Thursday, November 30, 2017

Roy Moore's Attack on LGBT People at Baptist Church Yesterday: "They Are the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender" Folks Spearheading Resistance to Him — The Narrative Line We Must Not Miss

There is a narrative line in these disparate textual pieces. A narrative line emerges when you put them together, and it's a narrative line essential to spot for anyone trying to understand why the revelations that Roy Moore has preyed sexually on female minors have resulted in more — not less — support for him among white evangelicals in Alabama. This is a narrative line that implicates the 60% of white Catholics who voted for the moral monstrosity now occupying the White House, and the U.S. Catholic bishops who are the pastoral and moral leaders of those Catholics — though neither the bishops nor white Catholics want to admit that they are in any way implicated in this narrative.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"White Voters Backed a Candidate Who Assured Them That They Will Never Have to Share This Country with People of Color as Equals": White Jesus, White Bible, White U.S. Christians & Trump Presidency

A week ago (plus a day), I shared with you an excerpt from Adam Serwer's outstanding recent essay in The Atlatic entitled "The Nationalist's Delusion." At his Slacktivist site, Fred Clark has been commenting on and sharing pieces from Serwer's essay. Here's a valuable passage from Fred's commentary today:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

"It Is THEOLOGY That Makes the Church an Unsafe Place for Survivors & a Haven for Abusers": #ChurchToo Discusses Theological Underpinnings of Churches' Defense of Sexual Predators

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"In Reality, a Gospel without Justice Is No Gospel at All": Implications for the Catholic Church and LGBT People, and for Catholic "Bridge-Builders"

A key implication of Jemar Tisby's statement that, "[i]n reality, a gospel without justice is no gospel at all," is that the gospel itself — the good news of God's salvific, redemptive love for everyone offered in Jesus Christ — is unavailable to those who are not accorded justice. The good news of God's all-inclusive love for the world through Jesus is unavailable to those who are not accorded justice by Christians and Christian institutions proclaiming the gospel to the world.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Boston Declaration: A Prophetic Appeal to Christians of the United States

As followers of Jesus, the Jewish prophet for justice whose life reminds us to, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:31) we hear the cries of women and men speaking out about sexual abuse at the hands of leaders in power and we are outraged. We are outraged by the current trends in Evangelicalism and other expressions of Christianity driven by white supremacy, often enacted through white privilege and the normalizing of oppression. Confessing racism as the United States' original and ongoing sin, we commit ourselves to following Jesus on the road of costly discipleship to seek shalom justice for the least, the lost, and the left out. We declare that following Jesus today means fighting poverty, economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression from the deepest wells of our faith.
~ Boston Declaration, 20 November 2017

In Today's News: "If Jesus Christ Gets Down Off the Cross and Told Me Trump Is with Russia, I Would Tell Him, 'Hold on a Second. I Need to Check with the President'"

Astead W. Herndon, "Why evangelicals are again backing a Republican despite allegations of sexual misconduct":

Friday, November 17, 2017

"The Fish Rots from the Head" and American Catholic Reasons for Choosing Trump: My Take

In an article yesterday at Vox entitled "'The fish rots from the head': a historian on the unique corruption of Trump's White House," U.S. presidential historian Robert Dallek tells Sean Illing that "the Trump administration easily ranks among the most corrupt in American history." Dallek states,

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

More Moore (Roy, That Is): Why White Evangelicals Can't Quit Their Man, and the Horrors Posed by "the Alabamization of This Country"

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

More Commentary on Why Roy Moore's Evangelical Supporters Won't Abandon Him (Hint: Look at How They Reponded to Trump's Boasts About Sexual Assault of Women)

As I said yesterday, the stories and commentary keep coming out, so I feel obliged to keep blogging about these matters, especially when they're so germane to the kind of discussions I've tried to stir on this blog site since I started it. What's happening with the Roy Moore story points us back to the choice of 8 in 10 — 8 in 10! — white evangelicals and some 6 in 10 — 6 in 10! — white Catholics and Mormons to place the moral monstrosity now occupying the White House there last November. We want to keep forgetting that fact, conveniently so, and the way in which that choice betrayed the most fundamental principles of morality for which these ostensibly "pro-life" voters claimed to stand, as long as those principles could be applied exclusively to Democratic presidents like Mr. Clinton.

