Wednesday, May 31, 2017

National Catholic Reporter: "Describing the Trump Administration as "Pro-Life" Drains the Expression of Any Meaning" (But Wait: NCR Is Saying This?)

Describing the Trump administration as "pro-life" drains the expression of any meaning.
This is a very fine line in the National Catholic Reporter editorial about the baleful influence of the Knights of Columbus' money in American Catholicism that I shared earlier today.

"Trump Administration Is Dismantling Its Predecessor's Moves to Protect Women, Minorities, the Poor, and LGBTQ People": Thoughts About the Morning's News

David Gushee, "The Most Fantastic Association of Men Imaginable"

In one morning, I read (1),

The Trump administration is dismantling its predecessor's moves to protect women, minorities, the poor, and LGBTQ people (Mark Joseph Stern).

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

"Strange That a Political Movement That's Totally Not About Racism Would, Once Empowered, Do This Over and Over Again": Footnote to Last Posting

As a footnote to what I posted yesterday about how "pro-life" white Catholics would be well-advised to drop their act of pretend innocence about what they're colluding with as they vote Republican election after election — even when a Donald Trump is on the ticket! — in tandem with white evangelicals who have shifted to the Republican party after the Civil Rights era:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Morgan Guyton on Ugliness of Toxic Christianity Laid Bare in Trump Era, Robert P. Jones on White Shift to GOP: Implications for "Pro-Life" Catholic Trumpists

What Morgan Guyton knows as a Southerner about how things used to be in the South in the pre-Civil Rights era aptly describes the South I knew growing up in a period before Morgan was born:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump Meets Francis, Twitter Talks: One Photo Seen Through Many Eyes

One photo, many different ways of reading it — as Twitter commentary this morning is suggesting; different eyes see different things:

Commentary on Manchester Terrorism: "Women [and Girls] Are the Canaries in the Coal Mine for Male Violence"

Thought-provoking commentary I have read on the Manchester terrorist bombing as in all likelihood an attack quite specifically targeting girls:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

Lisa Sharon Harper on Hijacking of White Evangelicalism by Politics: "That's at the Root of the Religious Right"

In a just-published interview with Lisa Sharon Harper, author of The Very Good Gospel, Deborah Jian Lee, author of Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism, asks, "Given its history and this past election, is white evangelicalism redeemable?" Lisa Sharon Harper's response, which seems to me right on target:

Arlie Hochschild on Race as "Elephant in the Room" of Trump's America: "Racial Resentment Lies at the Very Heart" of the Story of Trump Voters

For the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday, David Talbot interviewed Arlie Hochschild, author of the acclaimed book Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. Hochschild's book is an account of her attempt, as a liberal social scientist from Berkeley, to sojourn among and understand people in south Louisiana's bayou country who appear consistently to vote against their own economic self-interest, as they vote Republican election after election. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

White Churches and American Racism: Three Recent Statements — "Among Evangelicals, Race Matters, and Race Doesn't Matter"*

Three statements that I've read in the past day or so, noting the extent to which white evangelicals (I'd add white Catholics) are a serious part of the problem, when it comes to addressing matters of racial injustice in the U.S. — and not a part of the solution:

Commentary on Evangelical Leader Mike Pence and His Role in Trump's Administration: "Bobblehead," "Willingness to Lie for Trump Knows No Bounds"

Rolando has pointed us in a rcent comment to some valuable analysis of the role being played by vice-president Mike Pence — a noted "Catholic evangelical" leader infamous for promoting "religious liberty" attacks on LGBTQ citizens of Indiana when he was governor there — in carrying water for Donald Trump as Trump seeks to stonewall investigations of his administration's Russian ties. Here's Richard Cohen's take on this noted "Catholic evangelical" leader:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"People in Control in Gilead Aren't 'Really Interested in Religion; They’re Interested in Power'": Notes on Atwood's Dystopian Handmaid's Tale and Today's News

To complement the notes I have just posted about Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, here are some observations from my news-and-commentary reading in the past day or two:

Some Notes on Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and Intersectionality: Class Privilege Connects to Racial Privilege Connects to Heterosexism Connects to Misogyny Connects to Religion

