Monday, October 31, 2016

Father James Martin's "Two-Way Bridge" Presentation: Some Questions I'd Like to Ask

I was not able to listen to Father James Martin's bridge-building address yesterday, as he received New Ways Ministry's Bridge Building award. I did tune into Twitter as Fr. Martin was delivering his address, and caught a stream of tweets from New Ways Ministry with soundbytes about what Fr. Martin was saying. I was not able to remain on Twitter long enough to get a sense of the contours of the full presentation, and I have not yet read it.

Helpful Links: Live-Streaming of PRRI-Catholic University Press Conference on Catholic Vote; Text of Father Martin's Bridge-Building Address

A follow-up to what I posted yesterday about the media event PRRI is holding today with Catholic University of America, regarding the Catholic vote: as Chris Morley points out in a comment following that posting, PRRI has tweeted that the press conference will be live-streamed. The link for the live-streaming provided by PRRI's tweet points to the C-Span Live Stream site.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Some Resources for Your Consideration: Live Streaming of Father James Martin's Address on LGBTQ Issues in Catholic Context Today, Etc.

I'd like to draw your attention today to some noteworthy (and time-sensitive) resources that may interest many Bilgrimage readers. First, the New Ways Ministry blog Bondings 2.0 has announced this morning that it will be live-streaming Father James Martin's major address about gay* rights and gay people in the Catholic church as he receives New Ways' Bridge Building award today.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Once Again: Sorry to Have Fallen Behind in Responding to Your Very Welcome Comments

In case any of you valued readers did not see my previous comment about this, I want to reiterate how much I value your many comments here — and that I continue to have trouble keeping up with them, with acknowledging and responding to them. I have several projects on my desk right now, and am juggling this against that.

Please know how much I appreciate your comments, even when I don't reply to them. I have occasionally responded to a comment in the past week when it seemed important for me to do that. This does not mean that I don't value all of your comments! I do sometimes think, too, that it may be better for me to be less intrusive in conversations here. You do a very good job of talking among yourselves and probably don't need my nannying presence hovering in your good conversations.

PRRI Finding That Six in Ten White Catholic Men Support Trump: What We Can Expect to Hear (and Not to Hear) Now in Catholic Discussions of This Finding

Regarding PRRI's latest finding — that some six in ten white Catholic men intend to vote for Donald Trump — which I discussed briefly yesterday, we will now begin, I predict, to see articles focusing on the fact that there's a considerable gender gap between white Catholic males and white Catholic women in this election cycle. Those articles may well emphasize the fact that about half of white Catholic women support Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Celia Viggo Wexler Calls on Tim Kaine to Embrace Label "Cafeteria Catholic" — "Jesus Was a Cafeteria Jew"

Celia Viggo Wexler, a practicing Catholic and author of Catholic Women Confront Their Church: Stories of Hurt and Hope, calls on Tim Kaine to embrace the label "cafeteria Catholic" after Kansas City archbishop Joseph Naumann tried to pin it on him as a slur. She writes,

Responses to PRRI Report on Nostalgia for 1950s (Straight White Men Running Things) and U.S. Elections (and Why Catholic Leaders Won't Talk About These Issues)

There's some very good commentary already to be found at various sites about the report PRRI released yesterday, its annual American Values Survey, entitled this year The Divide Over America’s Future: 1950 or 2050? I gave you an initial report about this important document yesterday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mary Hunt and Patricia Miller on Why U.S. Bishops Have Blown Abortion Out of Proportion: A Reminder About Why Many Catholics No Longer Listen

Mary Hunt's reminder here, by way of Patricia Miller's book Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church, is well worth remembering as the head of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference Archbishop Kurtz (and Aquila in Denver and Chaput in Philadelphia) seek to drum up Catholic support for Donald Trump by beating the very tired old anti-abortion drum.

PRRI Releases 2016 American Values Survey, The Divide Over America's Future: 1950 or 2050? Some Initial Takeaways (Gender, Race, Religion, and Politics)

Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has just released its annual American Values Survey. This year's report is entitled The Divide Over America’s Future: 1950 or 2050? Some important takeaways that have to do with topics we've been discussing here:

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Quote for Day: "The Catholic Crisis That the Trump Phenomenon Has Highlighted Is Not Entirely Different from the Crisis American Evangelicals Are Experiencing"

Massimo Faggioli maintains that this "presidential election of 2016 is especially important for the Catholic Church itself for at least two reasons." "The first is that the reaction of the US bishops towards the competition between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump shows the paralysis created by the single-issue platform of official Catholic discourse."

