Monday, May 2, 2016

Ruth Krall's Inanna’s Way: A Personal Journey into the Underworld — A Book Recommendation

I've been walking in the past weeks with some family members as they deal with the diagnosis of someone in their particular family circle who has recently learned he has serious cancer. Taking this journey with these loved ones (to the extent that I can as a cousin and someone less affected in a direct way than they are by this diagnosis) has had me thinking a lot about sickness, suffering, healing, and journeying on all of those paths in our own lives and along with others. 

Andrew Sullivan Breaks Silence: Democracy Is the Problem! Political Correctness Is the Problem! Liberal Smugness Is the Problem! — An Apologia for White Working-Class Support for Trump

Andrew Sullivan has broken his long silence (after he discontinued his blog) with an essay published yesterday in New York Magazine. His thesis: democracy is problematic.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Protesters Vs. North Carolina Anti-Trans Hate Bill: "You Will Not Pit Black People and Gay People and Poor People Against Each Other"

In the excellent photo report posted this week by the LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund about its April 25 rally and sit-in against North Carolina's hate bill targeting trans people, working people, and people of color, two tweets stand out for me. Both feature Reverend William Barber, one of the founders and leaders of North Carolina's Moral Mondays movement. One tweet's above, the other follows.

If You Cherish Daniel Berrigan's Legacy, Do Not Forget the Racist Roots of the Trump Phenomenon — and of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Bogus "Religious Freedom" Crusade

Daniel Berrigan, No Bars to Manhood (NY: Doubleday, 1970), p. 64

In his moving tribute in this morning's Washington Post to Daniel Berrigan, who died yesterday,  fellow Catholic radical and peace activist Colman McCarthy reminds us that Berrigan spent two years in federal prison after burning draft files at the old Knights of Columbus hall housing a Secret Service office in Catonsville, Maryland, in 1968. As McCarthy notes, Berrigan was a "willing recidivist" who was repeatedly arrested for protesting the American military machine. He died with a rap sheet as long as his winding sheet.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Requiescat in Pace, Ban on Giving Platforms and Honors to People Who Hold Views Contrary to Church Teaching

In a just-published essay at National Catholic Reporter, Father Thomas Reese calls on Catholic colleges and universities to bury the ban on inviting graduation speakers who espouse positions contrary to Catholic teaching (read: the ban on inviting Democratic speakers). As he notes, this ban emanated from the U.S. bishops, and has resulted in a significant diminution of the academic credibility of Catholic institutions of higher learning. It has signaled that "our" moral positions on issues like abortion, women's rights, and same-sex marriage are weak, since we expect to enforce those teachings by coercion and do not expect to persuade the larger culture of their truth by means of respectful conversation or rational argument. We do not, in fact, respect academic freedom when we choose the route of coercion rather than the route of persuasion.*

Mr. Trump Plays the Woman Card: Recent Commentary on Issues of Gender and Misogyny in Presidential Campaign

After his recent string of victories in the Northeast, Donald Trump has given us a taste of what's to come as he and Hillary Clinton square off in the 2016 presidential elections: he accused Clinton of playing "the woman card." Whatever that means . . . .

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Once Again, Why Are White Evangelicals (and Working-Class White Catholics) Gung-Ho About Trump? — "A Form of Identity Politics That Has Always Tied Together Jesus, America, and Whiteness"

The discussion about the (by now, clearly demonstrated) fact that Donald Trump is mopping up in the evangelical voting market continues, with Tobin Grant offering statistical analysis at Religion Dispatches a few days ago of this phenomenon in several recent primaries, and noting,