Daily Archives: November 12, 2009

Jesus 4 sale

Christopher Rule at Relevant asks: What should we think about buying and selling Jesus junk?

It’s kitschy and it’s everywhere. I’m a fan of it, myself, but some of the more obnoxious stuff does have a feel of Jesus-and-the-money-changers to it.


True or false: Fat is bad

v“The Fat Studies Reader” explores our culture’s view of fat. Write co-authors Sondra Solovay and Esther Rothblum:

Fat is Bad.

Isn’t it odd that people deeply divided on almost every important topic can so easily agree on that assertion? Isn’t it strange that countries significantly divergent in culture, attitudes, and approaches apparently share the sentiment? In fact, one of the few disagreements that seem to exist in the popular media is which country is hardest hit by the “obesity epidemic.” Regardless of which country is actually the “fattest nation on earth,” in 1995 the United States declared a “war on fat” with the support of former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

And thanks, Bro. Tod, for the link.

Inappropriate speech is in the eye of the beholder, I guess

Officials at a Massachusetts school district have banned the use of the word “meep,” introduced to the world by Beaker, of “The Muppet Show” fame. Evidently, the word has gone viral, says ABC News.

Tell everyone you know. Meep!

And thanks, Sister Jessica, for the head’s up.


Holding hostage a city and its services

vMaybe that’s overstating it — I’m in the business of overstating things — but when a church says it won’t continue offering much-needed social services because it disagrees with a public policy, is that fair? I mean, it is their money with which to do what they will, but…

From the Washington Post:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

And thanks, Sister Cynical, for the link.

I always thought the O’Connors lived a beautiful love story

John J. O’Connor III, husband of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, died yesterday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Justice O’Connor left the Supreme Court in 2006, in large part to spend more time with her husband, whose health deteriorated rather rapidly. He was moved to an assisted living facility, where he fell in love with one of the other residents. Justice O’Connor accepted that with grace, and told friends she was grateful that her husband found happiness.

On his part, when a reporter asked John O’Connor about how he felt playing a supporting role after wife’s appointment soon after they moved to Washington in 1981, he said:

“Sandra’s accomplishments don’t make me a lesser man. They make me a fuller man.”

And thanks, Newser, for the link.

War profiteers and carpetbaggers

vFor people of a certain geographic bent, some words are like gas on a flame.

Former U.S. ambassador Peter W. Galbraith (economist John Kenneth’s son) stands to make a boatload of money from deals he helped broker for the Kurds. He calls himself an “unpaid adviser” to the Kurds.

At, Pete. In my old neighborhood this would not be applauded.

And thanks, Daily Beast, for the link.

Balancing the recession on the backs of the young

vYoung employees are paying, big time during this recession, writes Lizzy Ratner at The Nation (linked here through AlterNet. She writes:

These are not happy days for America’s young and striving. Indeed, as the economy has rocked and tumbled its way through 2009, spewing jobs like a sea-sick tourist, these have become very, very bad days. In September, the unemployment rate for people between the ages of 16 and 24 hovered morosely at 18.1 percent, nearly double the national average for that month. At the same time, the actual employment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds dropped to a startling 46 percent, the grimmest such figure on record since 1948, the year the government began keeping track. Taken together, this same group of young people has lost more than 2.5 million jobs since the economy began deflating in December 2007, roughly one-third of all the jobs lost, making them the hardest-hit age group of the recession.