Saturday, December 31, 2016

Lack of Prophetic Witness in U.S. Catholicism As Trump Presidency Approaches: Astonishing Indictment of Pastoral and Lay Leaders of U.S. Church

In a posting at Common Dreams today entitled "Throwing Roses to Hitler," Abby Zimet writes,

Friday, December 30, 2016

"I Could Never 'Throw Roses to Hitler'": Mormons of Conscience Speak Out, But Catholics . . .

My previous post today refers to a statement Jan Chamberlin made yesterday on Facebook about her decision to resign from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in protest of the choir's choice to sing at Donald Trump's inauguration. As Erp notes in a comment in response to my previous posting, this Facebook statement has now gone viral. It's a public statement, and is here. I encourage you to read it.

Mormons Openly Criticize Decision of Tabernacle Choir to Sing for Trump — While Lay Catholic Intellectual Leaders Discipline Those Criticizing Dolan's Decision to Bless Trump

A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir says she has resigned from the famed group over its decision to perform at next month's inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. 
Jan Chamberlin posted her resignation letter to choir leaders on her Facebook page Thursday. In it, she writes that by performing at the Jan. 20 inaugural, the 360-member choir will appear to be "endorsing tyranny and facism." She says she feels betrayed by the choir's decision to take part.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cardinal Dolan Blesses Pharoah on Behalf of the U.S. Catholic Hierarchy: Not in My Name

Once again: No more. Not in my name any longer.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

On the "Incorrect" "Homosexual": The Catholic Magisterium, Father Dwight Longenecker, and Asking the Wrong Questions in the Age of Trump (2)

There's a reason my previous posting built to a question about what kind of institution produces people who think about gender and sexual orientation at the puerile level of moral awareness exhibited by Catholic magisterial thought regarding these matters, especially when that institution professes to shape moral thinkers. My posting asked,

Friday, December 23, 2016

On the "Incorrect" "Homosexual": The Catholic Magisterium, Father Dwight Longenecker, and Asking the Wrong Questions in the Age of Trump

I'd like to say a few more words about Father Dwight Longenecker's musings (see Peter Montgomery) on the recent document — endorsed by Pope Francis — reiterating the Vatican ban on allowing gay candidates for the priesthood to enter seminaries. Longenecker's analysis of the document zeroes in on its claim that gay priests are problematic because they cannot relate "correctly to men and women." I discussed this analysis glancingly in my last posting.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Where Do Christians Go From Here? When "Pro-Life" Christianity Deals Death, Time to Turn Our Backs on the "Pro-Life" Game

"Now is the time to talk about what we are actually talking about," declares Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in a powerful, hard-hitting post-election essay rich in moral insight that refuses to entertain the palavering, both-sides-have-a-point games of the American chattering classes — when those morally evasive games have brought us Donald Trump. They have been, in fact, signposts and paving stones for the path that has led the nation to Trump, though getting the nation's intellectual arbiters in its media,  its churches, and its academies to admit the large role they have played in paving and signposting the road to Trump is a meaningless and futile enterprise: moral awareness is simply not what the chattering classes do, even as they engage in moral rule-making and ethical pontificating.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bilgrimage Is Wildly Popular in Russia — So My Stats Counter Tells Me

So fascinating, the number of Russian computers trained on this one tiny blog in the U.S. week by week — and the numbers, which have been very large for some time now, have only picked up after the Trump election. Next to its American audience, its Russian (and Ukrainian) audience is its largest "readership" — with some of the hits to Bilgrimage from those parts of the world coming from Russian sex sites to which . . . someone . . . for some reason . . . has chosen to link the blog.

When Toxic Religion and Toxic Politics Meet to Create a Death Cult of Historic Proportions: Where Do Christians Go From Here?

Here are some things I've read in the past week or so that I'd like to share. I will use them as the basis for a subsequent posting asking where we go from here — "we," as in any of us interested in the question of what Christian churches or religion in general can contribute to the American public square, now that white American churches and their leaders have placed the country in extreme moral crisis and have displayed the complete vacuity of their "Christian" message through their support of Donald Trump.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Had One of My Church Dreams Last Night: An Advent Meditation

Had one of my church dreams last night. Church dreams are, for me, often painful ones involving tears (the impossibly distant altar I can see from high in the eyrie at the back of the church to which I've been consigned, but which I cannot reach at communion time). Or, they are the opposite, ecstatic ones involving singing and a gladdened heart.

