Saturday, August 19, 2017

Trump's Evangelical Court Prophets: Discussion of Their Refusal to Criticize Him Now Widespread



As CEOs shut down their advisory council in disgust with his Charlottesville remarks, the refusal of Trump's court-prophet evangelical preachers to renounce their role as faith advisors to the president (there is no formal advisory board) is gaining wider and wider attention:

White, Male, Heterosexual or Heterosexual Posturing — and Privileged to the Nth Degree: What Charlottesville Marchers Had in Common


As I watch video clips of and read articles about the young white men who made it their business to run to Charlottesville and march in a Nazi + Klan hate march, I'm struck by their sameness: same young white male faces, over and over again. Oh, I know, the features vary, the haircuts may be different. But these are an iteration of a type, over and over again: white, male, heterosexual or heterosexual-posturing.

Friday, August 18, 2017

At #EmptythePews, Evangelicals Speak Out About Choice to Leave Churches After Election of Donald Trump: Is There Parallel Catholic Discussion?



We don't live in 325, or 400, or 1200, or 1600.  We are living now, and Jesus is calling us to the work of the Kingdom now.  The things that were said and done in the past can be a resource and a guide for us, but the work is in the here and now.  We cannot hide from that work by taking refuge in the past.  The past will not save us, and it will not save anyone else. . . . 
White American Christianity has a horrible track-record on race. Christianity generally has a horrible track-record with regard to gender and LGBT issues. If we feel like we have to live with one foot in the past, we get into a position where we feel we have to "deal" with that reality. But our attempts to "deal" with that reality almost inevitably lead to paralysis, because there is no way for us to "deal" with these facts. The past consists of ghosts, and all of these attempts to "deal" with them just give them more power. The only solution is to move forward and focus on the world that we live in, the one Jesus is calling us to work with.  I can't change the fact that the Kingdom as expressed in previous eras did not do right by all sorts of folks, but I can work to make sure the Kingdom is doing right by those people now.   
That, to me, is what Jesus means by "let the dead bury their own dead."  
~ Michael Boyle, "Let the Dead Bury Their Own Dead"

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"To Call These Statues Historical Is to Be Willfully Ignorant of History. The Statues Are Monuments to White Supremacy, Not to Lee, Not to Jackson"




In "The Monuments Must Go," Stonewall Jackson's great-great-grandsons William Jackson Christian and Warren Edmund Christian write Richmond mayor Levar Stoney and his monuments commission:

Descendants of Stonewall Jackson and Thomas Jefferson Speak Out: Take the White Supremacy Monuments Down; Time to Repent


This is Carnot Posey, the nephew of my 4-great grandmother Lucretia Posey Winn. Her brother John Brooke Winn graduated from Franklin College in Georgia, represented Elbert County in the Georgia legislature, and then moved to Wilkinson County, Mississippi, where he claimed a valuable plantation that he operated with slave labor. Lucretia and John's father gave John a number of slaves before he left Georgia. John was a member of the Mississippi Territorial House of Representatives and a federal judge in Mississippi Territory.

Churchy Conversations Post-Charlottesville: CEOs Flee Trump, Not Evangelical Advisors; Can Catholic Church Survive Trump?," etc.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Vice's On-the-Ground Video Footage from Charlottesville: You Need to Watch


The Churches and Charlottesville: Valuable Commentary — "We Christians, in Particular, Need to Face the Degree to Which White Christianity Has Failed"




Our Culture Is Starving for Substantial, Truthful Responses to Racism, and the Best the White Church Can Offer Is Milk Toast


A Twitter thread:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Housekeeping Note: Why I Banned a Commenter Here Recently


A housekeeping note: I think it's important that I tell you readers that I banned a commenter here after he attacked me in the discussion threads here one time too many a day or so ago. This is a recurring attack-commenter here. I've let him lob his little missiles up to now, in the hope that he'd 1) grow up, 2) have the decency to acknowledge who he is publicly (I know his identity), 3) stop, or 4) go away.