Monday, November 13, 2017

New Accuser Comes Forward to Say Roy Moore Assaulted Her When She Was a Teen, 53 Pastors Sign Letter Supporting Moore

The stories keep coming along, and I think it's important to keep blogging about them:

The Bridge-Building Project in the U.S. Catholic Church and Reaching Out to the Poor Bishops as A Primary Task: My Take

It's very hard to get my mind around Catholic groups, including ones working for the full inclusion of queer people in the Catholic church, which think that the major challenge today is to invite the bishops to the table and to avoid being "angry" at the bishops.

"In the Darkest Timeline, Where Republicans Have No Shame": Top White Evangelical Leaders Stand by Their Man in Alabama

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Charles Pierce on Roy Moore as Exactly What Republicans Are All About Now: "Wake Up and Smell the White Supremacist Theocracy"

Friday, November 10, 2017

Trending on Twitter: #RoyMooreChildMolester — "I Never Thought I’d See the Day When Pedophilia Became a Divisive Issue Within the GOP"

Trending today on Twitter: #RoyMooreChildMolester. At the New Civil Rights Movement website right now, David Badash has a good assortment of tweets from this hashtag. The tweet above by Dave Zirin is one featured in David's article.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Michael Kruse's Politico Analysis of Trump Voters in Light of Tuesday Elections: "A Story of People Who Are Addicted to White Supremacy"

On Facebook and Twitter, I'm finding that the most lively conversations now taking place after Tuesday's election focus on Michael Kruse's article published yesterday in Politico, about diehard Trump supporters in the economically depressed mining community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Kruse is not directly commenting on Tuesday's election results, but his piece appeared at a fortuitous moment in that regard. It might as well be analysis of one side of the American political landscape — and why the other side of the political landscape so resoundingly repudiated that side in the elections held on Tuesday. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Twitter Chews Over Election Results: "Thoughts and Prayers to all the Republican Politicians Who Lost Their Seats Today"

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fantasies of Some American Christians about "Good" Violence as Precursor of Second Coming: Theological Root Not to Overlook in Gun-Control Debate

Because of our historical amnesia and religious illiteracy — both of them aided and abetted by our media — many Americans know little about powerful strands in American Christian thought, especially among white evangelicals, that feed our national fantasies about guns and violence. When Western Christianity made its fateful turn with Constantine, conflating church and state in many troubling ways and resulting in the church's blessing of state violence, it turned decisively away from the pacifist theology of such early Christian thinkers as Tertullian, who taught (On Idolatry) that wearing the belt of a soldier was incompatible with following Jesus, who had instructed his followers that those who take the sword will die by the sword. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Why Do Many of Us Feel "Impotent Helplessness" in Face of Cultural Violence? A Reflection (Implicating the Churches)

In both of the postings I've made this morning in response to the Texas mass shooting yesterday (God, how glibly that ugly phrase begins to flow from our mouths now, week after endless week), I've spoken about the feeling of helplessness many of us bring to this situation. To be specific, in my first posting this morning, I wrote very specifically about my own feeling of helplessness, my own feeling that my voice simply does not count: I stated, 

"Thoughts, Prayers, God — Why Didn't Anyone Think of That Before?": More Commentary on America's Gun (and NRA-GOP) Problem

Huffington Post, "Mass Shooting Suspect Devin Patrick Kelley Had ‘Connection’ To Texas Church"

Enough with the Thoughts and Prayers: A Twitter Thread in Response to Texas Mass Shooting

Friday, November 3, 2017

Footnote to Discussion of Elevated Theology of Priesthood and Who Gets Invited to Table: Truth Claims of Doctrine Require Verification in Real Lives

This posting is a footnote to a string of interrelated postings I've made here recently, for which I have provided links below. Readers who have read that string may not see a common theme in it. I do, perhaps because I tend to think in an idea-links-to-idea way as I make postings here. This footnote is my attempt to make explicit an idea that, to my way of thinking, runs through the thread of postings listed below.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Russian Propaganda, Critical-Thinking Skills, and How the Christian Right Broke America: Valuable Recent Contributions to the Discussion

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

More from Michael Boyle on Elevated Theology of Priesthood: "'Theory' and 'Intellectual Integrity' Are Really Place Holders for the Unfettered Discretion of the Priest'"

At his Sound of Sheer Silence blog, Michael Boyle has responded to my posting commenting on his own reflections about how the central nexus from which the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic church is an "elevated theology of who priests are." Interestingly enough, as I just typed that phrase, I misremembered Michael's exact words and typed, "an 'elevated theology of who priests think they are.'"