Monthly archive May, 2011

Wiesenfeld’s Obsessions

Examine what is said, not him who speaks. - Arab Proverb According to The Forward, it's tough times for City University of New York trustee, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, the man who opposed awarding winning playwright Tony Kusher an honorary degree last week.  But Wiesenfeld, a former FBI counterintelligence agent who grew up on the Bronx streets...

Never “Pro-Life” Enough

A Canadian Catholic priest, who says he left parliament under pressure from the Vatican, is suing the anti-choice, anti-contraception, anti-gay rights website LifeSiteNews for $500,000 for defamation, reports Christianity Today.

@Taliban

Our very favorite story these days is the one about how, you know, those religious people -- the pope, nuns, pastors, really Christian Christians -- are surprisingly into technology.  Gasp!  Doesn't religion mean medieval sensibilities or at least some backwards technophobia?  But it would seem, as The Guardian reports today, that everybody's on twitter...

Violence and Memory

Getting the man is almost mythological. by David Morgan Late one night the President of the United States suddenly appears on television. In our post-9/11 world, the first guess about why is a terrorist attack. It’s too late in the evening for a planned appearance. I brace for images and bad news. But the President announces the death...

Gender Caricatures

How are ideas of masculinity created and enforced?  Are the political and Christian right less tolerant of a spectrum of male behavior than those on the left?  What about Boehner's crying and Obama's killing?  From Amanda Marcotte's article at The Guardian, "The soft underbelly of the right's hard abs":
Unfortunately, the right's obsession with masculinity,...

Give Us This Day Our Daily Links

Gingrich is in. How he'll appeal to the social conservatives is anyone's guess.  || As Speaker Boehner plans his commencement speech for Catholic University of America, dozens of prominent Catholics have written him a letter that calls his policies "anti-life."  || Becky Garrison has pointed us to John Shore's analysis of the...

Biblical Sex:
Interpreting the Good Book’s Laws

Unprotected Texts:  The Bible's Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire, by Jennifer Wright Knust (HarperOne, 2011) by Natasja Sheriff If you listen to the rhetoric of the more vocal proponents of conservative Christianity, you would be forgiven for believing that the Bible contains clear instruction on sexual conduct and morality.  You might be less inclined to...

Celebrity Reaction to Osama’s Death, And Its Dangers

I am embarassed to admit this (really quite embarrassed) but I learned about Osama Bin laden's assasination from Paris Hilton. I fell asleep at 10 pm on Sunday night and when I woke up in the morning I rolled over and opened my Twitter feed. There it was: @ParisHilton: Just landed back in LA, so happy...

Perverse Irony of the War on Terror

From Matthieu Aikins at Foreign Policy Magazine:
Indeed, the Global War on Terror has illustrated the troubling contradictions that underpin our age: That the West's attractions of modernity, material progress, and liberalism can prove unsatisfying to smart and ambitious young men; that our allies in the Muslim world might be among the greatest sources of...

Tough on Terrorism

Howard Fineman gets off on the new military brute, brain and brawn of Democrats: "By calmly and meticulously overseeing the successful targeting of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama just proved himself -- vividly, in almost Biblical terms -- to be an effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States."

Reactions to the Death of Osama bin Laden

On this day after the announcement that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Seals, we collect reactions from religion scholars and journalists, including Jeremy Walton, Noah Jaffe Silverman and Brigitte Sion. Late last night, on a return flight from the Society for the Anthropology of Religion biannual meetings, I was stirred from my sleep...

Osama Bin Laden, Dead

Typing this, I hesitate.  Is this a mere death?  An assassination?  A murder?  And if not the latter, why not?  Mass murderers and perpetrators of genocide have been brought to trial, yet the U.S. now abandons established paths of justice.  They've "taken him out."  Have we already tried bin Laden in our media, determined him...