Overall, the cultural Christians, those who belonged because it was what you did and might have social benefits, don’t any longer. And in some parts of the country, the Northwest for example, this has entirely flipped. Being part of a church is considered, at best, curious, but often something far more suspect.
The strongest response to the stern Vatican directive came from Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, who pronounced himself “ashamed for my Church . . . I mainly feel moral and intellectual incomprehension. I would like to apologize to all for whom this responsum is painful, incomprehensible. The pain the Church has caused them is today my pain.”
The Catholic right has revived a cause that goes back to the 2004 election, when Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis said he would deny holy communion to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a pro-choice Catholic. A South Carolina priest, in 2015, denied the eucharist to Biden.
Growing up, I thought Christianity was really — boiled down — about being a good person. Actually it’s not about that.
Our bonding became evident among our Congressional colleagues, who took notice of how our friendships transcended the usual political norms on the House floor. This was before the rise of the Moral Majority and its politicizing of the evangelical community,
History has treated this mythic sanctuary with destructive indifference. But traces of the Native People's origins of the human world can still be glimpsed.
Trump’s playbook bears remarkable similarity to Hitler’s in Germany. Hitler wasn’t really a Christian, nor is Trump. But both saw the church as either a potential ally or enemy and tried to enlist it, or neutralize it.
The native belief is that when a person hears an owl call their name, which the young vicar in the novel does in due course, it means you do not have long to live.
Hellenistic astrology, with its houses, trines and aspects, is highly complex, and with the help of computers to date the risings, settings, and positions of celestial objects, Molnar could accurately determine that in the early afternoon on April 17, 6 BC, the sun and moon and planets were in a unique position relative to the constellation Aries that announced a royal Jewish birth.
The Gospel of John, written approximately 15 to 20 years after that of Mark, also does not associate Jesus with Bethlehem. Galilee is Jesus’ hometown.
Biden has set out to be America’s healer in chief, a role anchored to his Catholicism.
One might call efforts to reduce immigration wrong or not, but the separation of parents from their children was different. It was evil.
Moderation should never be confused with indecisiveness. On the contrary, a lack of self-confidence in one’s most basic commitments is often expressed in extremism.
This version of evangelicalism—a movement more concerned with masculinity than moralism—helps explain the appeal of Trump, as well as the widespread refusal by white evangelicals to accept the results of the election. In a culture war that demands unflinching commitment, democratic norms are fungible.
In Joe Biden, Americans have a president who seemingly views policy through his Catholic faith, but in a less divisive way.
In Washington, the loss of Roe will probably have less impact than the hospital mergers that have placed a number of major Seattle and state medical centers under control of Catholic health-care organizations – in which, following church doctrine, abortions are not performed.
There’s something bigger, more malevolent, going on here. Something demonic.
Politics, at least in a democracy, is the art of the possible and the practice of compromise. It is, and should be, a limited sphere. Which is why I’m good with Joe Biden.
“The president’s perceived lack of ‘Christian kindness’ is already hurting him with faithful Americans in general. According to a recent survey of religious voters..., “the perception that Trump lacks basic Christian kindness is the strongest driver of defecting from Trump in 2020.”
The starting point in dealing with such an adversary is to admit our own powerlessness. The powerlessness of our usual methods and mindset. It’s a starting point, not an end point.
Taken to an extreme, the meritocratic ethic is a moral framework that is harsh, self-serving, and self-deceiving. Rather than binding people together, it separates people from one another.
A mentor's advice: “In predominately white congregations people believe God needs them. In predominately black churches, people understand they need God.”
The Council’s job was to back up the leader they had hired. Instead, they undermined Chief Best. Jim Pugel had it right. Good leaders don’t grow on trees.
"My guess right now is that post-Protestantism will burn brighter than the religious right as a moralistic flame within the liberal order, but then pretty rapidly burn out."
I had I stolen 25 cents off my father’s dresser, although, arguably, this represented a payment in lieu of benefits I would have obtained had the children of the house been allowed to bargain collectively. Though ardent Roosevelt Democrats, my parents flouted the Wagner Act in their own home.
Can it be true that, “I am not a racist,” in the sense of using racial slurs or treating people as less than ourselves because of the color of the their skin? And yet that I am a racist because racism is demonic power that pervades American society (and not just American society).
With an eye on his Evangelical base and Bible in hand, Trump pulls off another of his astonishing pivots.
Elite status no longer connotes responsibility. It no longer carries with it the expectation of giving up something to serve in a role of leadership. Nowadays, to be elite is not a “privilege implying obligation,” said author Martin Gurri, “it is a prize.” It means you are the big winner and you get all the toys.
While it’s nice to be dubbed essential, the source is wrong. God calls us to worship, not a President or other political leader. Moreover, gathering in a church building is not the only way for people to worship.
In an essay titled “Awakenings,” the novelist and essayist, Marilynne Robinson, spoke of the Calvinist and Reformed theological tradition, which informed Lincoln and his transcendent framing of the Civil War. Of that tradition, she writes, “I no longer see much trace of it in America today."
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