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Politics


Among the Other Gods: A Christian Air Force Chaplain’s Weird Work

Thankful for this distinct perspective from Clifton Hanson. At the beginning of Advent, I found myself leading a tree lighting ceremony. I’ve been part of tree lighting ceremonies before—this was no ordinary one. Sure, we did the usual stuff: important people addressed the crowd, we read the Christmas story from St. Luke’s Gospel, and of […]

Are We the Romans?

I remember purchasing Botch’s We Are the Romans at Earwax on State Street in Madison in October of 2003, and I remember buying along with it Dying Fetus’ latest record, Stop At Nothing. This was a time in which I not only listened to bands with names like Dying Fetus but also took perverse delight […]

Preaching Politically in Turbulent Times

Was Rudolf Bultmann a Nazi sympathizer? Short answer—no. And yet…the accusation is commonplace within some sectors of scholarship. In his recent Gifford lectures, the New Testament scholar N.T. Wright said as much, accusing Bultmann of Lutheran “quietism” in the face of the Third Reich because he was a “friend and philosophical disciple” of the infamous Nazi, […]

Can You Love Your Enemies?

Tread lightly is a phrase I have been hearing (and using) a lot lately, especially when it comes to discussing what does and does not get published on this site. Tread lightly: not because the mission at Mockingbird is apolitical, necessarily, and not because our writers are all above the fray. I have my opinions […]

Just Another Late Night in Washington, DC

This one comes to us from Jim Moore. Sometimes life in America turns into one giant discourse on the work of the Law and the work of the Gospel. That’s how I felt tonight watching Emma Thompson star in Mindy Kaling’s movie Late Night. The movie revolves around an acerbic, cantankerous late-night comedian who has […]

REPENT!

The end is near! We’re all gonna die! Life is an exclamation! This urgency has been fully framed by the New York Times reporter whose essay “The Coming Collapse” declared: “It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion.” We […]

Language, Witness, and Control: Some Thoughts on Rhetoric and Grace

Reading Hannah Arendt’s marvelous book on The Human Condition, I came across a particularly thought-provoking paragraph on the ancient ideal of speech. Arendt draws a sharp contrast between the Greek household—which was ruled by necessity, the need to provide food and shelter and to raise children—and the political life. The two were distinct because once […]

“As Regards This Psycho-Political Atmosphere…” (from Milkman, Pt 1)

As regards this psycho-political atmosphere, with its rules of allegiance, of tribal identification, of what was allowed and not allowed, matters didn’t stop at ‘their names’ and at ‘our names’, at ‘us’ and ‘them’, at ‘our community’ and ‘their community’, at ‘over the road’, ‘over the water’ and ‘over the border’. Other issues had similar […]

Living and Dying With Rich Mullins: Let Go and Let Rich Be Rich

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Rich Mullins’ death in a car accident at age 41. To commemorate this occasion, I am writing my memories of his music — not so much music criticism as memoir-via-music. See part 1 here and part 2 here. I love Rich Mullins because he was willing to criticize or even reject […]

On the Upcoming Election: The Unexpected God Who Pushes Us Towards One Another

Because I attended an ecumenical seminary, the memories I have from my first few weeks of school involved a great deal of categorization. Who was a Presbyterian? Who was a Methodist? Who was a former Mormon turned United Church of Christ guy? That last one is a real person. He’s an Anglican priest in Canada […]

New Religions, Fresh Heretics, and the Beyoncé-KISS Continuum

The big 4-0 passed us by with hardly a whimper. It was just a couple weeks ago, but no one made a fuss, not even the band, who seldom pass up a chance at a cash grab. Perhaps it’s not all that surprising; on the list of Pop Culture Disasters, this one ranks pretty low–somewhere […]

The Easy Judgment of Being Right

To this day I remain haunted by a story about a woman who lost her eyesight to a microscopic organism that proliferated beneath her contact lenses. This cautionary tale went public nearly five years ago, and I still remember scouring the reports to find out what happened. Luckily for me, a responsible contact-lens wearer, the […]