So I'm headed to DC this weekend, where I used to live and my fiancee
still does. We're excited to be in town for the inauguration—which isn't
to say that we managed to score swearing-in tickets from one of our
members of Congress. (Mine have been a bitbusylately, and she doesn't have any, so our odds were particularly poor.) And we decided against forking over thousands of dollars to a reseller. But it'll be great just to be nearby—to watch the big screens on the National Mall and to angle for a glimpse of the parade.
moderates and consensus-seekers see the change of power as a great
opportunity for culture-war disarmament, for much more than simply
asking both Rick Warren and Gene Robinson to say grace. Yesterday, Third Way—working with Evangelicals for Social Action, Faith in Public Life and others—released its "governing agenda" "Come Let Us Reason Together," following on the 2007 paper of the same name. The agenda, announced via a letter
to Obama and congressional leaders, includes abortion reduction,
employment protections for gays and lesbians, comprehensive immigration
reform and renouncing torture.
This sort of thing always brings
out the fault lines among left-leaning religious commentators. (The
mainstream media, which discovered four or five years ago that such
people exist, isn't yet hip to the fact that these commentators don't
all lean at the same angle.) Debra Haffner and Pastordan challenge Third Way's claims of progressivism. Mark Silk finds the whole thing kind of thin, and Sarah Posner highlights a few other skeptical parties. (The hardline religious-right people, predictably, aren'tpleased either.)
Meanwhile, Christian Churches Together—the
young, broad-based ecumenical group well positioned to thaw (or just
steer around) the ice between the National Council of Churches and the
National Association of Evangelicals—is lobbying the president-elect on poverty, the group's signature issue.
The American Folklife Center, part of the Library of Congress, is calling
for audio and video recordings of inauguration-week sermons for
future-research purposes. Sermons delivered between today and January
25—a week from Sunday—are eligible, and the submission deadline is
On a lighter note, quasi-Christian music magazine Paste has a cool online program called Obamicon.Me.
At last, you too can be done up in Shepard Fairey's vaguely
Soviet-looking red, white and blue. (Above, see how the Obamicon tool
takes already-iconic Century contributing editor Martin E. Marty to a whole new level.)
Finally, as a politico and a foodie, I'm naturally enthusiastic about a blog
devoted to Obama and food. This week it got even better: they
introduced a religion angle. Check out their series on suggested psalms
for use in the swearing-in—parts one, two and three. And anyone road-tripping to DC this weekend might appreciate this inauguration guide
from the indispensable Eat Well Guide (pdf download). Unfortunately, my
own en-route dining options will be limited to pretzels that aren't even complimentary anymore.
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