Friday, April 28, 2017

White Christian Right "Over the Moon" About Trump Presidency: News Worth Noting Today

Some "in the news" items I've noticed in the last day or so, which have to do with matters we often discuss here, and to which I want to draw your attention:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Pew Study: Trump's Support Strongest Among Churchgoing White Evangelicals (and in White Catholic Community, Among Regular Churchgoers)

Greg Smith for Pew Research Center on the results of the just-released survey about which he's commenting in the tweet above:

Tipping Over into Something "So Dark, So Real, So Evil That There Was Really No Precedent for It in Terms of Its All-Encompassing Possibilities for Death"

From the news and news commentary in the past day or so: read these snippets as a unified narrative, and the question arises, If I had to write a plot description for this narrative, what would that plot description say? What might it say about the role religion is playing in tipping the United States over into unimagined possibilities of death, destruction, and violence at this point in history? How does a "pro-life" Christianity end up dealing death, and doing so proudly and defiantly? 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

In Arkansas, the Beginning of "Rapid-Fire Flurry of Executions Unprecedented in Modern U.S. History": Why All Americans Should Care

The attorney representing Ledell Lee, the first man put to death in the current killing spree of Arkansas GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and the Arkansas Supreme Court, posted a statement yesterday on Facebook about Ledell Lee's final hours. Attorney Lee Short writes (by way of Leslie Newell Peacock), 

A Twitter Conversation: "Church That Does Not Defend Humanity of LGBT People Is Not Credible When It Speaks About the Value of Life"

The tweet above is my response to the next tweet below. My tweet in response to Father Andrew Hart then produced a Twitter conversation that some readers (and perhaps Father Hart himself) may regard as raucous. It's there on Twitter, in case anyone wants to find and read it. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Arkansas Killing Spree Now Underway, as "Pro-Life" White Christians Applaud

My state of Arkansas did move ahead to execute a man named Ledell Lee last night. Our state Supreme Court cleared the way for this execution and for what Ed Pilkington and Jacob Rosenberg rightly call a "killing spree" on which the state has now entered under the leadership of its current Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, its Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and its Republican-extremist legislature dominated by "pro-life" white evangelicals — who also predominate on the state's Supreme Court.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Tweets For You: Conversations Between Trump's "Pro-Life" Supporters and Their Critics — "Aren't You the Same Guy Who Just Yesterday Was Clamoring to Kill Prisoners?"

Some Easter tweets for you, capturing important conversations about what Easter (and Jesus and the gospels) mean to different groups of American Christians at this point in time. The tweet above from Sister Helen Prejean is a response to the following tweet by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, an evangelical Christian who was working overtime in Holy Week to see 8 human beings executed by the state in 11 days immediately after Easter:

Monday, April 17, 2017

As Arkansas Rushes to Execute 8 People in 11 Days, Remember Who Stands Behind Trump: White "Pro-Life" Evangelicals

Remember, as the state of Arkansas rushes to kill 8 people in 11 days because our killing drugs are about to go stale:

Brock Thompson's The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South: Book Notes — Repudiating GLBT Family Members As an Old Arkansas Story

Perhaps my biggest takeaway from Brock Thompson's The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South (Fayetteville: U. of AR 2010): the heart-breaking tragedy of how Arkansas families have, for so long now, treated their queer family members.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

As Easter Approaches, World Is Closer to Nuclear Destruction Due to the Choice of "Pro-Life" White Christians in U.S. in 2016 Elections

Friday, April 14, 2017

On Good Friday, a Letter I Wrote a Bishop Twenty Years Ago: The Abuse Crisis and "A Picture of Christian Pastors Colluding with the Powerful of the World, to Protect Assets"

Twenty years now, and in those twenty years, the story that perhaps more than any other characterizes the Roman Catholic church and has come to brand it in the eyes of the public is the crisis caused by clerical sexual abuse of minors and the cover-up of such abuse by church pastors. In continuation of the theme I began on Palm Sunday, I'm sharing with you now a letter I sent Bishop William Curlin of Charlotte on 10 September 1997 — some twenty years ago — speaking about the abuse crisis before it had even broken out in American Catholicism via media reports (with the exception of Jason Berry's ground-breaking coverage), and about what I could foresee it would mean, when news of it did really reach the world. This letter builds on the 1 September letter I posted here on Holy Thursday. It refers to Mother Teresa because Bishop Curlin has regarded himself as a close personal friend of Mother Teresa and brought her to Charlotte.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

On Holy Thursday, a Letter I Wrote a Bishop Twenty Years Ago: "Will a Church That Destroys the Careers of Valuable Lay Ministers, While Protecting Pedophile Priests, Have a Bright Future?"

