The Century just published a longer piece of mine on lectionaries, which traces some of the Revised Common Lectionary's history but focuses mostly on recent alternatives to the RCL. The article draws from interviews with the people behind these lectionary projects, and I had hoped to also include feedback from pastors and other worship leaders who have actually tried them. But my draft crossed the 5,000-word mark before I even got to the latter, so I let it go.
I will, however, post some such view-from-the-ministry-trenches items over the next week or so.
I've always supported the health-care reform law, and I remain mostly optimistic about it (despite this week's tech glitches). But the point I take from [Obamacare convert Butch] Matthews isn't that people will agree with me about stuff once they have the facts. It's that if Obamacare's coverage expansions don't work out as well as we supporters expect them to, we should acknowledge this—rather than going down the endless path of confirmation bias and doubling down on existing loyalties.
In that spirit: I was wrong when I dismissed the problems with the Obamacare exchange rollout as mere "glitches" confined to a parenthetical aside.
When I'm home on a Sunday afternoon, I like to make sure some simple household task coincides with On the Media so I can listen to it.Inevitably the task takes more than an hour and I end up also hearing Marketplace Money. Nothing against the personal-finance show, but my low tolerance for hearing other people's awkward conversations makes me kind of hate call-in shows generally. (See also: why I can't handle a lot of what passes for comedy anymore.)
Anyway, this past week I was doing the dishes and half-listening when a caller suddenly brought me almost to tears.
When I posted on the government shutdown last week, I grabbed a photo from the closed-down Statue of Liberty. It was an enticing editorial choice: Give me your tired, your poor, your furloughed federal employees yearning to just do their damn jobs again. But it was also probably an unhelpful choice.
Bloomberg’s magazine piece on the drug trade in Chicago is insightful and well reported as far as it goes. Here’s how far it goes: it more or less blames the city’s high murder rate on one man, the head of a Mexican cartel.
A couple weeks ago, President Obama introduced a plan to try to contain the cost of going to college. This was soon buried by a series of stories on Syria policy, with its high-intrigue mix of exceptionalist saber-rattling and Mr. Magoo diplomacy.
So in case you missed it, the administration's higher-ed plan has some good stuff in it.
This past spring, Mary Louise Bringle revealed in theCentury that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hymnal committee voted against including the popular song “In Christ Alone” after the copyright holder rejected a lyric change (“Debating hymns,” May 15).
President Obama's speech last night was a strange one. The administration's strategy of speaking out of both sides of its mouth on Syria continues. (This is a narrow, punitive mission...motivated by broad, humanitarian concerns such a mission won't really address.)
Stranger still was the fact that Obama gave the speech at all.
Too much religion can harm a society’s economy by undermining the drive for financial success, according to a new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. . . . The study found that religious people in religious cultures reported better psychological adjustment when their income was low.