In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
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.
Caitlyn Jenner is on the cover of Vanity Fair, people far and wide are admiring her, and social conservatives—even the heterodox ones, from Brendan O’Neill to Rod Dreher—are not impressed. One liberalish counter-response does an admirable job of taking their concerns seriously, and it comes from an unexpected source—oh I’m just kidding, it’s obviously Damon Linker.
The controversy over Rodney Kennedy’s decision to baptize a baby has been fascinating. The prominent American Baptist pastor told RNS that he is “no longer interested whether confession of faith comes before or after baptism,” given the larger issues facing the church. Many other Baptists, especially Southern Baptists, very much disagree. “The Christian community needs to have a conversation about baptism,” said Kennedy. We’ve had one, actually.
There’s little for us mainliners to celebrate in this new Pew study. We’re losing people, and fast. I appreciate Heidi Haverkamp’s realistic-yet-hopeful words here and Rob Rynders’ there. But, like them, I’m not interested in spinning an argument that the numbers are somehow lying. The numbers are clearer, however, than the reasons for them.
Weeks ago, the recycling carts disappeared from our alley. We live in a Chicago three-flat, and the City is supposed to provide single-stream blue carts for all residential buildings with four or fewer units. It hasn’t replaced them yet. Larger buildings are required to provide recycling services themselves, but this doesn’t always happen, either.