Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Doctored Gotcha Planned Parenthood Video and Catholic Responses to It: Some Critical Questions

I haven't talked about that doctored gotcha video made by David Daleiden, who is in cahoots with the odious right-wing gotcha activist James O'Keefe. I haven't discussed it since I knew I could count on various centrist Catholic publications, whose métier is, after all, to give intellectual respectability to the ideas of the hard right no matter how disreputable, to do that job for Catholics. I knew I could count on centrist Catholic publications to clothe the video and those promoting it in "objective" newspapers like the New York Times — can anyone say Ross Douthat? — in respectable garb, even as those publications claim to stand in some mythic, objective "middle" space devoid of commitments to the agenda of either left or right.

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: Kenyan Catholic Bishops Oppose Polio Vaccination for Children

One minute, the Catholic bishops of Kenya are up in arms about the fact that the U.S. president dares to defend the human rights of a criminalized minority group in their country — the LGBT citizens of Kenya. As the right-wing Catholic media outlet Catholic News Agency (whose newsfeed directly links to the official website of the Kenyan Catholic conference) reported after Mr. Obama's remarks in Kenya, African bishops are depicting his statements defending gay rights as a form of "ideological colonization" of Africa by the West.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stephanie Krehbiel on Violence, Community, and Struggle for LGBTQ Justice in the Mennonite Church: Parallels to Catholic Conversations — Or, Why LGBT Folks Remain the Problem Even As Straight Men Engage in Sexual Predation

I've mentioned the work of Mennonite American Studies scholar Stephanie Krehbiel here in the past — for instance, in this February 2014 posting highlighting an article she published at Religion Dispatches on the parallels between "the Woody Allen problem" and the story of Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder. As she notes, in the stories of both of these men, we encounter troubling questions about the ability of not merely conservative social and ecclesial structures, but also liberal ones, to shelter and offer excuses for the predatory sexual behavior of powerful men.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Men (American Ones) and Their Guns: Two Takes on Lafayette Shooting

Hot off the press this morning, two noteworthy observations about the shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Thursday: