That rug really tied the room together

That rug really tied the room together May 3, 2016

• Went to bed thinking the 2016 GOP primary couldn’t get any stranger or nastier. Woke up, again, to find out I was wrong.

From Christianity Today: “Darrin Patrick, vice president of the Acts 29 church planting network and founding pastor of The Journey megachurch in St. Louis, has been fired for violating his duties as a pastor. The Journey cited a range of ongoing sinful behaviors over the past few years including manipulation, domineering. …”

Never heard of this guy. Who is he? “Patrick, the author of The Dude’s Guide to Manhood … also served as a council member for The Gospel Coalition.” Oh, one of those “biblical manhood” guys. OK, then.

Pro-tip: Never read anything called “The Dude’s Guide to …” unless it was actually written by Jeff Bridges.

• “A St. Anthony manufactured home community is closing forcing 100 families to move.”

“John Weeber has lived in Lowry Grove for 14 years. ‘They’re gonna just throw us away like garbage,’ he said.” (Caption and photo from the Star Tribune, Leila Navidi)

This is a terrific, moving photo gallery from the Star Tribune about the end of a neighborhood and the loss of home for 100 families in Minnesota. Millions of Americans, like these families, have poured their savings into buying a home, but do not own the land beneath it. And when that land is sold by profit-seeking landlords, they lose everything.

There’s a better way.

• “Gay students, supporters and alumni at Wheaton College, a top evangelical Christian school that counts former House Speaker Dennis Hastert among its most famous grads, have told the administration they are ‘stunned’ the college has not condemned the sexual abuse of boys that Hastert admitted committing when he was sentenced last Wednesday for fraud in trying to cover up the abuse.” (See also: “Wheaton tarnishes itself again.”)

• “Bryan Stevenson Is Working To Transform How Society’s Most Vulnerable Access Legal Aid.”

(My alma mater counts Bryan Stevenson “among its most famous grads.” This is why, unlike Wheaton, it’s not considered “a top evangelical Christian school.” )

Here’s yet another one of those stories. Trumpite gets elected to local board of education. Trumpite writes hateful screed on Facebook. Trumpite forced to resign from board of education.

Gladys Gryskiewicz was forced to step down for writing things like “America needs to get rid of people like you” and “stay in your desserts [sic] and follow your religion in your own countries.” She wrote this about students and families in the school district she was elected to oversee. The Reuters report refers to this as “offensive” and notes that a student — the son of Pakistani immigrants — was “offended.” That’s not wrong, but it’s beside the point. This isn’t about “offensiveness.”

It’s about the fact that Gladys Gryskiewicz disqualified herself from serving on the school board by stating that she was unwilling and incapable of serving the interests of many of her students and their families. And that means she is unwilling and unable to serve on the board of education.

The “offensive”/”offended” narrative distracts from that crucial point — misleading us into notions of “political correctness” or the idea that this has to do primarily with people’s feelings and sensitivities. That’s not the main point. The main point is that Gryskiewicz — by her own, voluntary admission — cannot do the job and will not do the job she was elected to do, just as Donald Trump has repeatedly told us he cannot and will not do the job he is campaigning to do.

• Jennifer Miller’s “The Mercy Girls” is a long, disturbing read about a chain of “Christian counseling centers” that seem like a nightmare mix of Cuckoo’s Nest and the Magdalene laundries. Mercy Ministries doesn’t seem to supply much of either. It seems more like the setting for some future season of American Horror Story.

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