Monday, February 16, 2015

Five Links 2

As I stated last time, one of the reasons Andrew Sullivan’s blog was so good, was that he commented on EVERYTHING (same reason St. Augustine was so good, but that’s another story). One of the ways he commented on everything was soliciting five links a day from one of his contributors. So, I decided that on an irregular basis I’d try my hand at commenting on five links. Without further adieu here they are!
Kevin Drum of Mother Jones mentions that Scott Walker, if he becomes the Republican Candidate, will be the most conservative nominee since Barry Goldwater. Then the article goes on to mention that Walker’s Midwestern nature hides this fact. That got me thinking about how folk in New Jersey talk about Chris Christie’s chances at becoming the Republican nominee. Essentially, they argue he’s quite liberal, but he’s Jersey tough, maybe even Jersey mean—and meanness can be confused with being conservative.
Think about that for a second. Walker, despite being very conservative, could get the nod because he’s Midwestern nice. Christie, despite being relatively liberal, could get the nod because he’s Jersey mean. Weird.
John Dickerson pointed to Vice President Joe Biden’s recent comment that the next Democratic nominee for president will essentially be running for President Obama’s third term. In other words, “If by third term you mean another 59 months of continuous job growth and falling unemployment, then yes, I’ll be a third term.”
Dickerson doesn’t think this is a good idea for Hillary, who he assumes will be the Democratic Party Nominee. He points out that voters almost always prefer the new to the old… just ask Al Gore about offering America an era of peace and prosperity, a continuation of the 1990’s. I suppose in that way Americans are just like the Athenians, we’re always chasing after something new (Acts 17:21).
Continuing to engage with “Obama’s Niebuhr moment” Douthat cautions conservatives from responding to the President’s non-nuanced reference to the Crusades with even more lack of nuance. Essentially Douthat argues that by rushing to answer the President conservatives have, “produced a lot of arguments that effectively whitewash Christian history, minimize the harge reality of pogroms and persecutions, and otherwise present fat targets for secular eye-rolling.”
So, LutheranCORE, a “reform” group within the ELCA that often times tries to convince ELCA churches to leave the denomination over our “liberal” stance on Gay folk, as well as our willingness to play nice with the Episcopal Church, did an epic troll. That is, no one was paying attention to what they have to say, so they said something really offensive in order to get attention—it’s the internet version of throwing a temper tantrum.
Bishop Mike Rinehart of the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod recently wrote an open letter to the LGBT community in response to a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (the 2nd largest Lutheran denomination in the USA) school expelling a student for coming out of the closet.  His post was a pastoral letter addressing a local issue within the confines of his Synod where, because of that news, Lutherans were becoming synonymous with anti-gay bigots.
CORE responded, by issuing their own “Open Letter” to gay folk, in which they purposefully misread the ELCA’s statement on Human Sexuality, and state, on behalf of the ELCA, that gay people are in fact not welcome in the ELCA. They did so repeating key phrases and words so that their statement will pop up first when people look up ELCA, LGBT, and open letter… in other words, if there are gay people and their families hurt by Lutherans, who want to search out this open letter by Bishop Rinehart, they will instead find a letter of unwelcome.

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