user

Peterr

About Me:
I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect. And Preview is my friend.
 
Website:
http://my.firedoglake.com/members/peterr/
About Me:
I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect. And Preview is my friend.

Brownback Turns Harder to the Right, as if That Were Possible

By: Saturday October 18, 2014 9:15 am

The recent ruling by the Supreme Court not to take up the various appeals courts’ rulings on marriage equality cases has forced Sam Brownback into a corner. He’s in a big fight for reelection, with moderate Republicans bailing on the ultra-conservative GOP in Kansas. He faced a choice between two electoral strategies: (1) tone down the rightwing rhetoric, and reach out to the disaffected GOP moderates, or (2) write off the moderate vote and focus on ginning up the far right to boost their turnout numbers in November.

Brownback has gone with #2. Hard. And it’s not a pretty sight . . .

Missouri Joins the Move Toward Marriage Equality

By: Saturday October 4, 2014 9:20 am

Missouri took a big step toward full marriage equality yesterday, as Judge J. Dale Youngs in the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County (Kansas City) ruled on the state’s ban on recognizing out-of-state marriages between two men or two women.

This was a case in which both sides stipulated to the facts (yes, these couples have marriage licenses issued properly by other jurisdictions, and yes, they have standing to sue) and the only argument was about the interpretations of law that governed these facts.

The Great (Re)Training Robbery

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 11:20 am

Barack Obama told Americans every worker deserves to know “if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.” A nice sentiment,and politically safe; it’s just the wrong answer. Those “better jobs” don’t exist, and training doesn’t create jobs. Despite all that, every year the U.S. government spends billions of dollars on job training, with little impact. What’s the right answer?

In 2007 then-candidate Obama visited Janesville, Wisconsin, location of the oldest General Motors plant in America. Echoing his current promise to support unemployed Americans with job training, Obama proclaimed “I believe that, if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years.” However, two days before Christmas and just about a month before Obama’s inauguration, the plant closed forever.

The Culture of Non-Accountability, Ferguson Edition

By: Saturday September 27, 2014 9:37 am

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the continuing actions of Ferguson and St. Louis County officials are providing a textbook case study in avoiding accountability. There are lots of steps along the way, but at the end, the big lesson is that the protection granted by a culture of non-accountability is only for those in power.

Late Night: Schooled

By: Wednesday September 24, 2014 8:00 pm

The school board never knew what hit them. Search for the hashtag, and have fun!

More Troubles in Kansas for the Wizards of Oz

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 9:15 am

The November 2014 election campaign in Kansas wasn’t supposed to work like this. Four years ago, Sam Brownback swept into the governor’s mansion, Kris Kobach became secretary of state, and the GOP in Topeka began to enact a sweeping agenda made up of every item on every conservative’s wish list. Two years ago, when a number of Republican state senators blocked a few of the most extreme items on that list, conservatives primaried them out of the legislature. But today, Brownback, Kobach, and Senator Pat Roberts are in deep, deep electoral trouble. These Wizards of Oz have only one campaign strategy open to them, and it’s not one that has a lot of success in Kansas . . .

John Brennan, Dianne Feinstein, and the Soon-to-be-Released (?) Torture Report

By: Saturday September 13, 2014 9:20 am

CIA Director John “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Overseers” Brennan and Dianne Feinstein’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (i.e., the aforementioned “Stinkin’ Overseers”) have been having a nasty little spat, revolving around both the CIA’s use of torture as an interrogation technique, and also the CIA’s spying on SSCI staffers who are trying to investigate and report on the CIA’s use of torture as an interrogation technique. This past week has given us a few new developments, with Feinstein saying that the report will be out by the end of the month.

Lucy’s holding the football again, but will Charlie Brown finally get to kick it? There’s reason to hope that he just might . . .

Two More LGBT Catholic School Teachers Are Fired, and Robert Finn Is Still a Bishop

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 12:11 pm

The purging of LGBTs from the ranks of Catholic school teachers continues. This week’s edition comes to us from Affton, Missouri, where Olivia Reichert and Christina Gambaro were fired from their teaching posts at Cor Jesu Academy, an all girls school in a suburb of St. Louis in South St. Louis county. The concern is that LGBTs like Reichert and Gambaro aren’t good role models of how a Catholic is supposed to live, and so they were fired.

This might be more believable if the convicted protector of a child-porn producing priest, Robert Finn, wasn’t a bishop down the road in Kansas City.

Ferguson and the Prophet Jeremiah

By: Saturday August 30, 2014 9:35 am

“They’re talking ‘peace, peace’ because there’s been no tear gas and bullets for the last couple of nights. But make no mistake, Peterr, Ferguson is not at peace.” Those were the words of a friend of mine, speaking of the governmental leaders in Ferguson and St. Louis County, as the two of us spoke of the events of recent weeks in Ferguson, where he is a pastor and where I used to live.

The decades of dry tinder are still lying around Ferguson, St. Louis, and St. Louis County, and too many people in power are walking around with lit matches. This is not a good combination.

DOJ and Treasury Schooled by College Athletes

By: Saturday August 9, 2014 9:00 am

First it was former Northwestern University quarterback Kain Coulter and his football teammates taking a chunk out of the NCAA, and yesterday it was former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and 19 other former college players. They did what few thought possible in going after a Too Big to Challenge institution, and won.

You know, the president is a sports-loving guy. Imagine what would happen if he called the attention of the DOJ and Treasury to these college athletes: “This is how you go after Too Big To Challenge institutions.” . . .

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