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.

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.” . . .

Breeding Despair and a Culture of Separation in Gaza

By: Saturday August 2, 2014 9:20 am

In 2007, Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land spoke of the dangers of the wall of separation built by Israel: “This wall does not provide security, it breeds despair and a culture of separation. And it cannot contain the hatred and resentment that are building every day.” Fast forward to 2014, and the thoughts of the former head of Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin, on the situation in Gaza only confirms Younan’s wisdom.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost in Kansas

By: Saturday July 26, 2014 9:00 am

Just weeks ahead of the Kansas primary, embattled incumbent Senator Pat Roberts has a come-to-Jesus phone conversation with embattled Governor Sam Brownback . . .

German Anger at US Spying Continues

By: Saturday July 19, 2014 8:59 am

In 2000, the US ambassador to Germany said that the winning strategy of the US relationship with Germany was the manner in which the two nations work together as a team, in concert with each other in an open way of dealing with each other. Today, with continuing revelations of US spying inside the German government, the CIA station chief was sent home in humiliation. John Kerry, though, still says the two nations are “great friends” but it’s sounding more and more like the kind of friendship two folks have after they’ve broken up.

With Hobby Lobby Decision, SCOTUS Heads Back to the Gilded Age

By: Saturday July 5, 2014 9:30 am

The good times keep rolling for corporations at the Supreme Court. Four years ago, Citizens United​ gave corporations the right to spend as much money as they’d like on elections (money = speech, you know), and now Hobby Lobby​ gave corporations the right to claim their religious beliefs should exempt them from laws they deem objectionable on religious grounds.

But looking beneath the surface of the ​Hobby Lobby​ ruling reveals a grander gift to corporate owners . . .

Women Taking Control of Their Reproductive Health, Pre-Hobby Lobby Edition

By: Saturday June 28, 2014 9:32 am

Next week, SCOTUS is expected to rule on the Hobby Lobby case, challenging the requirement that private employers that provide insurance to their employees must include contraceptives in the list of services covered with no co-pay. While legal scholars have been watching to see how this decision plays out, women have been taking action, demonstrating their desire to control their own reproductive lives. HHS just released a report showing a very positive picture of women using the provisions of ACA to deal with their reproductive choices, and Erica Hellerstein at The Atlantic painted a more disturbing picture of an underground DIY approach as safe and legal access to abortion is limited or eliminated.

One way or another, women will make their own decisions.

US Catholic Bishops Are Following the Path of Bob Jones University

By: Saturday June 21, 2014 9:09 am

When it comes to Supreme Court cases involving the freedom of religion, one of the biggest cases is Bob Jones University v US from 1983. The presenting political issue was the segregationist practices of the school, but the specific legal issue before the court was the school’s tax exempt status. Congress had passed laws that cut off federal education money from any school that practiced racial discrimination, and the school tried to claim that the first amendment gave them an exemption from such laws. SCOTUS laughed loudly. You can discriminate all you want in the way you run your school, said the justices, but you can’t expect society to subsidize it.

And now, in the wake of President Obama’s executive order granting LGBTs protection from discrimination by federal contractors, the USCCB is upset because without an exemption from this on religious grounds, they will not be able to engage in the kind of “just discrimination” to which they have become accustomed. I’d love to hear what happens when their attorneys read them the relevant parts of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bob Jones v US.

Double Drought in Kansas Brings Tears to Brownback

By: Saturday June 14, 2014 10:30 am

The numbers don’t look good, either in the rain gauges around the state or the state balance sheets in Topeka.

Poor Sam Brownback.

Francis Takes Action to Rein in Vatican Bankers — Will Pedophile-Enabling Bishops Be Next?

By: Saturday June 7, 2014 10:01 am

On the way home from his trip to the Middle East, Pope Francis gave a press conference that hinted about some big future shakeups. The first came out on Thursday, as Francis has put the old guard of Italians who ran the Vatican’s financial operations out and brought in folks with considerable financial expertise who understand — and support — international financial transparency rules. At the same time, Timothy Dolan, the Bishop of Wall Street, tried to dial back some of Francis’ pointed comments about exploitative capitalism (with some help from Larry Kudlow), but experts in Catholic ethics and social teachings took Dolan’s work apart in short order.

Could action on that other scandal be next? Let us pray . . .

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