A fascinating aspect of Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, especially in the Hulu series that we continue watching, is how it weaves together issues of feminism, race, heterosexism-homophobia, class privilege, and religion. If anything, the t.v. series is making the interconnection of these issues even stronger.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Move to Impeach Judge Wendell Griffen: "Latest Effort to Punish a Judge, a Black Judge . . . with Whom the White Power Structure in Arkansas Disagrees"

I thought I'd update you today on what's happening with my friend Judge (and Reverend) Wendell Griffen right now. As his recent Democracy Now! interview with Amy Goodman and Juan González reports, a move is afoot to have him impeached as a member of the Arkansas judiciary due to his outspoken opposition — as a Christian pastor — to the death penalty. On Good Friday, he took part in a protest against the death penalty organized by the church he pastors, New Millennium Baptist church in Little Rock, and the impeachment proceedings are due to his participation in that protest.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trump's Education Secretary DeVos Presents Commencement Address at Bethune-Cookman University: Things Do Not Go Well for Her

Mr. Trump's Secretary of Education (and right-wing Christian activist) Betsy DeVos was the commencement speaker yesterday at the historically black United Methodist university founded by Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University. Things did not go well.

Frances FitzGerald's The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, on Billy Graham and Richard Nixon: Valuable Historical Reminders

One of the important contributions of Frances FitzGerald's book The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (NY: Simon & Schuster, 2017) is that it recovers for us history that is, for many of us, still alive in memory, but about which younger Americans now have no inkling. One section of her book focuses on the strong connection the leading white American evangelist Billy Graham made with Richard Nixon, and how that connection was tested when the Watergate débacle happened. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"No Shoes Left to Drop," "Dark and Perilous Moment": Commentary on Trump's Firing of James Comey

Commentary worth reading (so it seems to me) about Trump's firing of James Comey:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"Church Should Provide Healthcare Coverage, Not State": Two Statements Confronting This Claim of Many U.S. White Christians with Reality

As a way of prefacing the two articles to which I'm pointing you below, with excerpts, I want to remind you of several observations made by Frances FitzGerald in her book The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (NY: Simon & Schuster, 2017) (for previous discussions of this book, see here and here). First, there's this:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Charles Pierce on the Party in D.C. Today: Celebrating Taking Healthcare from Poor People to Give Trillion-Dollar Tax Cut to Super-Rich

GOP Votes to Rip Healthcare from Millions of Americans, Beer Bash Ensues: Twitter Documentation of Today

Twitter capturing what's happening in Washington, D.C., today as a bill to strip millions of Americans of healthcare coverage to afford tax credits to the richest people in the country passes the House, and cases of beer are rolled into the Capitol for the celebration:

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

More from Frances Fitzgerald's The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America: Race and the Shift of White Evangelicals to Republican Party

And, as a complement to what I have just posted about Trump's analysis of the Civil War and Andrew Jackson and how both reflect white supremacist ideology, here aresome more excerpts from Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (NY: Simon & Schuster, 2017).  These are not in the least unrelated to Trump's remarks about the Civil War and Jackson:

Trump and the Civil War: "Belief That the Civil War Could Have Been 'Worked Out' Reflects the Influence of the White Supremacist Neo-Confederate Movement on the Republican Party"

I think Susan Rice is correct: the current president is seeking in every way possible to create smokescreens to deflect our attention from the probe into his probable knowledge of an probable collusion with Russia in that nation's project to subvert the electoral process in the U.S. in 2016. The video above is embedded in a tweet by Jonathan Beeley that says, 

Monday, May 1, 2017

"Why Was There the Civil War?" Mr. Trump Asks: Some Answers from Frances FitzGerald's The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

Since the president of the United States asked this morning, "Why was there the Civil War?," I thought I might take a stab at offering Mr. Trump some educational resources in the hope of helping him understand "why there was the Civil War." Unfortunately, coming to that point of understanding will require him to begin understanding the mentality of the white evangelical Christians, concentrated in the former slaveholding states of the American South, who are his strongest base of support.