libby Anne; Scarlett Johansson reads the Bible; Mansonite white terrorists; and the red-cup guy battles imaginary Satanists while real Satanists take “GetReligion” to school. [Read more…]

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Armistice Day and apologies

A legitimate apology needs to express regret, responsibility, and remedy, says author Beverly Engel. Without all three elements, any apology will seem hollow, inadequate, and insincere. That’s why, I think, neither “Thank you for your service” nor “Happy Veterans Day” can ever express what they’re attempting to convey. [Read more…]

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The Second Seal: How can a permanent fixture be a prediction of the future?

But whatever you make of the rest of the book, I just can’t see how Revelation 6:3-4 can be read as a foretelling of the future. The rider on the red horse — war — isn’t some dreaded figure whose arrival will come in the distant future. He lives here. He’s always lived here. [Read more…]

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