• “Fireworks and Brimstone: The Personal God of Katy Perry.” Laura Turner paints an insightful portrait of the pop star’s Pentecostal roots and how it shapes who she is now. For an alternative view, you can check in with Christian-brand radio ministers/lobbyists Dave Daubenmire and Linda Harvey.
• Here’s the thing, Millennials, you’ve got the numbers. There are more of you than there are Baby Boomers, and there are fewer of them every year. Right now, they run the show — which means keeping you in perpetual debt (to them) and passing tax cuts for themselves rather than maintaining the infrastructure their parents’ generation built. But you’ll get to change that, if you want to.
• Those of us who do not pay for digital access to The New York Times can only read a limited number of articles each month. It’s well worth using one of those slots to read David Amsden’s piece for the Times magazine, “Building the First Slavery Museum in America.” John Cummings seems to have stepped out of the pages of a Walker Percy novel.
• Reach down, punch up. Always punch up, never punch down. These are good guidelines. But here in the messy real world, their application can be complicated. It sometimes happens that someone is simultaneously up and down, oppressor and oppressed. What then?
Well, maybe something like this: “Wonkette Commenters Teach Obamacare-Hating Sheriff A Lesson By Paying His Medical Bills.” Well played, Wonketeers.
• As John Fea says, it’s hard to be sure exactly what just happened at Mid-America Nazarene University. But the chaplain of the Kansas college was recently demoted after a “controversial” chapel talk in which he suggested that maybe American Christianity shouldn’t celebrate war and killing quite so much as it does. As Fea writes, “It seems like Mid-America President David Spittal caved to outside pressure from a constituency that probably equates Christianity and American patriotism.”
This is a pattern with white evangelical institutions and it involves two problems. First, big donors have undue influence over the the identity and operations of those institutions. And, second, those big donors tend to exert that influence in support of horrible ideas.