Monday, January 29, 2018

Frank Schaeffer on Why White Evangelicals Love Trump: "The Context Is American Racism" — Implications for White Catholic "Pro-Life" Voters

This is the kind of testimony that white Catholics who claim to be motivated solely by opposition to abortion as they cast their votes do not want to hear. I wonder why?

Saturday, January 27, 2018

It's Never About Racism: White Catholic Voters, Abortion, and How the Religious Right Culture Wars Began (Hint: It's About Racism)

It's never about the racism with white Catholics who have signed onto the culture wars of the U.S. Catholic bishops, and who vote — or so they say — primarily on the basis of the single issue of abortion (with same-sex marriage also often thrown into their calculus as they choose predictably to vote Republican). It's never about racism with the alliance those white Catholics made a long time ago with white evangelicals who got the religious right ball rolling because of overt racism.

Friday, January 26, 2018

David Martin, "#MeToo in the Pew Next to You," with Preface by Cameron Altaras

It's my privilege today to be able to offer you a valuable statement by Rev. David Martin, Executive Minister of the Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, entitled "MeToo in the pew next to you." As Cameron Altaras notes in her preface below, Rev. Martin's essay has been published in Canadian Mennonite, and is thematically linked to the article she posted here at Bilgrimage — synchronistically — almost simultaneously with Rev. Martin's essay. Here are Cameron's preface and David Martin's essay, which I'm publishing after Rev. Martin has kindly given written permission for the republication of his essay here. A link to its original publication at the Canadian Mennonite site is below:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

John Pavlovitz, "White Evangelicals, This is Why People Are Through With You"

Ed Mazza, "Former RNC Chair Michael Steele: Trump’s Evangelical Backers Need To 'Shut The Hell Up'"

John Pavlovitz, who pastors North Raleigh Community Church in North Carolina, writes a heartfelt letter to white evangelicals:

Judge Sentences Pedophile, Straight Men Go Ballistic: Just. Stop. Now

As Scott Lemieux says, Larry Nassar decided to "go out in a hail of misogyny and denial." Right to the end of his sentencing hearing, he persisted in claiming that, though he was guilty as charged of penetrating the vaginas of girls as young as six years old (activity that continued in some cases over a span of years with the same girl), he was acting "medically" — as a doctor, not someone sexually violating girls.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Long and Short of It: Evangelical Mulligans and Idiot Winds — Religion in the News

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It's the Clericalism, Stupid: Valuable Commentary on How Pope Francis' Approach to the Abuse Situation Is Undermining His Papacy

These are some valuable things I've read in the past few days about Pope Francis' atrocious comments regarding the Bishop Barros story in Chile, and his subsequent attempt to walk back those comments. As survivors like Joelle Casteix, Marie Collins, and Skip Shea point out, the men in Rome — including Francis — don't get it, and don't intend to get it. It's the clericalism. It always has been the clericalism. Clericalism is and always has been at the very root of the abuse crisis.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Final Note on a Chatty Day: Please See Valuable Discussion of Pope's Comments in Chile Here Today

The Guardian, 19 January 2018

On a day when I've been perhaps too chatty here (posting too much at one time, I fear, when Brittie Janson Perez's essay richly deserves top billing), I do want to direct your attention to the very valuable discussion of the pope's shocking (and reprehensible) remarks about abuse survivors in Chile, which developed here today in a thread following my posting of Brittie's essay. I am far behind in acknowledging comments here, and apologize for this. I'm busy with several projects, and finding too little time to contribute to discussions — though I read your comments and value them very much.

When "Pro-Life" Christianity Becomes Death-Dealing: An Intra-Catholic Twitter Discussion on the Day of March for Life (2)

And there's more: in response to Father James Martin's statement on Twitter yesterday about what it means to be pro-life, a statement I featured in a previous posting to which this one is linked, there's a string of tweets venting bile against LGBTQ people in the name of a "pro-life" ethic. Father Martin's tweet starting this discussion states, 

When "Pro-Life" Christianity Becomes Death-Dealing: An Intra-Catholic Twitter Discussion on the Day of March for Life

The discussion that this tweet by Father James Martin has spawned is interesting — and revelatory, as a glimpse of some major fault lines in U.S. Catholic culture today, which are contributing to serious dysfunction in the culture at large. In response to Father Martin, a Catholic doctor in Pennsylvania, Tom Iarocci, tweets, 

Brittmarie Janson Perez, "Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the American Civil Spirit"

It's my privilege today to share with you another essay by Brittmarie Janson Perez, in which she lauds Senator Dianne Feinstein for her many extremely important contributions to sustaining the American civil spirit — contributions that Brittie thinks the mainstream media have continued to overlook as recently as this month, when Senator Feinstein released Glenn Simpson's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Brittie's essay follows:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Standing Ovation at Highpoint Church, Memphis, for Pastor Who Sexually Assaulted 17-Year-Old Girl: Churches Still Not Intending to Get It

A week ago, Jules Woodson told a painful story of her sexual assault by youth pastor Andy Savage at Woodlands Parkway Baptist church in Houston. She was 17 years old when he drove her to a secluded place, unzipped his pants, pulled out his penis and asked her to suck it, and unbuttoned her shirt and fondled her breasts. As her account states, after this occurred, she notified church leaders about what had happened and met a stone wall until she told an all-women's discipleship group at her church what had happened.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cameron Altaras, "Mennonite Harvey Weinsteins, or #MeToo in the Mennonite World"

I'm honored today to share with you another essay from the Mennonite world, one making powerful connections between the #MeToo movement and the recovery of the voices of Mennonite women who have experienced sexual abuse at the hands of church leaders. "One stops one's voice in an effort to preserve one's life," Cameron Altaras writes, summing up the shattering pain women who have experienced sexual abuse in a religious context live with when they are told not to speak out, that they have deserved their abuse, that they are without worth, and on and on. What follows is Cameron Altaras' stellar essay:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

David Jackson, "Catholics Compromised Themselves in Voting for Trump"

David Jackson, a reader of Bilgrimage who is a member of Call to Action in Edinburg, Texas, posted this piece two days ago as a comment here. It was previously published as an op-ed statement in the McAllen Monitor (McAllen, Texas) on 26 December 2017. I'm sharing it with you here now with David's permission. David's essay follows:

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Short (Mostly) and Sweet (Sometimes) Takes on Today's News: "'A Culture Broken by Brutally Powerful Men' Is an Eloquent and Precise Diagnosis of Our Current Context"

I've culled these tasty tidbits from my reading of the news online today, and am offering them to you as amuses-gueules in the hope that you may be tempted to click and read some of the links:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Charles Pierce on How "It's Not about Race Because Nothing Ever Is about Race."

Charles Pierce today at his "Politics" blog at Esquire, commenting on the "gerrymandered mess" the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature has made of the state's election maps, and about the arguments the lawyer representing the Republicans in the legislature is advancing to defend said mess:

No Cake for the Gays and the Libertarian + White Catholic + White Evangelical Erosion of Civil Rights for All Minorities: Truth-Telling about Having Your Cake and Eating It, Too

All these pieces fit together: 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ruth E. Krall, "January 6, 2018: Early Morning Reverie" — "Institutional Abuse Magnifies the Criminality of the Original Abuse"

This powerful essay came to my email from Ruth Krall yesterday on the traditional date for the Christian feast of the Epiphany. As with everything Ruth writes about these issues of sexual assault and abuse and the abuse of institutional authority, it's epiphanic — a brightly lit signpost for the rest of us, pointing to ways in which we can proactively deal with these massive issues that span religious boundary lines.