Friday, October 28, 2022

Having Left Twitter Because Musk Acquired It, I'm Resuming This Blog

Photo of Leslie Jordan by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress, from discussion of his book How Y'All Doing?: MIsadventures and Mischief from a Life Well-Lived with Megan Mullally on the Main Stage at the National Book Festival, 3 September 2022; Library of Congress Life - 20220903SM2320, from Wikipedia, available for sharing via Creative Commons

Because I've now left Twitter after Elon Musk acquired it — I refuse to do anything to enrich that man in any way — I'm going to switch back to this blog to provide the kind of religious-political commentary I was providing on Twitter. I will appreciate it if anyone who happens to read my postings here and thinks they're worth sharing would do so, so that I can re-establish an audience for the blog.

Several items I'd like to share today:

1. Josiah Hesse writes,

Life Surge [a Christian finance conference in Denver, Colorado] follows a long tradition of evangelists offering financial advice through the lens of morality and the supernatural. The Iowa farming community I grew up in during the 80s and 90s was steeped in these institutions, which vampirically drained my family and community’s economic momentum. ...

According to Pew, nearly half of evangelical Protestants never attended college, and more than half earn less than $50,000 annually (a third earn less than $30,000). Financial literacy is desperately needed in many of these communities, and while Life Surge offered some pragmatic advice on real estate, stocks and taxes, each speaker employed a litany of culture war rhetoric – prayer is needed in school, the snowflakes of cancel culture are coming for us, Hollywood hates Christians – implying an us v them worldview and fueling an ominous urgency for not only investment, but proselytization.

 2. Josh Marshall reports that Exxon CEO Darren Woods says, 

There has been discussion in the U.S. about our industry returning some of our profits directly to the American people. That’s exactly what we’re doing in the form of our quarterly dividend.

So let me see if I understand Darren Woods' point: he's saying that the fat cats make themselves obscenely rich by price gouging, and guess what, we get rich, too!

It's magic!

As they get rich, richer, richer, the wealth trickles down to us, and that justifies their greed and price-gouging.

None of what I say in the preceding sentence is true, but it doesn't stop THEM from saying it, and many of us are fool enough to go to the polls and keep pulling that lever that they want us to keep pulling to assure that they get even more tax cuts and even more laws are gutted that try to curb their rapacity, greed, and exploitation of us.

3. Josh Marshall also reports

Just to bring us all up to speed, rapidly emerging details appear to show that the overnight attack on Speaker Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was politically motivated and targeted Speaker Pelosi herself, who was not at home at the time of the attack. 

4. Brandan Robertson writes,  

[Leslie] Jordan never was afraid to share memories from his Southern Baptist upbringing as a gay kid in the South and even starred in the hilarious movie Southern Baptist Sissies by Del Shores, which served as a comedic critique of the repressive nature of the Southern Baptist world of LGBTQ people in its midst.

Even though he didn’t appear to be actively involved in a Southern Baptist church anymore, he very publicly maintained a sense of affinity with the culture and traditions of his Christian upbringing, regularly posting videos of him soulfully singing familiar hymns with country music stars. At least for me, he embodied what it looked like to be a joyful LGBTQ person of faith despite the pain and rejection he experienced from those who claimed the name of Christ.

5. Mark Wingfield notes that after Andy Wood, a pastor at Saddleback Southern Baptist church in Anaheim, California, publicly stated his support for women preaching, a group of Southern Baptist pastors began circulating a letter asking the SBC Executive Committee to draft a constitutional amendment banning churches that allow women to serve as pastors of any kind. 

My commentary:

Southern Baptist leaders have claimed that, due to the loose polity of the SBC and because each church is independent, the SBC has had no power to address the sexual abuse of vulnerable people that has been rampant in SBC.

But let a church or pastor express support for women in the pulpit, and watch how quickly they can act — as this story tells us they're doing immediately after Andy Wood of Saddlback church defended the right of women to preach.

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