Feeding the hungry is a Good Thing

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would slash federal funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development by more than $6 billion. The biggest chunk of that cut would come from “eliminating the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which provides money for a variety of community development and anti-poverty programs, including Meals on [Read More…]

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‘Somebody else’s babies’

These signs are, on the one hand, a laudable appeal to empathy — a useful bit of instruction in empathy. Their message carries the moral authority of the Golden Rule. It asks passing motorists to consider the children of this neighborhood with the same care and concern they have for their own children. And that’s good. But, on the other hand, there’s also something terrifying and monstrous about the message of this sign. [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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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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I’m just weary to my bones

Wherein I amend my earlier discussion of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, the timid poetry editor who was also a beast in the streets for abolitionism. Also: Historical models for full-on Harriet-Tubman/Robin-Hood style resistance; Mark 9:38-41 in practice; Melania’s money-making scheme; and a look back at “A Thief in the Night.” [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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OK, so we’re talking about Frederick Douglass today

Douglass’ words can be applied to more than one law, policy and initiative of our new president. And his condemnation of the “stupidly blind or most wickedly indifferent … church of our country” now obsequiously cheering Trump on still rings true. This reinforces the truth and untruth of the blather we’re hearing from Donald Trump and Sean Spicer. Trump does not want to highlight such words. But they will become. More and more. [Read more…]

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Go and learn what this means (part 6: patriotism)

The religion and religious expression condemned by the prophets was something that most of their listeners would have assumed was an obvious virtue. Worship, prayer, offerings, praise, sacrifices, holy days, hymn-singing, church-going — these were all assumed to be Good Things done by Good People as evidence and consequence of their goodness. “Patriotism” falls into the same sort of category. [Read more…]

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