Friday, December 2, 2016

#NotNormal: Choosing Normalcy As the Not-Normal Prevails

In what is becoming an increasingly dark moment of global history, due to the determination of economic elites to pick one last time over the carcass of a defunct late-capitalist economic system built on the exploitation of the many to put more wealth into the pockets of the already grossly rich, what do we who believe (whether in any formal religious sense or not — this matters not a whit) in the possibility of a more humane world do? Those rapacious economic elites are crashing democratic systems of government everywhere in the world. They're doing so deliberately, since their rapacious picking over the carcass of late-capitalism — which is to say, over the carcasses of all of us — depends on their having total control of the mechanisms of national and international government, so that there will be no checks and balances on their rapacity and cruelty.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What's Church for Again? A Tale of Two Churches

What's church for? I've been asking this question repeatedly on this blog during the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election. What's church for when its members — the people who brand themselves with the name of Jesus Christ — are the source of some of the most egregious slights to the humanity of people on the margins of society to be witnessed in the world today? 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

White Christian Voters Place in Office Adminstration Planning to Cut Healthcare Coverage of Millions: Pro-Life?

Some bona fide pro-life discussion of government safety-net programs providing healthcare coverage from the last two days, which I can easily share by cutting and pasting, even with a finger I'm babying:

Moira Weigel on How the Right Invented Phantom Enemy of Political Correctness and Gave Us Trump (with Complicity of "Liberal" Elites)

Moira Weigel in The Guardian on how the right invented the phantom enemy of "political correctness," how leading U.S. intellectuals representing "liberal" elites have colluded with this project, and how it has given us Trump:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanks for Comments — Kitchen Accident Will Make Me Slow to Respond

A note to tell you all how much I appreciate your comments in the last day or so — and to explain why I will be slow to answer them. I had a little kitchen accident yesterday and am typing very slowly and a bit painfully today, trying to avoid the hurt finger, which continues to ooze blood as I type. So (frabjous day for you!) I'll shut up and not say much today, perhaps for another day or so, until the finger has begun to heal a bit. Enjoy talking together, and please feel free to keep doing so without my butting in.

The vintage Band-Aid ad is online at many sites; I do not have definite information about its original source.

Monday, November 28, 2016

How Right Robert P. Jones Turns Out to Be: "Obama Presidency Provided a Unique Focal Point for Many White Christian Voters"

Back in late July, when I began a report for you (in a series of postings) about Robert P. Jones' book The End of White Christian America, I wrote, 

"Work, for the Night Is Coming": More Commentary on Who Elected Trump and Why They Did So (and What We Can Now Expect from White Churches)

"Work, for the night is coming," I was taught to sing in the white evangelical church that nurtured my faith as a child (Anna Walker Coghill wrote the words of the hymn in 1854, and Lowell Mason put them to music a decade later). The night is soon to be on us — brought to us by 8 in 10 white evangelicals, 6 in 10 white Catholics, and 3 in 5 Mormons.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Resources on the "Identity Politics" Discussion: "When the Alt-Left Says 'Identity Politics,' What They Actually Mean Is 'Civil Rights'"

As Dean Barker says in retweeting Yashar's tweet above, "Economic anxiety."

Friday, November 25, 2016

"One Wonders If These People Are People at All": Catholic Pro-Life Response?

Grace Wilson, "CNN Segment on Anti-Semite Sparks Backlash"

One wonders if these people are people at all: thus white nationalist Richard Spencer in a speech at the National Policy Institute in D.C. last Saturday in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building a few blocks from the White House. It was in this speech that Spencer shouted, "Hail Trump!," eliciting Nazi salutes among those in attendance, as he lambasted the Lügenpresse, the Nazi word for the "lying press" that sought to expose Hitler. 

Readers Ask: How Do We Live in a World or Church with No Connection to Evil? My Response: I'm Saying, "No More. Not in My Name Any Longer"

Neil Gabler, "And So It Begins: Normalizing the Election"*

Thank you all for your responses to my last posting. Since they're directed to me personally, for the most part, I do intend to respond to each one by commenting in that thread. In the meantime, I appreciate Sister Lea's good question, which gives me the opportunity to make clear some points my statement about repudiating my Catholic ties may not have made clear: you say, Sister Lea, 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I Repudiate My Catholic Connection: I Want No Connection to a Group of People Who Have Just Helped Set into Motion Great Evil

In late September, before the election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the U.S., John Pavlovitz announced that we need to hold a funeral for Christianity in the U.S., for the following reason: 

Monday, November 21, 2016

What "Pro-Life" White Christian Voters Have Brought Us: Shouts of "Heil the People!" As National Registry of Muslims Is Mulled Over

This is my own running chronicle of what's rapidly unfolding, from just the past several days. You probably have your own tally going, too. It behooves us to be paying attention. God in heaven knows, the "pro-life" Christians and the "liberal" Catholic or other Christian journals who give the work of those "pro-life" Christians high profiles are not going to be keeping us informed about all of this. Despite their professed commitment to upholding the sanctity of life, they seem, in fact, oblivious to it and even jubilant that they have scored a "pro-life" victory in electing Donald Trump:

81 Percent of White Evangelicals Who Elected Trump, and the (Totally Non Pro-Life) Legacy of the White Evangelical Church in Racial Violence in the American South

Katherine Stewart, "Eighty-One Percent of White Evangelicals Voted for Donald Trump. Why?"

