In the World

Church door from inside

Steve Thorngate on public life and culture

Here's an impressive and heartwarming little stunt, pulled off by filmmaker Nirvan Mullick with a big assist from the internets. But the coolest part is the creativity of the nine-year-old whose day Mullick was determined to make.
April 11, 2012
The Century's sort-by-lectionary-day tool exists primarily as a way of organizing past Living by the Word columns and Blogging toward Sunday posts in a useful way. But we also put other content there--anything from the magazine or blogs that happens to deal with a given lection in a way that could plausibly be useful to a preacher or worship planner. So, while our lectionary columnists and bloggers mostly focus on Sundays, the lectionary pages have also collected a good bit of content related to the additional holy days of the (weekly) lectionary.
April 3, 2012
Here are some things I read recently but didn't get around to blogging about: An anti-bullying session for fifth-graders, a guide for avoiding sexist campaign coverage, more.
March 30, 2012
So, who's playing politics with reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act? Sen. Schumer and the Democrats, or Sen. Grassley and the Republicans? Well, probably both. Yes, Democracts would love to bolster the narrative that Republicans don't care about women, even though Grassley et al. object to new provisions added to the VAWA, not the existing law. And yes, by threatening the whole bill based on objections to small parts of it, some Senate Republicans (not all of them) reveal that while they may in general favor services for domestic violence victims, it's not exactly a top priority to them. Of course both Senators Chuck are playing politics. That's their game, especially in leap years.
March 29, 2012
Bob Dylan released his first album 50 years ago this week. That self-titled debut is not the Dylan record anyone listens to most--it includes only two original tunes--and as Andy Greene details, it was not a smashing success. But it opened the door for Dylan to come back just months later and record The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, which propelled Dylan's staggering career.
March 21, 2012
As I've said before, the objectivity-fetishizing conventions of straight news reporting make me crazy. It's not just the odd philosophical throwback of implying that reporters can somehow avoid writing as particular people situated in particular contexts. It's also the convoluted copy, in which even plain facts can't be stated plainly if they happen to be unpopular. So I was glad when NPR released its new ethics handbook, in which among other things the network states that it favors "truth" over "the appearance of balance" and adds that "if the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side, we acknowledge it in our reports."
March 20, 2012

Pages

In the magazine

Why and how I bless my children

Death-penalty abolition and life without parole

Review of Steven Brill's Obamacare book

Baptism and place

What I want to get/give for Christmas

Liturgy nerds and their weddings

What's funny on TV

Alternatives to the common lectionary

Should churches alter copyrighted worship texts?

Welcome to the middle class, population everyone.

It's not about the role of government.

Whither the Century's Amazon links?

Church music after the worship wars

A nontraditional church introduces member rolls

Pay your taxes; get a receipt.

The Democrats' proxy debate about abortion

Music reviews