‘Overzealous prosecutors’ and judicial chutzpah — threats to freedom of religion in post-Roe America

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHKf-9oPMO0 Posted to B'nai Jeshurun YouTube channel, May 23, 2022 Before Roe v. Wade was overturned, veteran Supreme Court watcher Dahlia Lithwick warned that the "fear of overzealous prosecutors" would set the tone of debate over the rights of women under strict abortion bans in "post-Roe America." Speaking a month before Dobbs v. Jackson Women's … Continue reading ‘Overzealous prosecutors’ and judicial chutzpah — threats to freedom of religion in post-Roe America

Pastoral letters clarify — US Supreme Court’s anti-abortion ruling denies moral agency to people of faith

Linked to my parish newsletter this week was a pastoral message from my bishop -- Bishop John Roth of the Central/Southern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- spelling out the church's position on the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the US Supreme Court, "as we strive, as God’s church, to … Continue reading Pastoral letters clarify — US Supreme Court’s anti-abortion ruling denies moral agency to people of faith

Of the Trumpification of the Supreme Court, red-state abortion laws and a Civil War battlefield in Knoxville

Kurtz & Allison lithograph, 1891 (retouched Adam Cuerdon. Wikimedia Commons) For several years as a grad student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, I lived on the site of a Civil War battlefield. My apartment was in a Victorian mansion that had been cut up into private-sector off-campus student housing (and has now been retrofitted … Continue reading Of the Trumpification of the Supreme Court, red-state abortion laws and a Civil War battlefield in Knoxville

Football coach, 6-3 majority on US Supreme Court fumble, drop the ball on public school prayer case

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-LNBJIk-mY&t=64s KING-5 news report, April 24, 2022. And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Matthew 6:5. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16. I'll leave it … Continue reading Football coach, 6-3 majority on US Supreme Court fumble, drop the ball on public school prayer case

What can Roger Williams and Swedish Lutherans of the 1850s tell us about the culture wars? A research proposal

Alonzo Chappel, "Landing of Roger Williams," 1857 (Wikimedia Commons) “I have to write to discover what I am doing. Like the old lady, I don't know so well what I think until I see what I say; then I have to say it again.”― Flannery O'Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor, quoted in Goodreads. … Continue reading What can Roger Williams and Swedish Lutherans of the 1850s tell us about the culture wars? A research proposal

Cheers from the MAGA crowd for saying the quiet part out loud — US rep says Roe v. Wade repeal a ‘victory for white life’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNAmRRpAemU WGN News, Channel 9, Chicago US Rep. Mary Miller's PR people said it was “a mix-up of words,” but her audience at a fairgrounds near Quincy cheered, and the news went worldwide. In the UK, the Guardian's international edition carried an Associated Press story reporting: Illinois Republican Mary Miller told a crowd at a … Continue reading Cheers from the MAGA crowd for saying the quiet part out loud — US rep says Roe v. Wade repeal a ‘victory for white life’

Florida synagogue challenges state’s abortion ban on religious grounds for mandating theological doctrine

*** UPDATE (June 24) *** I posted this last night, hours before the Supreme Court handed down its opinion overthrowing Roe v. Wade. But I think the reasoning behind the Florida lawsuit won't be affected, since it challenges a state law in the state courts. Nor should the religious freedom issue be affected, since it … Continue reading Florida synagogue challenges state’s abortion ban on religious grounds for mandating theological doctrine

Op ed piece argues worrisome trend in Supreme Court decisions undermining the separation of church and state

A professor of intellectual history at Georgia State has an op ed piece on today's Washington Post website outlining how, and why, the US Supreme Court erected a wall of separation between church and state in the mid- to late 20th century -- and how he fears the extreme right-wing majority on today's court is … Continue reading Op ed piece argues worrisome trend in Supreme Court decisions undermining the separation of church and state

Buffalo massacre shows how widespread and dangerous white Christian nationalist conspiracy theories are becoming

Two articles by scholars published in the wake of the mass murder at the Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo struck me like Thomas Jefferson's fire bell in the night. The scholars are Samuel Perry, of the University of Oklahoma, and Philip Gorski, of Yale; they have written extensively about white Christian nationalism -- the … Continue reading Buffalo massacre shows how widespread and dangerous white Christian nationalist conspiracy theories are becoming

‘Unraveling of America’: Viral article in Rolling Stone on COVID, individualism and the inevitable decline of empires

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJJTAz5ux-c I just want America to be the America of my dreams, growing up as a boy in Canada. And that was the America of Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln and the Grateful Dead. -- Wade Davis, interview, PBS, Aug. 17, 2020 This video of an interview with an Canadian anthropologist popped up, courtesy of a … Continue reading ‘Unraveling of America’: Viral article in Rolling Stone on COVID, individualism and the inevitable decline of empires