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Albright to Trump: Nuts to your refugee scheme

January 27, 2017

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President Trump’s race to upend American ideals in the name of patriotism is achieving a cheetah’s speed. Remember that phrase, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”? Forget it. He’s maneuvering to cut the refugee flow.

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Rolling in the xenophobic brambles

November 28, 2015

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We’ve lain in this anti-immigrant and refugee bed before and it always sprouts thorns.

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Is martyrdom marketable?

December 26, 2014

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Slice another pie and mix up more stuffing. The religious festivals tramp on like salivating cholesterol monsters. The Feast of St. Stephens comes on December 26th, the same date as Boxing Day in the former British Empire and Wren’s Day in Ireland. It’s also the Second Day of Christmas (remember the thirteen-day season) and Rummage-through-the-leftovers Day. Because we can.

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Evangelical Response to Eric Garner Decision: The System Failed

December 6, 2014

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Once again, the popular image of a Rush Limbaugh faith crumbles. Christianity Today surveyed postings from Evangelical advocates after a grand jury declined to indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose choke hold evidently contributed Eric Garner’s death. Almost all the leaders were disheartened.

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How Democrats Snatch Defeat From The Jaws of Victory

July 14, 2014

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Let’s ask the real election-year question: Why isn’t the Democratic Party poised with forks and knives, ready for November’s sizzling elephant steak? Republican popularity spirals amid denials of verified science, yet there’s genuine fear of a GOP Senate takeover. We should be dreaming of 1964, when Democrats held two-thirds majorities in both houses after routing Goldwater.

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Video of the month: Alister McGrath and the confessions of a lapsed atheist

May 6, 2014

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Pick up a book by Alister McGrath and read it at some time. You’ll discover that the theologian and Oxford University professor violates one of academia’s unwritten but cardinal rules: Not only does he think well, he writes well.

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When the past strangles us

February 22, 2013

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Gaze through civil religion’s in-creeping fog: Halos blink on over sweltering men with wigs. They’re now immaculate secular apostles; they kneel on a mountain top beside their polished spittoons while awaiting their Constitution’s arrival. They never haggled, never referred to their honored but maddening mother country, and never debated behind closed doors in a muggy city in defiance of their original commission. So dare not think the heretical thought: “Maybe the Second Amendment has outlived its usefulness.”

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“Almost Amish”: Cultural and spiritual wisdom in a horse-drawn buggy

June 13, 2012

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Nancy Sleeth has eaten the fish and spat out the bones. She looks beyond the group’s obvious flaws, learns from their attributes and applies their lessons in “Almost Amish: One Woman’s Quest For a Slower, Simpler, and More Sustainable Life.” The result: An entertaining, thought-provoking, refreshing, nuts-and-bolts manual for those of us who feel enslaved to the grid and our gas guzzlers.

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A Relativistic World = A Con Artist’s Dream

March 24, 2012

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Cue the off-key organ grinder monkey music. The postmodern circus has come to town, with Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich enrolled as the unlikely ring leaders. Step right up and watch them assert “traditional values” while twisting and bending the truth until it snaps. The political Left tries to join the circus but is no good at it, and journalists, truth’s supposed watch dogs, sleep at the door.

Postmodernism is a vague, multi-layered worldview born in the rubble of World War 2 and nurtured in the iconoclasm of the 1960’s. Many of its adherents shun labels – including “postmodernism” – before arguing that our cultural and personal biases so cloud our vision that we cannot see reality. Our concept of “logic” is tethered to a Western-centered saga, or “meta-narrative,” and is really an excuse for our quest for world domination. Objective truth, if it exists at all, is unknowable. We grope with psychological and cultural cataracts. We’re like Clint Eastwood wandering through Alice’s Wonderland while reading the script for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. We can’t even interpret our interpretations – so please, let’s do away with religion’s moral absolutes. As Stanley Fish once said, “The trouble with principle is, first, it does not exist, and second, that nowadays many bad things are done in its name.”

Apparently, principled leaders like Frederick Douglass, Winston Churchill, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Desmond Tutu don’t count.

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New Evangelicals free a hijacked movement

February 19, 2012

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A telling statistic: In 2009, 35 percent of evangelicals identified themselves as Democrats and 34 percent as Republicans. The rest were independents. In other words, most evangelicals aren’t even voting in this year’s GOP primaries. Another: 64 percent of all white evangelicals don’t believe church officials should endorse political candidates.

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