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.

A Parable Comes to Life in Washington DC, Elizabeth Warren Edition

By: Saturday December 13, 2014 10:00 am

There are a lot of members of Congress who say they love a certain old storyteller, but after watching them at work these last few days, they sure don’t act like they love him — or hist stories.

The Wisdom of Nobel Laureates on the Streets of Ferguson, Cleveland, and NYC

By: Saturday December 6, 2014 9:01 am

In 1953, George Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in part for the visionary economic program to rebuild Europe after WWII that bears his name. In 2006, Muhammed Yunus was given the same honor for his work to fight against poverty through microlending. In their Nobel lectures, both point to the limits of military force when it comes to creating a lasting peace.

When I look at Ferguson, Cleveland, and New York City, it’s clear that too few people share their beliefs.

Waiting for the Ferguson Grand Jury: After the Election

By: Saturday November 22, 2014 9:15 am

While we’re waiting for the St. Louis County grand jury to weigh in on the matter of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, there’s been lots of preparations being made by activists, the police (at all levels), businesses, and residents of Ferguson in particular and the St. Louis metro area more generally. It’s important to keep the whole metro area in mind, because this is a metropolitan problem in St. Louis that just happened to flare up in Ferguson.
As evidence, let me direct you to the recent election.

Waiting in Ferguson, While McCulloch Tries to Avoid Responsibility

By: Saturday November 15, 2014 8:18 am

Here in KC, folks have been preparing for the first winter storm of the season. Now it looks as if the worst of the storm is sliding to the north, so most of the preparations will not be needed this weekend. But across the state, the folks in metro St. Louis are preparing for another kind of storm, predicted to arrive on the heels of any announcement from the grand jury considering whether to charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson with a crime for shooting Michael Brown.

And when the storm arrives — and it will arrive, whatever the grand jury decides — remember the name of St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch. Since Michael Brown was shot and killed, McCulloch’s been playing with matches in an area filled with decades of dried tinder.

History in the Making in Missouri, But Not in Michigan

By: Saturday November 8, 2014 12:37 pm

Marriage equality continues its historic roll forward, with the Western District of Missouri being the latest federal court to weigh in on the issue. It came on the heels of a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding discrimination, however. Between the Missouri ruling and the dissent at the 6th Circuit, the majority opinion looks incredibly weak.

It is, as a local retired judge put it while conducting the first marriage of a same-sex couple, history in the making. And it’s about time.

Ryan White, Kaci Hickox, and the Lessons We Still Haven’t Learned

By: Saturday November 1, 2014 9:15 am

As I have watched the unfolding story of Kaci Hickox in New England, I can’t help but feel as if I’ve seen this movie before. Does the name Ryan White ring a bell? How about Korematsu v. United States?

Yes, I’m old. But it’s the job of the old to remember these things, so that we don’t repeat them yet again.

Now get off my lawn.

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.

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