May 1927: my mother was nearly five years old, living 25 miles south of Little Rock. In that year and month, the last lynching (up to today, that is — who knows what the future holds for us now?) occurred in my hometown of Little Rock.

As Trump Presidency Is Normalized in Mainstream and Religious Media, Attempts Underway to Sanitize White Evangelical, White Catholic, Mormon Vote for Trump

The attempt to normalize Donald Trump and his presidency is well underway, and anyone following the trajectory of the mainstream (and religious) media in this country from the Reagan period forward could have foreseen this. To its great shame, National Catholic Reporter published an article last week by one of its leading "pro-life" writers attacking those protesting Trump's election, noting that the Dow is up, and claiming that we're seeing a "peaceful transition of power" with Trump — even as incidents of violent speech or acts directed against members of minority communities proliferate all over the nation. To my knowledge, NCR has yet to publish any statement at all about those incidents of violence. It's as if, for "pro-life" Catholics applauding the "peaceful transition of power," those being targeted simply do not exist — not as fellow human beings whose human lives must count in any credible rendition of a pro-life ethic.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanking You for Your Comments

You all may have noticed I have not been able to keep up with thanking you for and responding to comments here in the past few days. As always, I so much appreciate your comments and hope you won't think my lack of a response is due to my lack of gratitude. My email inbox and Facebook page have been inundated with comments following the election, and I'm having the dickens of a time trying to keep up with all of those comments and emails and comments here. I am very glad to see you talking among yourselves. Please know I'm reading even when I don't reply — and that I appreciate you!

"Have to Confess That I Only Now Understand How Purely Cruel My Fellow Christians Are": Commentary on White Christians' Support of Trump

More documentation for you of a very dark time that is rapidly unfolding in front of our eyes — which demands documentation on a day-by-day basis due to the rapidity of what's now happening:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Not Normal: Klan Marches Celebrating Presidential Election, White Supremacist Anti-Semite Named Top Advisor, Hate Pouring Out Across the Nation

On Moral Trump Cards and Moral Blindness: "Pro-Life" Voters and the Election of Trump

Leah Mickens, commenting here a few moments ago:

The abortion issue has become a way for Catholics to not have to deal with the real world.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Nightmare That Is a Trump Presidency: What We Can Expect to Hear from U.S. Catholic "Liberal" Intellectuals Now

I posted this Facebook message to my Facebook family and friends two days ago. I'd like to build on it here this morning.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

As White U.S. Christians Go to Church Today . . . .

Lauren Markoe at Religion News Service 

Another scrapbook item (above) to show the next generation when they ask (and they will ask: they have a right and obligation to do so), "Where were you and what did you do when Donald Trump rose to power?" and "Why did white Christians choose a man so eminently unqualified for the presidency, whose election released a torrent of hateful incidents directed at minorities?"

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Quote for Day: "Deny Them That 'We' — That Vast and Inclusive Plural"

How do we fight back now? Fred Clark's suggestion, as a white evangelical Christian who moves against the pro-Trump tide of his white evangelical community: Deny them the use of the word "we" to describe all of us:

Media Now Begin Noticing Outpouring of Acts of Hate and Violence Against Minorities After Trump Election: "People from All Types of Communities" Targeted

Sadly, the documenting continues, and becomes ever more difficult, because the acts of hatred unleashed by this election are proliferating and spreading rapidly, all over the nation, so that not even the media, which enabled Trump's rise to power, can pretend they are not occurring. As Lily Workneh writes today in the Huffington Post article to which the headline above links, "Countless Acts of Hate Have Been Carried Out Since Trump's Win":

Friday, November 11, 2016

More on Role of White Evangelicals, White Catholics, and Mormons in Electing Donald Trump: White Apocalypse (Inflicted on Targeted Minority Communities)

More important documentation about who has brought us the horror show of violent acts and violent speaks that has begun following Trump's election:

"All This and More, in Just 36 hours, at the Time of Writing, in Trumpland": Our Moral Obligation to Document Outpouring of Hate Speech and Hateful Acts in Trump's New America

And then there's this for you to consider: testimony, I call it. It's documentation of what's happening right before our eyes, in just two days, brought to us by white Christians in the U.S. What do we intend to do about it, the more than half of the nation who did not choose this? Will we stand by in silence? Will we be duped by the calls for "healing" issued by influential media gurus representing the very churches (white evangelical, Catholic, Mormon) who are inflicting these grave wounds on our social order? Can we do anything to change any of this, now that fewer than half of us chose, under the guidance of white Christian leaders, to place the nation entirely in the hands of the political party Mr. Trump represents? 