Building Bridges Across America's "God Gulf" After Trump: Not Without Repentance

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Prof. Anthea Butler Goes on Tweetstorm: "For American Evangelicalism, Trump Has Severed and Destroyed Their Message, Movement, and Future"

I fear I'm being verbose this morning. But there's just so much to be said after last evening's debates, isn't there? Anthea Butler, who is Graduate Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at University of Pennsylvania, has gone on a marvelous tweetstorm this morning, and because her tweets are about matters we've been discussing here (white evangelical support for Donald Trump), I want to point you to them (#1 is at the head of the posting): 

Trump and Dismantling of U.S. Democracy: "Movement of White Evangelical Southerners into Republican Ranks Was Fueled Initially by Civil Rights"

This should not escape our attention, though the mainstream media persistently and conveniently choose to play games about this matter: a noteworthy  percentage of our fellow citizens are perfectly willing — let's be honest: they're deliriously happy — to cast their votes for a man whose stated objective is to dismantle the American democratic system as it now exists. Which must mean that this is precisely what these citizens want . . . .

Donald Trump and the Attempt to Dismantle American Democracy: "Running Against Our Democracy Itself"

Commentary on the "revelation" (not a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention) from last night's debates, that Donald Trump and his supporters and the political party that has put him forward want to dismantle the American democratic system as it is now configured: 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hot Off the Presses: More Valuable Resources Discussing Interplay of Religion, Race, Gender in U.S. Election Cycle

The valuable articles about the "religion" vote in the current U.S. elections keep coming out, and I'll keep sharing them with you as they come across my desk. Here are items I've noticed in the past day or so, dealing with issues of religion, race, and gender as the election is being discussed:

Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen's Diary of a Man in Despair on Hitler: "Is There a Nation Today So Lacking in Perspective As to Deny the Possibility That Such a Mass Psychosis Could at Some Time in Its History Occur?"

Reading Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen's Diary of a Man in Despair, trans. Paul Rubens (NY: Macmillan, 1970), as Donald Trump campaigns for the American presidency is a minatory, instructive experience. Reck-Malleczewen was a conservative writer from an East Prussian family of high social standing. He kept a journal from May 1936 to October 1944 chronicling Germany's descent into hell under Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party. The diary ends with his account of being arrested by Nazi officials. Though he was acquitted in October 1944 of charges of undermining the morale of German troops, he was arrested again in December and sent to Dachau, where he died the following February.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trump, "Ugly Witness" of Religious Right, and Impossibility of Going Back Now That Mainstream Media Are Talking Racism, Misogyny, and Religion

For someone whose educational background is in the area of social ethics (with an historical bent), the current U.S. election cycle has been fascinating. In blogging for some years now about the religious right and its historical roots in resistance to racial integration, I've often felt as if I've been casting words to the wind, especially when I've called on the leaders of the Catholic community in the U.S. to acknowledge the deep racism of the white evangelicals with whom U.S. Catholic bishops have made a religious and political alliance that continues to the present (see the award just presented by Mormon leaders to the former USCCB president Cardinal Dolan, for his "visionary leadership"). Acknowledging the racism of white evangelical Southerners would require American Catholic leaders to begin to take a critical look at the extent to which racism also strongly informs the thinking and political choices of white American Catholics — something they, the Catholic media, and the mainstream media have not been willing to do.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

David Gushee on Why Christian Right Still Supports Trump: "Character Counts, They Said"

David Gushee draws on his experience observing the Christian right movement from the 1970s forward to comment on the movement's support for Donald Trump:

Who Drives the Trump Train? "It's Not the Economy, Stupid" — Racism Connects to Misogyny Links to Heterosexual Male Entitlement . . .

Hashtagdion on the Facebook feed of Stop Telling Lies

In this election cycle in which many straight white men behaving badly (and some black men, and some old boys of the other gender, and some LGBTQ folks) are bringing terrible shame to themselves, I think constantly of how prescient theologian Beverly Wildung Harrison was. As she showed us in her classic essay Making the Connections, oppressive social -isms do not exist in isolation from each other. They are always connected.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

What About Trump Supporters If Hillary Clinton Wins? My Contribution to the Debate

Did you hear the startling comments of GOP strategist Mac Stipanovich on NPR a day or so ago? Stipanovich — and let me underscore: this man is a GOP strategist — tells Renee Montagne of NPR that Donald Trump's supporters have "absolutely lost touch with reality." Then he goes on to say, 

