Monday, June 18, 2018

Trump's Grip on the GOP

A favorite writer in The Atlantic has this recent article about President Trump's grip on the Republican Party. "The GOP spent the Barack Obama years protesting that the president was busy turning his back on America’s allies—remember the fracas when Obama dared to even relocate a bust of Winston Churchill?—and naively conferring with America’s nemeses, especially Iran. Obama was assailed as a traitor at worst and a bumbling fool at best for bowing to foreign dignitaries (and even a robot). Some of these critiques are more valid than others, but regardless, nearly all of them apply to Trump this week." He goes on to point out that although Trump is unpopular in the country, he has sufficient influence (including acquiesce from GOP leaders) in primary elections.

Given the president's many lies, inflammatory rhetoric, support for dangerous people along with contempt for allies (and for Americans exercising their right to protest), and other objectionable qualities, this evolution of the GOP--in process for many years--continues to be distressing. This essay, though, suggests possible trends: I can't imagine that celebrities declaring "Fuck Trump!" is helpful at all and is, in fact, detrimental.

(One of the president's lies is the claim that Democrats are to blame for separating children from families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Racist Trope

Here's an interesting article in the NYT, about the tenacious and racist trope, "ape caricature of blackness," that comedienne Roseanne Barr recently invoked. The writer discusses how the trope still pervades our legal system.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Favorite Quotation

This must be one of my favorite quotations, because I've used or cited it in about four of my writings. “In a profound sense, Psalm 104 puts us humans in our place---with springs and hills and trees and creating things. If our motivation for facing our own future and the future of the earth were to glorify God, we might even have the humility to ask ourselves what it would really mean to live in partnership with a tree or with a wild goat or with the thousands of species whose disappearance causes hardly a ripple of attention, primarily because we are convinced the nature exists to serve humanity. Quite simply, Psalm 104 asserts that this is not the case. Rather, to serve God will mean ultimately to serve God’s creation…” (J. Clinton McCann, Jr., “The Book of Psalms,” in The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. IV (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996) 1099-1100).  

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Jesus Christ Superstar 2018

On Easter Sunday evening, we enjoyed catching the live broadcast of "Jesus Christ Superstar" with John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Brandon Victor Dixon, Norm Lewis, and Alice Cooper, among others. I loved the combined 1980s/2010s vibe, and the cast was very diverse, which in turn softened the anti-Jewish aspects of the Passion story.

Facebook friends were discussing the broadcast I recalled purchasing the original concept album, which I got when I was 14 or 15, and played some of the songs on the piano. We friends agreed that the music was really important to us, perhaps more than we'd realized. Wonderful to hear this music again after a lot of years.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

"Sing with all the saints in glory"

"Sing with all the saints in glory,
sing the resurrection song!
Death and sorrow, earth's dark story,
to the former days belong.
All around the clouds are breaking,
soon the storms of time shall cease;
in God's likeness we, awaking,
know the everlasting peace.

"O what glory, far exceeding
all that eye has yet perceived!
Holiest hearts, for ages pleading,
never that full joy conceived.
God has promised, Christ prepares it,
there on high our welcome waits.
Every humble spirit shares it;
Christ has passed th'eternal gates.

"Life eternal! heaven rejoices:
Jesus lives, who once was dead.
Join we now the deathless voices;
child of God, lift up your head!
Patriarchs from the distant ages,
saints all longing for their heaven,
prophets, psalmists, seers, and sages,
all await the glory given.

"Life eternal! O what wonders
crowd on faith; what joy unknown,
when, amidst earth's closing thunders,
saints shall stand before the throne!
O to enter that bright portal,
see that glowing firmament;
know, with thee, O God Immortal,
'Jesus Christ whom thou has sent!'"

Author: William J. Irons (1873), to the tune of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy"
from: , our last hymn this morning at our church!