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.

The War on Poor Women in Kansas Continues

By: Saturday May 24, 2014 9:14 am

Planned Parenthood has been under attack in Kansas for years, as a part of the right wing’s drive to make the state #1 in keeping women from obtaining accurate reproductive health care information and making their own informed medical decisions.

After losing a court challenge to a state law that declared them ineligible for Title X health care funds, PP decided to close their clinic in Hays — a clinic that served much of western Kansas — so that they could keep their Wichita clinic open.

Ultra-conservative Tim Huelskamp wrote the state law that made this happen in his days as a state senator, and today he’s the representative for KS-01. If you’re one of his constituents, poor, and in need of reproductive health care services, you can thank your representative for putting you behind the wheel of your car for that trip to Wichita.

Plessy v Ferguson, Brown v Board of Education, and Michelle Obama

By: Saturday May 17, 2014 9:00 am

What a difference 60 years makes. Roughly speaking, that’s two generations, the span between grandparents and grandchildren, between one way of looking at the world and another. 120 years ago, Justice Harlan looked into the future, and he knew that one day, Plessy v Ferguson would look like Dred Scott.

Today, after I listened to Michelle Obama speak in Topeka, it’s plain she knows the future as well. It made me look at my kid and his classmates, and wonder what their world will be like 60 years — two generations — from now. From what I’ve already seen in him and his friends, I’ve got a feeling that the “better future” of which Michelle Obama spoke is not just wishful thinking.

Overruling Marriage Equality Will Come With a Cost, Warns Arkansas Judge

By: Saturday May 10, 2014 9:16 am

Arkansas Circuit Court Judge Christopher Charles Piazza struck down Amendment 83 to the Arkansas state constitution and a parallel state law known as Act 144 of 1997 which limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. Piazza, like the judges who have similarly ruled in courts around the country, brings his own style to his ruling — in his case, it’s the very pragmatic and practical language of a judge on the front lines of the state judicial system. Piazza not only rules on the case before him, but notes for the sake of the judges that will look at his ruling on appeal that should they choose to overrule him, that will come with a cost. A very steep, very personal cost.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, Donald Sterling, and Holding Them to Account

By: Saturday May 3, 2014 9:05 am

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore — he of the 10 Commandments monument fame — appears to be possibly following in the footsteps of the LA Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, as a recording of his speech to a group of Alabama clergy is becoming widely available. It seems Moore thinks the first amendment only applies to some people — you know, the Christians that founded this place. In listening to Moore’s speech, I couldn’t help but think of the disgraced-and-banned-for-life-but-still-the-owner-for-at-least-a-while-longer of the LA Clippers, Donald Sterling. Both Moore and Sterling exhibit the same sense of arrogance and entitlement, and the views of both Moore and Sterling were not some secret thing that just emerged. Both Moore and Sterling operate in a sheltered and rarified world — Moore atop the Supreme Court of Alabama, and Sterling amongst the 30 owners of the NBA teams — and seem to think that this insulated world allows them free reign to hold their narrowminded views with little accountability to anyone.

Hearing each of them put his bigotry front and center with no apologies, it’s hard NOT to connect the two. So I did . . .

Bank of America Pleads “We’re Idiots, not Crooks!”

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 10:45 am

Can you say “regulatory capture”? Sure you can. The acquisition of Merrill Lynch was in 2009, Bank of America only caught this mistake last week, and you’re happy they are handling it swiftly? How about asking how it got through for 5 years? Bank of America has been structuring those inherited notes since 2009, and only now noticed a problem? Earth to Janet Yellen: this is NOT good news.

This disclosure doesn’t raise credibility issues; it confirms credibility problems.

Guns Are on the Minds of Folks in Kansas City

By: Saturday April 19, 2014 9:00 am

Guns have been much on the minds of folks in the greater Kansas City area for the last couple of weeks. We’ve been going through a two-month string of shootings on area highways, now apparently ended with an arrest last Thursday night, and last Sunday’s killings in the parking lots of a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home by an anti-Semitic white supremacist. Further west, there’s the standoff in Nevada over unpaid grazing fees between the Bureau of Land Management and a freeloading, gunwaving wacko and his gunwaving wacko friends in the various militia movements, cheered on by folks like Sean Hannity.

What will it take to end the stranglehold that the blind worship of guns has on our culture?

Celebrating Confederate History Month Isn’t Just for The South

By: Saturday April 12, 2014 9:14 am

Ah, the heritage of the Confederacy. The South may have surrendered at Appomattox, but the war continues to be fought — and not just in the South, and not just by southerners. But of course, that’s where we need to start…

Earlier this week, Virginia’s Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that he would not be issuing any kind of proclamation making April “Confederate History Month” in his state, unlike several of his recent Republican predecessors. Among certain parts of the citizenry, that did not go over well.

Kain Colter, CJ Cregg, and Picking the Right Enemy

By: Saturday April 5, 2014 9:00 am

When the NU football team served notice to the NLRB that they wanted to form a players union, the general reaction in the sports world was “Ha!” All that changed, however, when the NLRB hearing officer not only approved their petition, but wrote a strong and sweeping opinion to explain and support his ruling.

A Few Religious Objections to Hobby Lobby, et al.

By: Wednesday March 26, 2014 3:57 pm

After reading through some of the recaps of the oral arguments at SCOTUS yesterday in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, it appears that some of the justices, and perhaps a majority, are willing to allow private religious objections to trump the laws, regulations, and ordinances enacted by local, state, and federal governments. Just so that no one is surprised later, I thought I’d lay out some of my strongly held religious beliefs now.

Judicial Sarcasm Takes Down Michigan’s Anti-Marriage Equality Amendment

By: Saturday March 22, 2014 9:05 am

As I’ve watched the series of marriage equality cases move forward, I’m struck by how each ruling has its own flavor. Mark Cady in Iowa wrote movingly about the illogic of restricting marriage while proclaiming equal protection. Vaughn Walker in California was meticulous in getting facts into the record and weaving together the legal logic to take down Prop 8. Arenda Wright Allen in Virginia was powerful in her use of Loving v Virginia to lift up the role of the courts to forge justice “from fires of indignities and prejudices suffered”. Now comes Judge Bernard Friedman of the US Southern District of Michigan, who brought a sense of wit and sarcasm to bear on the target-rich environment of those opposed to marriage equality in the case of Deboer v Snyder.

It’s not just the ruling striking down Michigan’s Marriage Amendment [MMA] that makes me happy, but the withering way in which Friedman took on the arguments presented by the defendants. . .

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