After Charlottesville, Twitter Makes Lists and Names Names: "It Was the Silence of Good People That Allowed the Nazis to Flourish the First Time Around"



Every single person who showed up at that torchlit rally on Friday night will forever be identifiable as a person who attended that rally. It's going to end up being important that they all showed their faces. They were all very well-lit. They were all very, very well-photographed. 
~ Rachel Maddow

Saturday, August 12, 2017

National Catholic Reporter Calls for Dialogue on Sexual Ethics: My Response


Meanwhile, in the strange, hermetically sealed, intensely self-gazing and obdurately parochial world of white Catholicism in the U.S., folks are still talking about what the magisterium has to say about human sexuality — as if this is a live issue a full half-century after the papacy commissioned a study of birth control because it knew even then that a large percentage of married Catholic couples were contracepting. And then the papacy chose to ignore the sound, theologically well-grounded recommendations of that commission and reasserted its teachings about birth control knowing full well that those teachings flew in the face of the sensus fidelium.

Notable Quotes for Weekend Reading: "We're at a Hinge Moment in the Public Witness of American Christianity"



William J. Barber II and Liz Theoharis, "Trumpvangelicals are using faith to bring us to the brink of nuclear war": 

Fire and Fury in Charlottesville, Virginia, As Neo-Nazis and KKK March: Reports/Commentary from Twitter


Friday, August 11, 2017

Two Powerful Statements Ask What's Wrong with White Christians: White Christians Respond with Fire and Fury


Tori Glass writes an open letter to the white Christians in the U.S. as the anniversary of Michael Brown's death at the hands of Darren Wilson comes around again:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Christopher Douglas and Kurt Anderson on How America Lost Its Mind (or How the Christian Right Broke America)


Christopher Douglas responds to Kurt Anderson on how America lost its mind, with a statment entitled "How America Really Lost Its Mind: Hint, It Wasn't Entirely the Fault of Hippie New Agers and Postmodern Academics":

More Critical Responses to Trump's Fire and Fury: "Yes, It's Prophesied in 1st Caucasians"


Monday, August 7, 2017

Readers Write: "Über Catholics Are Brought Up to Reflexively Gag at the Thought of Putting on Someone Else's Shoes"



There have been some spectacular comments left here in the past several weeks, and for a variety of reasons, I have not been able to respond to them as I would like to do — in a personal way. To enable more readers who may not haunt blog threads to benefit from some of the good conversations going on here, I'd like to lift several comments out for you and post them as a "Readers Write" posting. 

As Trump's Approval Ratings Plummet, His White Christian Base Ratchets Up Its Support


He's tweeting again this morning, though he's also supposedly on vacation. One of today's tweets boasts that "[t]he Trump base is far bigger &  stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling)." 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lots of Commentary on Trump and White Evangelicals: "If This Poison Isn't Worse Than Racism, Then It Certainly Runs a Close Second"



So much good critical analysis of the role white evangelicals are playing in the Trump regime is coming out at once, it's hard to keep up with it. These are items I've spotted just today, which I'd like to share with you — and I'd also like to suggest that this analysis complements the analysis I just posted about "pro-life" American Catholics who are more-Catholic-than-Catholic (but who often reflect evangelical theological positions more than Catholic ones):

Was Charlie Gard Euthanized? A Seriously Unhelpful Claim Emerges Among Catholic "Pro-Lifers"



Earlier this week, I posted some testimony about what is happening in a Catholic family I know rather well. My testimony focuses on how the family has divided over questions about how to deal with end-of-life issues in the case of a beloved elderly family member who is nearing death. One wing of this Catholic family adheres to a rigid more-Catholic-than-Catholic interpretation of Catholic moral teaching about the permissibility of withholding extraordinary interventions as dying family members move to the end of their lives.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ruth Krall's Important Book Living on the Edge of the Edge: Paradox of Violent Exclusion of LGBTQ People from Christian Communities That Cover Up Sexual Violence by Clergy



I'd like to recommend a new book to you today: I don't only recommend this book; I highly recommend it. It will one day, I believe, be regarded as a classic summary of major themes of Christian thought at the turn of the 20th and 21st century. The book is Ruth Krall's Living on the Edge of the Edge: Letters to a Younger Colleague, which has just been published by Friesen Press. As its subtitle suggests, the book is a gathering of "letters" (emailed ones) that Ruth exchanged over a period of time with a younger colleague, Lisa Schirch (and so the book attributes authorship to Ruth with Lisa as a co-contributor). Ruth was Lisa's teacher at Goshen College, and has remained her mentor and colleague as both have worked in a number of significant peace-and-justice ministries over quite a few years — ministries reflecting their shared Mennonite roots.