In the World

Church door from inside

Steve Thorngate on public life and culture

The Koch brothers have grown wary of being perceived as a pro-rich people lobby, so they’re working on it. Matea Gold and James Hohmann report that “the theme of helping the lower class was echoed throughout the weekend conference.” “The theme of helping the lower class”—that’s a well-worded summary, because whatever shifts in tone or even substance exist here, it’s important to recognize that the subject of the sentence remains: uncommonly rich, powerful people.
August 3, 2015
Take the question in isolation—given that we’re going to identify our church’s allegiances with these two flags, which one should be higher?—and I absolutely agree with Rit Varriale that it should be the Christian one. But the question didn't arise in isolation, of course.
July 8, 2015
This week it's harder than usual to watch big-budget news media keeping things light. It's hard to watch them spend much time on anything other than the scourge of white supremacy that persists in this country. Since 9/11, white terrorists have been a deadlier threat here than the jihadist variety, even before the Charleston massacre. Last month, three black female clergy in South Carolina received death threats. Oh, and black churches keep ending up on fire.
July 1, 2015
The Supreme Court has again ruled against those who seek to dismantle Obamacare. This morning I read Chief Justice Roberts's majority opinion and Justice Scalia's dissent. The latter was of course more entertaining; if you read SCOTUS opinions primarily for the entertainment value, stick with Scalia, Ginsburg, and maybe Kagan if you're a nerd. Roberts's opinion, however, is forceful and right: "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."
June 24, 2015
It starts off as a standard writeup of a protest and counter-protest of a mosque’s Friday prayers. An accompanying video portrays the two sides as polarized not just in rhetoric but in various cultural markers, starting with the fact that one side is packing the kind of firepower that would have shocked people not so long ago (and would still if the heat-packers weren’t so white). You know, just a slice of 21st-century American life.
June 7, 2015


In the magazine

Review of Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option

Christmas picks 2016

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


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