Reports from Every Corner of the Nation of Verbal or Physical Attacks on Members of Vulnerable Minority Communities: What the White Christian Vote Has Wrought

John Pavlovitz, "White Christians Who Voted for Donald Trump: Fix This. Now."

Look, I don't know if I'm doing much good flapping my lips here. The problems we are facing as a human community (and, in the U.S., as a nation, are enormous), and the lip-flapping doesn't seem to help much when all is said and done. I don't, and most of the people who read this blog and respond to it don't, have the power within the institutions of our society to make a real dent, to change much at all.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tweets Begin Documenting the Hate and Hurt, As It Starts Pouring Forth Around the Nation

Again, not blogging — just documenting, as the hate and hurt begin pouring out around the country, in a way very reminiscent of what happened in Germany in the 1930s: these is just a handful of tweets this morning about what's happening now in various places in the U.S.

Deborah Jian Lee: "Trump Preached Xenophobia, Racism, Sexism, Islamophobia, Homophobia . . . and the Whole Evangelical Base Said 'Amen'"

From Carol Kuruvilla, "After Trump's Win, White Evangelical Christians Face a Reckoning"

Who Put Trump in the White House? White People Overwhelmingly — Evangelical Ones, Catholic Ones, Mormon Ones

Not really blogging: but, though I am trying to avoid the news and blogging, I find it impossible to stop reading and thinking. And these are some statements to which I wanted to draw your attention, in case you have not seen them, about who put Donald Trump into the White House (and gave the future of the nation into the hands of the Republican party in a decisive way), and why they have done so.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Remembering Kristallnacht, 9 November 1938: Reminder from Frances DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry

Awaking to the Nightmare: "Strength of Populist Nationalism in the West Is Reaching a Turning Point" (and White American Christians Are Marching Lockstep with the Movement)

After a sleepless night last night (I expect I'm far from the only person who can say that), I had decided I would not even look at the news this morning. I literally cannot stomach it. My stomach is in knots and was in knots through the night.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Reader Writes: "THE Key Question of This Campaign: Mr Trump, Who Is Welcome in Your America?"

What Pr Chris/CalSailor said yesterday in a comment here is just so right to the point — and so right — that I want to lift his comment out of its thread and share it with you all today:

Monday, November 7, 2016

On the Demonic Potential of the "Pro-Life" Movement in the U.S.: See the Pro-Trump Stunt Father Frank Pavone Has Just Pulled

This article by Sarah Pulliam Bailey is now circulating on social media sites on the eve of the election: it opens,

Pope Francis This Week: "All Walls Fall. All of Them." Pope Francis Last Week: The Ban on Women's Ordination Is A Last Word, Forever.

Good. Wonderful. Yes.

But does Pope Francis listen to his own words? 

"Hillary Wants to Kill Babies": Lazy, Immoral Shorthand for "I Prefer the Misogynistic, Racist, Xenophobic, Homophobic Candidate Because He's 'Pro-Life' "

Patricia Maguire, president of Trinity Washington University, a Catholic university in D.C., writes

What is most surprising about the PRRI poll results is not that Catholic women favor Clinton, but that so many Catholic men favor Trump.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Addendum for Your Scrapbook: Report of Someone Walking Out of Mass Today as Priest Tries to Nudge Parishioners to Trump

The tweet above was just tweeted by Catholic Democrats. If you click on the tweet to which Catholic Democrats is responding, you see that that tweeter, CrazyScientist899, lives in East Hanover, NJ. Here's his tweet to which Catholic Democrats is responding:

More for the Scrapbook, When Next Generation Asks, "What Did You Do as Trump Vied for the Presidency?" Snapshots on Eve of Election

More for your scrapbook, to bring out when the next generation asks (and they will and should ask), "Where were you when Donald Trump rose to power? What were you doing? How did you respond? What was happening in our nation?" Many of the following tidbits are snapshots of who we are and what we're doing on the eve of a monumentally important election in the U.S. — perfect scrapbook items for that reason:

Washington Post editorializes

WHEN THE republic was in danger, where did you stand? History will ask that question of Republican leaders who knew that Donald Trump was unfit to be commander in chief.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Carmen Celistini on Wikileaks' October Surprise: Attempt to Smear Hillary Clinton with Charges of Witchcraft

Carmen Celestini situates Wikileaks' October surprise — the attempt to smear Hillary Clinton with charges of witchcraft by misrepresenting an email about Podesta and a Spirit Dinner — within a broader current of "improvisational conspiracies" that have energized right-wing Christian voters for years now:

"What Did You Do as Trump Rose to Power?" Items for Your Scrapbook, When Subsequent Generations Ask About Race, Gender, and Christian Blindness

Psst — you know those little matters called race and gender that you won't be hearing anything of in your churches tomorrow as you're instructed about forming your consciences before you cast your vote? You know, those picayune little matters you won't be hearing about in sermons because your pastors are too preoccupied with real sins like women falling in love and marrying each other, or spirit-cooking horrors involving blood, semen, and urine, and mythical "partial-birth" abortions to pay attention to piddling little moral nothings like racism and misogyny.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Election Nears, and Charges Emerge That Hillary Clinton and Her Advisors Dabble in Satanic Rituals Using Semen, Blood, and Urine: Why?

Within days of a monumentally important U.S. election, Twitter is now blazing with comments about "spirit cooking" — about allegations that Hillary Clinton and her chief campaign advisors practice Satanic rituals involving liminal substances, semen, blood, and urine. This meme is being planted and hyped, of course, by the alt-right, and quite deliberately so.

Reader Writes: Father Martin's Bridge-Building Proposal Can Be Carried Forward by Lay Catholic Allies of LGBTQ Community

I'd like to draw your attention today to a conversation I consider valuable, which many of you readers may miss if you don't read threads following blog postings. In response to my questions about Father James Martin's bridge-building proposal several days ago, Janet Hanson posted some thought-provoking reflections that center on the need of allies of LGBTQ people within Catholic communities to engage in action to assist with the bridge-building project Father Martin proposes.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tweets on Eve of Historic U.S. Election: "Will Always Be Remembered as the Presidential Election in Which the KKK, the KGB and the FBI All Supported the Same Candidate"

The Twittersphere is on fire today, with one zingy tweet after another commenting on American political life (and culture) on the eve* of a monumentally important election. To save you the trouble of weeding through tweets, I'm sharing some I've noticed today. And liked, admittedly, because of their wry humor, something I see myself in desperate need of on the eve of said monumentally important election. Here goes:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

NCR Readers Respond to Father James Martin's Bridge-Building Proposal: "Talk About False Equivalences!!"

At National Catholic Reporter, Brian Roewe provides a summary of Father James Martin's commentary as he received New Ways Ministry's Bridge Building award several days ago. Several comments readers have made in response to Father Martin's proposal for two-way bridge-building between the LGBTQ community and the Catholic hierarchy stand out for me, since they parallel points I made in my response to the proposal:

Anthea Butler on Disarray Under Evangelical Umbrella Due to Trump

A valuable footnote to our discussion yesterday of Fred Clark's take on the shenanigans of those trying to rescue the white evangelical brand from Trumpism: in that posting, I cited a series of tweets by Anthea Butler in which she asserts that "for American Evangelicalism, Trump has severed and destroyed their message, movement, and future." Yesterday, The Guardian published an essay by Anthea Butler in which she develops this assertion.

Michael Moore: Men, Your "10,000-Year Reign Is Over"; Pope Francis: Female Catholic Priests Never Happening — Two Headlines Worth a Thousand Words

When I woke in the wee hours of the morning and scanned the news before trying to catch a few more hours of sleep, Huffington Post had these two articles juxtaposed on its main page — the first is at the head of the posting, Michael Moore warning men that our "10,000-year reign" is over.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Jonathan Chait on GOP Long Game with Trump: "Long Historical Denouement of a Party That Has Come to See American Democracy as Rigged"

What's the long game of the Republican party with advancing Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, and in standing behind him? Jonathan Chait's valuable assessment:

"Stark Split Between White and Latino Catholics" in Current Election Cycle Noted Again

Lauren Markoe writes, noting the PRRI-Catholic University of America media event yesterday to which I pointed you in the last two days, 

Fred Clark on Shenanigans of Those Trying to Rescue White Evangelical Brand from Trumpism

With impeccable evangelical cred, Fred Clark cries foul on the attempt of some leading white evangelical commentators right now to try to rescue the white evangelical brand from Trumpism, and to maintain that evangelicals are more diverse than the some seven in ten white evangelicals voting for the Donald:

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,