In the World

Church door from inside

Steve Thorngate on public life and culture

Joe Nocera thinks that everyone protesting the Keystone pipeline is pretty silly. He makes a series of weak arguments, and I'll direct you to others to explain why the pipeline isn't about a U.S. geopolitical advantage, why the environmental cost of tar sands oil extraction isn't small just because Nocera says so, why activism is more important than wonky incrementalism, and why a carbon tax wouldn't make tar sands extraction more viable. I'm more interested in Nocera's overall point: that we need to reduce demand for fossil fuels, not supply.
February 21, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio’s rebuttal to State of the Union last night was notable mostly for what it didn’t do: spend more than a hot second on the subject of immigration. I’ve been impressed to see the Florida Republican working to convince conservatives that it’s time for immigration reform. Sure, his urgency may be as electoral as it is moral. But that doesn’t make him wrong. Still, despite Rubio’s considerable gifts—and despite the low bar set by a thankless speaking gig—he sounded pretty out of touch.
February 13, 2013
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.
February 8, 2013
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.
February 1, 2013


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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