It's Holy Thursday, and so I'm thinking, of course, about Jesus' command that his followers serve each other and not seek to lord it over others. As was typical in his ministry, he put this message into action by taking a basin and towel and washing his disciples' feet, an action people considered "lower" than others — slaves and women — undertook in his culture. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Trump and (White) Evangelicals: Commentary Continues in Holy Week

As I noted yesterday, perhaps because it's Holy Week and Passover has begun, there's a plethora of articles in the news right now about religion-and-politics matters. Here are a few from my morning reading, all about white evangelicals in the U.S. and their idolization of commitment to Republican leaders, to any Republican leaders, and that this is doing to the (white) evangelical brand:

Alan Blinder, "For Alabama Christians, Governor Bentley's Downfall Is a Bitter Blow": 

Triduum Begins: Commentary on Catholic Leaders' Silence, Especially About the Abuse Crisis, and How It's Driving Faithful Catholics from the Church

Kristina Keneally, "This Easter, It's the Catholic Church That Needs Redemption:" 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Religion and Poltics in News: From Passion of Southern Christians to Walk-Out in Italian Catholic Parish

Because of the intersection of Jewish Passover and Christian Holy Week, the news is chock-full of religion stories and religious commentary today in the nation with the soul of a church — which made Donald Trump president. Here's are some of my own picks from articles/commentary I've read this morning, whose only common thread is that they're about matters of religion (and, usually, politics):

Passover 2017: Reflections on Passover as More Than a Holiday — "It's a Call to Arms"

Mark Silk on the seder that POTUS hosted (but did not attend) at the White House:

Sunday, April 9, 2017

On Palm Sunday, a Letter I Wrote a Bishop Twenty Years Ago: "Your Eyes Are Fixed More on Power, Privilege, and Façades, Than on the Substance of the Gospel"

I shared excerpts of this letter here almost three years ago to the day, noting that I sent it to the then-bishop of Charlotte, North Carolina, William Curlin, as Steve and I, with my mother (who was declining and suffering from dementia and for whom Steve and I were providing care), left the diocese of Charlotte, because we had no other choice. Our jobs as Catholic theologians had been taken from us without explanation, we had been blacklisted as Catholic theologians, we had no way to make a living and no health-insurance coverage.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

End-of-Week Miscellany: War and Rumors of War, the Catholic Vote in 2016, Catholic Leaders and LGBT Community

David Gibson reports on Father James Martin's new book Building a Bridge, which calls on Catholic pastors and the LGBT community to listen to each other. As he notes, Father Martin's book is being praised by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, and Bishop Robert McElroy inter alia. I respond:

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Comments Not Showing for Bilgrimage?

Dear Readers: Rolando has emailed to tell me that the comments are not showing for him here in the past several days. That is, he can read postings, but cannot see comments even when comments have been made in response to a posting.

The same thing has been happening to me. I have asked for assistance from Disqus, since this seems to be a Disqus bug — and am still waiting for a response. In the meantime, I've found that deleting my cache helped, but then the problem reappeared.

At that point, I tried shifting from the Safari browser I normally use when I'm online to Google Chrome, and the problem disappeared again — I could see and read comments. I'm assuming, then, that this problem my be a browser-specific Disqus interface problem. You may want to consider using a different browser if you're having problems seeing comments here.

Finally, I find that if I log into Disqus itself and go to the administration page for the blog, I can always see and respond to comments. Since you readers aren't administrators for the blog, you can't do that, of course. But I think that if you log into your own comments page and click on any previous comment you have made, that will enable you to see threads that you are not seeing when you go to the blog itself.

I'm very sorry this is happening. I appreciate Rolando telling me it was happening in  his case. I have been trying to get some assistance from Disqus to deal with this problem, and will let you all know if I receive any information about how we can fix the problem.