Rethinking the nature of the movement in the wake of the insurrection

I awoke on Martin Luther King Jr. Day morning to find that yet another video had surfaced from the insurrection at the Capitol. Toward the end of the 12 additional minutes of tape released by The New Yorker, an insurrectionist standing on the dais at the head of the Senate Chamber shouted, “Jesus Christ, we invoke your name,” and dozens of others responded, “Amen!”

Great, I thought. As if the prayers, crosses, and Christian symbols at the rally, the Bibles held up while the mob charged the Capitol building’s doors, and the lies spread by Christian leaders in the riot’s…


A similar explosion happened in Texas in 2013. But the Trump administration scrapped EPA safety measures designed to keep it from happening again.

A debris-filled street in Beirut, Lebanon on August 5, the day after a massive explosion (Marwan Tahtah/Getty)

A catastrophic August 4 explosion that generated seismic waves equivalent to a 3.3 magnitude earthquake and leveled much of Beirut was likely caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which had been stored at the port for six years without proper safety measures. To put that in perspective, the 1995 Oklahoma City terrorist attack used a truck bomb containing 2.2 tons of ammonium nitrate.

This report, confirmed by several sources within the Lebanese government and the U.S. Defense Department, contradicted President Donald Trump’s assertion that the explosion had been caused by a “bomb of some kind.” More than a hundred…


Instrumentalizing faith for political ends is destroying the Church

U.S. President Donald Trump and Jerry Falwell, president of Liberty University, on stage during a commencement at Liberty University on May 13, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty)

The internationally-known evangelical and Calvinist pastor John MacArthur announced on Friday, May 22, that his church, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, would be reopening. In a press conference the same day, President Trump had called churches “essential” and said he would “override” governors who defy him, so Grace Community Church said it would open on the basis of Trump’s allowance.

Then on Sunday MacArthur’s message was taken down, and an angry and disappointed report went up after a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision upheld Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban on in-person services, a ban instituted to stem the…


Undocumented immigrants face an amplified threat. We cannot ignore them.

(Getty)

John Sandweg, a former director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under Obama, couldn’t have been clearer about the threat coronavirus poses to those in immigration detention: “preventing the virus from being introduced into these facilities is impossible.” For that reason, Sandweg wrote, the Trump administration must release the thousands of “nonviolent, low-flight-risk” detainees. To do anything else is to put both detainees and guards at great risk.

Perhaps a former ICE director advocating the release of detainees will strike the reader as odd or, given that he served under Obama, even suspicious. Sandweg, however, was in no way opposed…


Michael Lind’s diagnosis requires a more radical prescription

Who, exactly, are Trump voters, and what, exactly, do they want?

A tiresome question, to be sure. Enough ink has been spilled on the topic that most people with a conventional (non-Fox News) media diet are quite sure they know the answer: Trump supporters are evangelical racists from flyover country who long for the hierarchical order of the 1950s.

Allowing such people to take (or even share) power would mean closing the borders, shutting down discussions surrounding #MeToo, reversing Obergefell, passing a national version of a bathroom bill, putting the kibosh on Roe v. Wade once and for all, and…


End CAFTA, re-up TPS

It is 1981. Members of a small community called Valle Nuevo near the rural town of Santa Marta, El Salvador are on the run, flying through the hot night air along treacherous mountain paths, desperate to reach the Honduran border. Rightwing government death squads supported by American aid money had gunned down Archbishop Oscar Romero the year before. Women they knew had been raped and murdered and their children tortured. A few weeks earlier a local carpenter left for work one morning, and community members found him dead with nails pounded into his skull. Now the government behind these atrocities…


If the institution as a whole had a take on God, what would it be?

Around the time President Trump began his campaign, his former attorney Michael Cohen hired John Gauger, the chief information officer of Liberty University, to write computer code that would rig two online polls to artificially inflate Trump’s numbers, the Wall Street Journal reported on January 17.

Cohen promised Gauger $50,000 to up Trump’s results in a 2014 CNBC poll of America’s top business leaders and in a 2015 Drudge Report poll of potential Republican presidential candidates. In addition, Gauger created the Twitter handle @WomenforCohen, a profile purporting to have emerged organically describing Cohen as a “sex symbol.”

When Gauger went…


Some Trump supporters justify collusion on the grounds that it has kept Democrats from political power

July’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that President Trump’s approval rating rose to 45 percent — up a point from June’s survey — at the very moment the president was meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

That mark matched Trump’s highest approval rating ever.

In the current wall-to-wall media environment, July 16 was a long time ago, so let’s review what happened. At the summit, Trump sided with Moscow rather than our own intelligence community on the question of interference in the 2016 election, offered to allow the Russians to question former Ambassador Michael McFaul and other…


Why consent is not enough in the post-Weinstein era

“Sexual morality,” Stephen Marche wrote last year in the New York Times, “has returned with a vengeance.”

The America we live in now, what Marche called “post-Weinstein era” America, lives under a seemingly endless apocalypse of rape, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct charges against men of every ilk. Finally, the media has given voice to the female cri de coeur against men, masculism, and the male libido.

After #MeToo, feminists everywhere have been galvanized. It is, many seem to think, their moment at last.

Marche himself, however, has not been galvanized. Rather, though he clearly identifies with one valence or…


Ross Douthat’s war with Catholic liberalism

On October 26, 2015, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat was the subject of an open letter signed by over 50 Catholic professors of theology from universities across the United States and Europe. The addressee was, perhaps predictably, his boss.

To the editor of the New York Times,

On Sunday, October 18, the Times published Ross Douthat’s piece “The Plot to Change Catholicism.” Aside from the fact that Mr. Douthat has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject, the problem with his article and other recent statements is his view of Catholicism as unapologetically subject to a politically partisan…

Joel Looper

Editor and Founder of thecommonpolitic.com. Senior fellow in theology at tdbi.org. Bonhoeffer’s America (forthcoming from Baylor University Press.)

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