Same-Sex Marriage & the Christian Majority

Within 10 minutes on Monday morning, I ran into not one, but two news stories covering the “Christian reaction” to the Supreme Court’s ruling last week affirming the rights of citizens to same-sex marriage. I was first annoyed by the stories’ characterization of Christianity, but now I’m not so sure.

Designing a new course, “Word to the Wise,” Want to help?

Next semester, I’m planning to teach “Word to the Wise: Writing for Religious and Social Change.” I’m posting my thoughts on the course design thus far with the hope that you, dear Internets, will suggest tweaks, correct horrendous ideas, and/or send me more boxes of books to read.

Why Kristof’s Latest Column Stings & Why He’s Right

Kristof says professors should move beyond our academic “turgid prose” and “gobbledygook” and shape our culture’s great debates. He’s right, but he misses much of the point.

Testing the Aims of College

I’m sick and tired of the perspective (often coming out of Washington, or from local politicians of all stripes) that college is primarily — or only — about job preparation, or even more narrow: getting a job at all. As hesitant as I am to consider any sort of enormous exam for already stressed-out college students, I don’t think it’s a crazy idea if it helps refocus higher education on LEARNING.

Eat Your Heart Out, Congressman! After the Food Stamp Vote, 10 Scripture Verses for Rep. Cramer

This weekend my elected representative, Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) responded to a constituent who questioned Rep. Cramer’s vote cutting our nation’s food stamp program by $40 billion with the Bible verse: “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” Since Rep. Cramer appreciates quotes taken from the Bible without any concern for context, I’ve made him a handy list. Warning: don’t read on an empty stomach!

Ten Thursday Tidbits

It’s time for a bulleted, random post. I won’t even stoop to a top ten list! (Where are my Internet skillz?) Here goes some tidbits for the week…

A Rude Welcome to Olmsted County, Minnesota

Dear Jason Sethre, Publisher/Editor of the Olmsted County Journal, As a new part-time resident of Olmsted County, I picked up a copy of the July 3, 2013 edition of your newspaper eager to get a sense of my new community. All was well until page five, when I was met with an atrocious opinion piece by State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, “Guest Commentary: Thoughts on the passage of the gay marriage bill.”

Be Very Afraid. Again? A Christian Response to NSA

I long for another cultural frame with which to approach the NSA revelations. I’m tired of fear. I’m sick of worry. I hate labeling any other—be it general unknown, the government, or that “foreign outsider”—a threat in the name of vigilance. I read my Bible and, over and over again, the phrase “fear not” provokes me.

Do We All, Really, Seek to Care for the Poor?

Joe Biden on Pope Francis, before the new Pope’s inauguration at the Vatican: “He shares a vision that all of us share, to reach out to the poor and the dispossessed.”
Really? All of us? Do we really all share the vision of reaching out to the poor and dispossessed?