So, Jesus is exactly the wrong guy to appeal to as the inspiration for a 21st century version of the personal morality police. And it's kind of sad, really. For a large segment of Christianity, Jesus' lack of moralistic rigor cannot but appear embarrassing.
Whatever way the story gets spun next month, it will be different than the prevailing storyline up to this point. But before we get to that, let's take a look at the progress made in the past month.
Say what you want about 2013. But before you dismiss it, cranky style, for being as lousy as any other year you didn't get everything you wanted from Santa, try to remember the few good things that happened in the last twelve months.
Phil Robertson thought he was a TV star. Now he's in trouble.The concern is his remarks about homosexuals. Bigotry, worthy of the utmost condemnation? Absolutely. But less noticed were his comments about race.
There was a time in this country when I would have been surprised to see a public figure resorting to the measure of playing the victim. But now it has become the norm for many politicians and political pundits.
I have never watched Duck Dynasty. Until yesterday, I thought it was a program about a group of gay homeless men only to learn that it is about well-h...
Please take your duck whistles and complaints to the nearest Chick-fil-A and let the rest of us celebrate the triumph of the human spirit and actual bravery in free speech with those folks from Pussy Riot.
A&E suspended (note: not fired) Phil Robertson for his controversial comments. Bravo. They have as much of a constitutionally protected right to do so as he had to make them in the first place, despite the inaccurate shrills of the religious right and the cable network that enables them.
The Bible's one verse on homosexuality is no excuse for horrendously defaming an entire group of people publicly and expecting your employer, with whom you've signed a contract, to "respect" that as your religious belief.
The new Christmas will overshadow the oh-so-sappy Valentine's Day and the all-too-awkward "Presidents Day." (Blend two birthdays and then shut down the mail? Is that any way to honor our most heroic leaders?)
Explain to me why I'm supposed to feel honored on my birthday because you and your rich friends pay good money for a dead tree, underpay someone to schlep it into your 12-bedroom McMansion and put ridiculously overpriced non-union-made presents under it for your spoiled kids, but God forbid you should increase the minimum wage or extend unemployment benefits.
Eschewing insurance in favor of joining "a nationwide network of Christians who save money by sharing each other's medical bills" may not bring on the wrath of the the IRS -- but there could be punishing bills from medical providers.
I like the new guy, Pope Francis. He's not perfect, and neither is the institution, but this guy's a rebel. I think Jesus -- you know, the guy who chased the investment bankers out of the temple -- would like him too.
Of course, Palin is widely known for her intellectual curiosity, her objectivity, her distaste for inflammatory rhetoric and her adherence to facts. So we must ask, is The Wasilla Wonder onto something here?
In any war it's critical to carefully brand your opponent, and in the war over climate change and what to do about it, the "climate deniers" have won the branding battle.
Polemic sells. I've made a profit off it for years, and I'm not sorry. But while some of it may be thoughtful or amusing, we must recognize inflammatory speech as nothing more than a rhetorical vessel and stop allowing it to dominate our entire discourse.