The culture war has always been about race

Sen. Jesse Helms accepts the "Proudly Pro-Life" award from the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund in 1998.

Before the Reagan years, the culture wars were an anti-civil-rights struggle focused on race (“states’ rights,” busing, etc.), which drew support from white evangelical voters. After the Reagan years, the culture wars became an anti-feminist struggle focused on sex (abortion, LGBT rights, etc.), which solidified that white evangelical support into the GOP’s largest and most reliable voting bloc. That was a huge change. Or, maybe, it wasn’t. [Read more...]

‘The propriety of the nation must be startled’

Douglass

It’s Friday the 14th, but let’s have some Douglass anyway: “Scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (8.11)

Montesinos

Yolanda Pierce on the “cauldron of proslavery ideology” that shaped American theology. LBJ on the Voting Rights Act, 50 years before John Roberts killed it. John Oliver on sex education. Robert Chao Romero on “Montesinos and the Birth of Brown Theology.” And Tina Dupuy on guns and people who want to be “pro-life.” [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (8.7)

Max Ehrenfreund on Kansas’ efforts to kick the poors. Ta-Nehisi Coates on “Color-Blind Policy, Color-Conscious Morality.” Randall Kennedy on “The Civil Rights Movement and the Politics of Memory.” Jill Lepore on arguments from privacy and arguments from equality. And Sr. Joan Chittister on “pro-life” vs. pro-birth. [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars (8.6)

Oregon2

“The commandments — ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”,’ and any other commandment — 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...]

The gospel according to 1 Corinthians 13 (part 2)

"Then your light shall break forth like the dawn ..."

The main problem with “sharing our faith” is that faith is not the main thing we should be sharing. It’s not the main thing at all. It’s not the point, not the focus, and making it our point and our focus in evangelism sends us way off track. Evangelism should be about sharing the greatest of these, the more excellent way. [Read more...]

The gospel according to 1 Corinthians 13 (part 1)

YATLOTW

We all know love when we see it. And when we see the genuine article, we’re awed by it, regardless of the “theological system” (or absence of any such system) of those who show such genuine love. [Read more...]

Try not to be the Bad Guy in the story: What it means to be ‘on the wrong side of history’

This man lost. His side lost. But he was not on "the wrong side of history" because he is the good guy in this story.

“The wrong side of history” is not a claim about the future, but a claim about the present. And it’s not a claim about winners or losers or about the inevitable progress of the dialectic. It’s about good guys and bad guys. Every rhetorical invocation of TWSOH is an invitation to ask Mitchell and Webb’s question: “Are we the baddies?” [Read more...]


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