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Politics and the Pulpit

Politics and the Pulpit

Preachers are making news this week. Bishop Michael Curry set the royal wedding abuzz with his animated, uplifting sermon about the transformative power of love. And longtime Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson lost his post at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary after delivering one too many sermons urging wives to stay with abusive husbands. Tonight, religious leaders including Bishop Curry will hold a candlelight vigil at the White House. The vigil is part of a movement to “reclaim Jesus” by rejecting…

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This is Not Funny

This is Not Funny

I don’t love insult comedy. There’s such a fine line between poking fun and being mean. One person’s idea of a gentle ribbing is another person’s scathing takedown. It takes real finesse to get it right. The strength of great comedy is that it exposes ugly truths while making us laugh. It tells us something new or shows us how to look at something in a new way. I didn’t watch the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with Michelle Wolf, but…

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A Matter of Character

A Matter of Character

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” —attributed to various people, but mostly Malcolm Forbes This week when reports started surfacing about Dr. Ronny Jackson, the nominee to lead Veterans Affairs, I said to my husband, “I know that guy.” I don’t actually know him, of course, but I know his type. When I was in my mid-twenties, I worked at a television station in Texas. One…

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Let’s Bury Roger Stone

Let’s Bury Roger Stone

My father liked to say that no one ever buries a son-of-a-bitch. What he meant was that no matter how awful someone is in life, people will praise him when he dies. It’s generally true, but the world is a weird place right now. Roger Stone recently took to Twitter and Instagram to air his noxious opinions upon the death of Barbara Bush. Look, however you feel about the Bush family, Barbara is hardly the villain. And yet, here’s Stone just…

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Season of Revival

Season of Revival

Roseanne and Jesus Christ Superstar I was a college student in Cleveland, Mississippi when Roseanne premiered in 1988. My friends and I watched it most weeks. We thought it was funny and irreverent. I particularly loved Jackie, played by the talented Laurie Metcalf. Jackie was always searching for something better—a better job, a better boyfriend, a better life. We were supposed to see Roseanne as the more well-adjusted sibling. After all, she owned a home and she was married with…

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Who Will Turn the Lights Off?

Who Will Turn the Lights Off?

The current White House is shedding staff faster than my cat sheds fur. Gary Cohn announced his resignation this week. The stated reason? Tariffs. Cohn believes the steel and aluminum tariffs being pushed through by the president are bad for America. Most economic experts agree with Cohn, but this is not a president who listens to experts. Perhaps that is why Jared Kushner retains his job even though he cannot get a proper security clearance and he is unqualified to…

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Who’s Crazy Now?

Who’s Crazy Now?

In yesterday’s town hall meeting about gun violence, the NRA’s Dana Loesch called the Douglas school shooter “crazy” and an “insane monster.” These aren’t clinical terms, of course. Loesch isn’t a mental health professional. It is possible this teenager might have benefited from better mental health screenings and intervention, but Loesch isn’t qualified to judge. Anyway it can take months to get an appointment with a therapist. You can buy a gun in an afternoon. Loesch argued that all we…

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‘Unwitting’ is Not Good

‘Unwitting’ is Not Good

The word ‘unwitting’ is trending right now thanks to a set of indictments and reports from the Mueller investigation proving that Russians worked to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor. Russian operatives apparently infiltrated the Trump campaign by engaging with unwitting aides. That word—unwitting—is the one the administration has embraced as proof they did nothing wrong. It isn’t proof of anything like that. A person who is unwitting lacks knowledge or intent or both, but ignorance is…

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The Best of the Worst

The Best of the Worst

The White House has always been a high stress work environment, but the Trump White House seems like a poisonous snake pit. It is best avoided by anyone hoping for a career post-White House. Before John Kelly took his current position as chief of staff, he was a widely respected Marine General who’d devoted his life to serving his country. Now, he is the man who allied himself with wife beaters and white supremacists, who called young immigrants “lazy,” and…

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The State of the Tabloid Union

The State of the Tabloid Union

Now on Stage, Stormy Daniels: A Strip Club and a Presidency Meet After Dark ‘He’s not God’: In the wake of porn-star allegations, most evangelicals stand by Trump TRUMP EATS MCDONALD’S BECAUSE HE’S AFRAID OF BEING POISONED ELSEWHERE These are recent headlines from actual newspapers and magazines. It used to be we’d only see headlines like these on salacious tabloids in the checkout line at the supermarket. But now, these sorts of headlines are delivered by The Gray Lady and…

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