Terrorism, In Brown and White

Two weeks ago, Paris was rocked with a number of coordinated terrorist attacks by ISIS fighters. Two days ago, a “lone wolf” engaged in a prolonged shootout with police in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While the former has been roundly condemned by almost all Americans as nihilistic barbarians, regardless of their political orientation, the latter is seen very differently, depending on how you feel about abortion.Some on the right like Carly Fiorina have been “Not All Pro-Lifers” while others like Donald Trump have simply dismissed the shooter as some random maniac who in no way represents mainstream conservative opinion on anything:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/11/29/gop-candidates-condemn-planned-parenthood-shooting-but-dismiss-link-to-antiabortion-rhetoric/

The Friendly Atheist has compiled a bunch of tweets from users celebrating the shootings:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/11/28/pro-lifers-take-to-twitter-to-praise-planned-parenthood-shooter/

Clearly, terrorism isn’t terrorism when it’s being used by a cause one approves of.

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It Takes a Village to Abuse a Child: Further Thoughts on Spotlight

I saw the movie “Spotlight” this morning, and it exceeded my expectations in every way. It’s definitely an Oscar contender, and I think it’s a film everyone should see. Not only does “Spotlight” do a great job of dramatizing the Boston Globe’s investigation into the abuse scandal, but it also shows the extent to which Boston was controlled not just by the Catholic church but by what one could call “the old Irish boy’s club” that demanded silence from priests, police, survivors, their families, and entire communities. Indeed, it seems like many Bostonians had direct knowledge of abusive priests, but assumed that it was just that one guy and the church knew how to handle things. The willingness for communities to turn a blind eye to abusive priests leads a lawyer working for abuse victims to proclaim (and here I’m paraphrasing), “It takes a village to raise a child, and a village to abuse one.”

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Spotlight

Although “Spotlight,” the new movie about how the Boston Globe exposed the Catholic sex abuse scandal, only went national yesterday and not too many people have seen it thus far, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops isn’t taking any chances, sending out “talking points” to every diocese in the country:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/11/09/catholic-church-leaders-send-guidance-dioceses-dealing-with-spotlight-movie/Y73IyCDYII8lEd24gq3jsI/story.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/11/09/spotlight-portrayal-of-sex-abuse-scandal-is-making-the-catholic-church-uncomfortable-all-over-again/

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Pentecostalism as Liberation

Readers are probably aware of the common quip that the Catholic church in Latin America decided to have a preferential option for the poor, and the poor decided to have a preferential option for Pentecostalism. Conservotrads and traditionalists use the huge inroads made by Pentecostalism and evangelicalism in general in Latin America as proof that the liturgical and theological laxness of the post-Vatican II church was/is driving away people who just wanted Jesus and not Marxism in Christian clothing (i.e., liberation theology). But is this a correct assessment? Let’s take a look.

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Secular Humanist Response to Paris Attacks

Friends from the whole world, thank you for #prayforParis, but we don’t need more religion! Our faith goes to music! Kissing! Life! Champagne and joy! #Parisisaboutlife

— From Charlie Hedbo cartoonist Joann Sfar

http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/heres-what-a-charlie-hebdo-cartoonist-drew-after-the-second-paris-terror-attack-in-a-year–Z1ZZbO3VYx?utm_source=indy&utm_medium=top5&utm_campaign=i100

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