Daily Bread for 11.24.19

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of forty-six.  Sunrise is 6:58 AM and sunset 4:24 PM, for 9h 26m 20s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 5.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand one hundred eleventh day.

On this day in 1959, Interstate 90 opens to traffic between Janesville and Beloit.

Recommended for reading in full:

Carlo Invernizzi-Accetti writes The unholy alliance of the religious right and Trumpism is deeply anti-Christian:

The US attorney general William Barr’s speech at the University of Notre Dame last week has been widely decried by liberal commentators for violating the separation between church and state. In his speech, Barr portrayed “secularists” as enemies of American democracy. Yet few seem to have grasped the deeper political significance of Barr’s remarks.

On their face, none of Barr’s claims appear particularly new. The idea that “militant secularism” undermines the moral fabric of society, leading to all sorts of “social pathologies,” and the idea that “free government” requires the “moral discipline” afforded by religious belief, have been central tenets of official Catholic doctrine for at least a century and a half.

What is more original – and troubling – is the political use the US’s chief law-enforcement officer has made of these traditional religious themes. By subtly reworking some of the core tenets of Catholic social doctrine, he has constructed a new political theology in the service of Trumpism – one which aims to offer conservative Christians a set of principled, not just pragmatic, reasons for supporting the current US administration.


A more powerful retort to Barr’s speech would therefore be to point out that it is ultimately in contradiction with itself, since it runs counter to other key themes of Catholic and – more broadly – Christian theology. Most notably, the fact that Christianity was never intended to function as an exclusive identity, marking out the boundaries between those deemed fit for “free government” and those that aren’t. On the contrary, the core of the Christian message is one of universal inclusion.

This is precisely the meaning of the New Testament’s affirmation that: “There is neither Jew nor gentile, neither slave nor free, nor male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). The same point was also recently reiterated by Pope Francis when he reminded believers that “Catholicity” literally means “universality”, inferring from it that: “The church shows her catholicity by … liv[ing] in solidarity with all of humanity, and never closed in on ourselves.”

writes To Take on the Religious Right, We Need a Religious Left:

These values have been the foundation of many previous American progressive social movements. Though the civil rights movement had clear legislative aims, it was a deeply religious movement, sustained by the spiritual empowerment and social organization of Southern black churches. The church served not only as a place to worship, but also as a community support group, regular meeting space and bulletin board; a place to solve disputes and center political organizing.

The motto of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, over which the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. presided, was, “To Save the Soul of America.” When their faith in the American government dwindled, black Americans relied on a unified faith in God to deliver them from the sin of racism. This hope was not a passive acceptance that their collective lot would be improved in the next life, but instead a critique of the status quo that moved them to political action in this one.

In the past, religious groups have also led the charge for immigration reform, a cause still championed by modern progressives today. During the 1980s, Presbyterian churches aiming to offer protection to undocumented refugees fleeing Central American wars formed the sanctuary movement. Sanctuary activists defended the movement on various religious grounds, including biblical precedent for providing refuge to those in need. By 1986, there were more than 300 sanctuary congregations in the United States, which also include Lutherans, United Church of Christ members, Roman Catholics and Jews. (As Susan Bibler Coutin notes in her book “The Culture of Protest: Religious Activism and the U.S. Sanctuary Movement,” the concept of “sanctuary cities” would come to supplant churches as municipal governments stepped in.)

The Mystery of the Kansas Gnome Homes:

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