Update on Story of Msgr. Tony Anatrella, Vatican "Expert" on Homosexuality: Archdiocese of Paris Sets Up Commission to Investigate Allegations

An update for you on a story we have discussed here in the past: as I told you this past May (here, here, and here), news reports surfaced in late April and early May in Dutch and French media of new allegations made against the Vatican's "expert" on homosexuality, Monsignor Tony Anatrella. Anatrella has a history of characterizing homosexuality as a psychological disorder that can be "cured" through "reparative" or "conversion" therapy. He was invited to the Vatican's Synod on the Family to advise the synod about the topic of homosexuality, and when a Vatican document instructing new bishops that they need not report allegations of sexual abuse by clergy to criminal authorities came to light and caused consternation, it was revealed that the document was citing Tony Anatrella in giving this advice. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Reader Writes: Trump's "Casual / Misogynistic Abuse of Women" Fully Evident in "Easy-to-Recognize" Stalking During Debate

Rachel Fitzgerald's contribution to our discussion of Donald Trump's boasting about sexual assault of women is just too good not to share: she speaks of her and her husband Mark Shumway's response to Trump's attempt during the debates to intimidate Hillary Clinton by looming behind her, stalking her, as it were:

"The Donald Took Evangelicals to a Very High, Huge, Really, Just the Best Vantage Point on Trump Tower and Showed Them All the Riches": Commentary on the Wreckage That is White American Christianity After Trump

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Readers Write: "It's Not About His 'Lewd' Language. It's About His Sexually Assaulting Women and Boasting About It"

In response to my posting yesterday that sought to capture how Twitter lit up following the release of the tape containing the filthy remarks of the Republican candidate for the White House about his sexual assaults on women, readers made some very sharp, valuable comments about how this discussion should be accurately framed:

At Heart of "Odd Bedfellow of Trump and Christian America Is the Fear of the Loss of Privilege — Privilege of a 'White America', Privilege of a 'Christian America', Privilege of a 'Straight America', . . .Privilege of a 'Male America' "

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush writing last evening in Huffington Post:

Friday, October 7, 2016

Twitter Responds to Trump's Lewd, Gross, Sexist Remarks: " 'I Think What Animates Donald Trump Is Faith in God,' Said Mike Pence YESTERDAY"

Pope Francis' Recent Remarks on Gender Theory and Pastoral Accompaniment of Gay People: My Response in a Nutshell

In a nutshell, in case this was not clear when you read my posting yesterday about Pope Francis' recent remarks regarding "gender theory" and the need for gay people to be accompanied pastorally: the word "accompany" has built right into it a reference to bread. We accompany others by sharing (cum) bread (panis). Those we accompany become our companions, those with whom we break bread.

A Reader Writes: "Oh, But It Isn't Rome Burning, It's Everywhere Else" — And I Reply: Yes, the Burning Is Everywhere; Instead of Talking Rome, How About We Talk Trump?

In response to my posting yesterday about Pope Francis' recent remarks about "gender theory" and the need of Catholic clergy to "accompany" gay (as in LGBTQ) folks, ClevelandGirl writes,

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Quote for Day: When Religious Freedom Is Used As a Weapon to Infringe on Civil Liberties, It Deserves Scare Quotes

Sunnivie Brydum asks whether it's fair to put irony-signaling quotation marks around the terms "religious freedom" and "religious liberty," when we're talking about what the religious and political right wishes to make of those concepts today. After all, religious freedom has a venerable place in the American democratic experiment, and its central thrust has been, from the inception of the nation until fairly recently, to protect the rights of marginalized communities against the overweening dictates of the majority.

My Reflections on Pope Francis' Recent Remarks About Gender Theory: There's the Real World, and Then There's . . . .

I have tried to formulate some reflections on Pope Francis' recent statements about gender issues. Since I have been silent a number of days, you'd be right to deduce that I have not been successful in doing so. The primary problem is that I live here, in Universe Q, and Pope Francis speaks from that far-away universe somewhere in a distant galaxy of whose name I am not even entirely sure.

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's October Now, and Facebook (for Some of Us) Enters the "I Believe in Jesus, How About You?" Pre-Election Phase

Like clockwork, the calendar turns to October and in election season, we enter the "I believe in Jesus, how about you?" stage of the presidential campaign. Well, we do so in my Facebook circle, at least. Since not everyone lives in the milieu dominated by white bible-belt evangelicals in which I live in central Arkansas, with cousins from that milieu connecting to me on Facebook, the point I'm making here may require an explanation.