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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.

CNBC Misses Penny Pritzker-NSA Scoop at Davos

By: Saturday January 25, 2014 8:59 am

CNBC has been hanging out all week with all the cool kids at Davos. I happened to see bits and pieces of their coverage, and found like much like watching the E! network reporting on the Golden Globes, albeit without Joan Rivers. Even the CNBC folks cop to this comparison, given the headline to their roundup of links to a bunch of their interviews.

But if a scoop falls in your lap and no one notices, does it make a sound?

Snowden, Merkel, Obama, and King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

By: Monday January 20, 2014 3:21 pm

President Obama has said that Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a favorite of his, but again and again, he seems not to understand what King was saying.

Edward Snowden and Angela Merkel are giving him an opportunity to reread it and try once more to get the point.

Being Unemployed Is a Miserable State

By: Saturday January 18, 2014 9:15 am

The headline isn’t mine, but it comes from one of my old college professors, Dale Mortensen, who won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics. I was fortunate enough to have studied under him for several years, and among other things, he instilled in me and my classmates a strong sense that behind all the statistics, all the equations, and and all the models are real people.

Dale died last week. I just wish that more folks in DC had had him as a professor, or would be willing to listen to the wisdom of his remarks in Sweden in 2011.

Mike Royko, Art Buchwald, and the old Mayor Daley Walk into Ben Franklin’s Bar to talk about Chris Christie

By: Saturday January 11, 2014 9:00 am

Imagine the scene: an old-school neighborhood tavern, with Mike Royko and Art Buchwald sitting on their stools nursing a couple of beers and Ben Franklin washing glassware behind the bar. A neon sign in the window proclaims the name of this heavenly establishment — “Poor Richard’s Pub — and a smaller handwritten sign is taped up beneath it reading “No Editers Allowed.”

Then imagine what they’d have to say about Chris Christie . . .

Lessons in PR Mismanagement, Vikings Edition

By: Saturday January 4, 2014 9:00 am

Chris Kluwe, the former Minnesota Vikings punter who publicly spoke out in favor of marriage equality while it was being hotly debated in Minnesota, dropped a PR bomb on his former coaches this past Thursday, summed up nicely in the headline he put on his piece at Deadspin: “I Was an NFL Player Until I Was Fired by Two Cowards and a Bigot.” The cowards in question are General Manager Rick Spielman and (now former) head coach Leslie Frazier, and the bigot would be special-teams coach Mike Priefer, and the reason Kluwe puts forward is their homophobic reactions to his public comments on marriage equality.

But lost in the story is another character who plays at least as big — and at least as troubling — a role: Vikings PR chief Bob Hagen.

Phil Robertson’s Happy Happy Happy Day

By: Saturday December 28, 2013 9:00 am

A&E backed down on their suspension of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, putting themselves behind Robertson’s twisted views of blacks in the Jim Crow-era South, his very misinformed understanding of world history and world religions, and his homophobic religious beliefs about gays. It’s a happy happy happy day in the Robertson house.

Elsewhere, where folks have a more respectful view of the world and those with whom they share it, not so much.

Angels We Have Heard on High Tell Us To Go Out and Buy

By: Wednesday December 25, 2013 2:58 pm

For weeks, my email in-box has been stuffed. I have discovered that rather than patronizing one or two major merchants for all my shopping needs, I spread the shopping love around. Large stores, small stores, local stores, online stores. Hardware stores, clothing stores, kitchen stores, tech stores. There are stores I go for when shopping for myself, stores I know that have just what Mrs Dr Peterr needs, and stores that The Kid adores, plus all of those other places that have the things I need when I shop for others.

And every one of them — every single one of them — has been sending me holiday messages for the last several weeks. . . .

Boeing and NSA Get Schooled, Brazil Edition

By: Saturday December 21, 2013 9:15 am

Remember high school?

The kid on the outside wants to be part of the cool group, and one of the insiders starts to show some interest in the outsider. “Will you . . .” asks the insider, and the outsider waffles. “Once you start hanging out with me, folks will think you’re at least as cool as that other semi-cool kid . . . and maybe cooler” says the insider, and still the outsider waffles. Then word get out about the things the insider has been doing behind the outsider’s back, and the outsider sees how that other semi-cool kid gets treated better. And still the cool kid asks “Will you . . .” At this point in the story, you know what happens next: the outsider looks for a way to get back.

Which brings us to Brazil and Boeing . . .

Ebeneezer Scrooge, the Grinch, and the Modern GOP

By: Saturday December 14, 2013 9:00 am

As Christmas approaches, Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Grinch are front and center in the GOP’s blocking of extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed. While Scrooge and the Grinch eventually figured out that they were missing something, the modern GOP in Congress would label them as “weak” and “wishy-washy” and “backsliders.”

And FDR would have eaten them for lunch.

A Trio of Brothers: Joseph, Mandela, and Lincoln

By: Saturday December 7, 2013 9:02 am

Back in 1987, I came to know Tshenuwani Simon Farisani, a South African Lutheran pastor who had been imprisoned and tortured by the apartheid regime in South Africa. Today, his words about what black leaders might say to whites in a post-apartheid South Africa might look like have come back to me. “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into slavery.” Nelson Mandela, like Abraham Lincoln, was firm both in his fight for justice and in his rejection of revenge.

Rest in peace, my brother. Rest in peace.

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