In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
One reason I haven't posted in a while is that my role as the Century's webmaster has sort of taken over my job in recent weeks, as we've made what ended up being a pretty bumpy server move. Another reason is that my train commute—aka "when editors actually write something"—has lately been dominated by the MA thesis I'm working on for my seminary degree.
I like Michael Gerson's writing, and sometimes I even agree with the things he says. This week he wrote a sensitive and heartfelt column about one of the houses in the DC-area L'Arche community—a place I feel some small connection to, as my wife was once part of a different house in the same community.
Did you hear about the for-profit wedding chapel owners in Idaho who are claiming a constitutional right (pdf) to refuse services to same-sex couples? From Marci Glass's entertaining post:
I hate to be the one to point this out to the Reverends Knapp, but they are not, in fact, pastors of a church. They own a wedding mill.
Shorter Peter Berger: Sometimes when liberals make public advocacy statements, they use the phrase “speaking truth to power.” This started in the 50s and got irritating by the 70s.
I don't have much use for the notion that hostility toward religion generally or Christianity in particular pervades American media. Yes, Bill Maher can be kind of horrible, but there's really just the one of him on TV. What is common (if still hardly pervasive) among left-leaning commentators is an attitude toward religion that includes little hatred or vitriol but plenty of puzzlement, ignorance, and mild condescension. Here's an odd example by science writer Brian Palmer, on medical missionaries in Africa:
In all the commentary around Adrian Peterson and his son, one of the more interesting threads has been about the particular history of African American parenting and corporal punishment. Charles Barkley weighed in of course; so did Michael Eric Dyson. Jamelle Bouie pushes back against Dyson in this thoughtful post. But the most provocative thing I’ve seen is by Brittney Cooper.