Maybe God is trying to tell you something

Your fingers too short to box with God.

I’d advise Trump to stick to some nice, safe evangelical church this week — somewhere that doesn’t use the lectionary shared by most of the world’s Christians. I’m sure he can get his new fundie friends to recommend some local church that would be better-suited for him. Someplace more hospitable to Trump’s central campaign theme of inhospitality.
Some nice, safe white evangelical church, in other words, where Trump won’t have to worry about encountering a God who might be trying to tell him something. [Read more...]

Empathy turned to fear and resentment

Screen shot 2016-01-27 at 4.47.25 PM

In 1741, white New Yorkers panicked due to their fear of a potential slave revolt. That fear refutes all the nonsense we often hear about how the stark immorality of the slave system was perceived differently back in those days, and how we should all be more generous toward the defenders and exploiters of slavery because things were different back then and (white) folks just didn’t know any better. They knew. That’s why they were scared [Read more...]

Brother Paul and the Ship of Miracles: Good stories


“The Meredith was designed to haul cargo and only had accommodations for 12 passengers and a 47-person crew. On the afternoon of Dec. 22, in gale force winds and swirling snow, the crew began to load the refugees into the cargo holds using makeshift booms and gangplanks. … It took nearly 24 hours, but the crew somehow managed to fit 14,000 refugees within the ship’s five cargo holds.” [Read more...]

Please be impotently polite in responding to our uncivil abuse of power


Suspending a tenured professor based on an implausible twisting of her words is not polite. Abusing administrative power is not polite. Attempting to intimidate your entire faculty is not polite. And scapegoating a professor as retaliation against student leaders for their commendable behavior is not polite. [Read more...]

Abd el-Kader and Syrian refugees

Abd el-Kader, photographed in Damascus, 1860.

With the rejection of Syrian refugees becoming an ugly political issue for Republican presidential candidates, and with those same candidates campaigning in and around Elkader, Iowa, it seems like a good time to revisit the story of the man that city is named after. This story has something to teach all of us about protecting and sheltering refugees. It’s something those candidates desperately need to learn. [Read more...]

Lancaster County exposes the fraudulent misleadership of GOP governors and candidates


Lancaster County is doing both. It has ended homelessness among veterans in the county and it is welcoming and assisting desperate refugees fleeing ISIS’s brutality in Syria. It is doing both because in order to be the kind of community that is capable of doing one it had to also be the kind of community capable of doing the other. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (11.20)

The Economist explains why the investigation and screening that already occurs makes it the least likely route for potential terrorists to try to enter the U.S. Dahlia Lithwick, Laurel Reiman Henneman, and George Takei on the disgraceful history of American concentration camps and the awful Supreme Court validation of them. And Adam Kotsko on the only kind of logic that can lead to this irrational, heartless, fearful politics (Hint: It’s racism). [Read more...]

Cursed be anyone who deprives the refugee of justice


This is not history. This is today. It’s right now. And all the horrified students who have read the histories of the 20th century and asked “How could they …? Why did they …?” Are seeing the answer, played out live, on TV and on the campaign trail. This is how they could and how they did. This is how that happened. This is how that is happening. [Read more...]