When the pope says he's going to step down due to his deteriorating strength of mind and body, it's hard to say much more than that about it with any certainty. That said, I found Rose Berger's post pretty thoughtful.
Ordinarily I don't like to write about Fred Phelps and his family. When a group's main goal is to say hateful things and draw attention to itself, I don't want to help out with that project in any small way.
But Megan Phelps-Roper, Phelps's granddaughter, is another story.
WTF, Evolution? is the most enjoyable Tumblr I've come across this side of the unassailable, if a tad nichier, Every Day I'm Pastorin'. Basically it's pictures of ridiculous-looking animals and then commentary, often in the form of a dialogue between evolution and a bewildered observer.
What does it take to replace a culture that tolerates violence against women with one that insists on respect? According to Breakthrough, an organization based in the U.S. and India, a key element is enlisting men to actively enforce nonviolent, respectful norms.
A couple years ago, the group's Bell Bajao (Hindi for "Ring the Bell") project produced some amazing PSA videos in India.
The Barna Group's recent religious freedom poll is pretty interesting. Evangelicals overwhelmingly support religious freedom and are concerned about its possible demise—yet a majority of them also believe that "traditional Judeo-Christian values should be given preference."
My first year in college, I had a friend who was going through a bit of a Goth stage. He dressed in all black and spent a lot of his time with his guitar, playing really intense (and often really good) original music.
For his birthday, another friend of ours shot a goofy video (on VHS, I think!) about him. She asked me to appear as his bizarro-world self, so I dressed in all white (can't believe I found white pants somewhere on my dorm floor!) and showed up with my guitar. Then I improvised a major-key adaptation of "The Sound of Silence": "Hello lightness my new friend..."
If a lot of African-Americans back in the '60s had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed Selma? . . . If John Lewis had had a gun, would he have been beat upside the head on the bridge?
Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Amanda Marcotte brings up a crucial point: while the cultural image of an abortion patient continues to be someone a lot like the title character in Juno, the reality has changed considerably.
The article does point out that tax increases coming out of the fiscal-cliff deal will affect all workers—because of the end of the payroll tax holiday—not just those whose taxes on wage income and investments are going up. But the graphic sticks with the six-figure folks, all drawn to look rather put upon.
[The cathedral is] nominally Episcopal but I’ve always thought of it as the beating heart of ceremonial deism, so no surprise that it would shift as the wider public does.
Say this for [Dean Gary Hall], too: He makes no bones about his political intentions. Although if you’re head of the National Cathedral and reaching out to press a hot button, why bother doing that? Why pretend it’s a purely religious decision when it’s not?
Allahpundit is obviously right about the ceremonial deism part. And I’ll be the first to admit that this strange American habit is bad for church and state alike.
But it’s absurd to suggest that the National Cathedral is only “nominally Episcopal.”
I'll admit it: I'm one of those people who, back in the 90s, learned Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" and played it note for note without even realizing it was written by the great Leonard Cohen. Glad to say I'd moved on by the time The West Wing, Scrubs and !@#$% Shrek got hip to the song, but still: no excuse for that.
Here's some good news: despite our short collective attention span, despite the fiscal-cliff debacle dominating the headlines shortly after the Newtown shooting, the U.S. scourge of gun violence is still part of the national conversation.