In the World

Church door from inside

Steve Thorngate on public life and culture

So Obama and the Republicans hope to fast-track a couple of international trade deals, and some Democrats aren’t pleased. This “has scrambled the usual political alignment in Washington,” says NPR’s Scott Horsley, “putting the president at odds with many of his usual allies in organized labor.” It has “all made for dizzying change of tone,” adds Jonathan Weisman of the Times. I suppose it’s a little unusual, if your lens on politics is pure partisan math, all red votes here and blue votes there. Dizzying it is not.
April 22, 2015
There’s a stereotype that we more progressive Christians tend to downplay this stuff: that our interest in Jesus is mostly about his teaching, that if we do talk about something like the resurrection it’s only to debate whether it’s historically plausible. But I’m a lot less interested in evidence for the resurrection than I am in what the thing means. And I have learned, to my surprise and delight, that it actually means more to me now than it once did—before my faith took a bit of a leftward turn.
April 16, 2015
While I happen to think that refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding that isn’t even happening at your own church is a distortion of what it means to follow Jesus, this is more lament than argument. It makes me sad; and our religious freedom tradition, quite rightly, isn’t particularly concerned about my sadness. What’s far more frustrating than pro-RFRA sentiment itself is the lack of empathy displayed by some who hold it.
April 15, 2015
In assigning pieces to writers, I’ve found that I make a lot of assumptions about how people use the Revised Common Lectionary, how they observe the church calendar, etc. I’d like to have better information about this.
April 6, 2015
So much of the debate over Indiana’s new religious freedom law revolves around the gap between the letter of the law and the politics behind it. Supporters note that the law doesn’t mention gays and lesbians, and that similar laws (though not identical ones) have been on the books in other jurisdictions for years. Opponents point to the fact that the law’s advocates organized support for it with arguments about protecting business owners who object to being vendors for same-sex weddings. They're both right, just about different things.
March 31, 2015

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