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Two Things the Hobby Lobby Case Tells Us about Politics and Being Christian

Since the Hobby Lobby case, I have learned two things about being Christian. First, being Christian means that you are right and that the other side is not only wrong, but a detriment to American freedom. Conservatives are boasting that their victory over liberals is a “welcoming gesture not only toward religious freedom, but also freedom of conscience.” The blog Seasons of Grace asks that we join the autho ...

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Hobby Lobby, Rivalry and Choosing Grace

Though Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby has been argued and decided by the highest court in the land, the battle rages on. Politicians, columnists, editorial staffs and bloggers are furiously duking it out along clearly drawn battle lines. On one side, we have the Champions of Religious Freedom. Squaring off against them are the Defenders of Women’s Rights. The Champions are celebrating a victory for free expression ...

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The Hellish Dream of a Parent: Why CS Lewis Was Wrong about Hell and Free Will

At five years old, my middle child has developed a defiant pattern. A typical day runs like this: It’s time to get dressed. No. It’s time to put on your shoes. No. It’s time to go to school. No. It’s time to eat dinner. No. It’s time to go to bed. No. His defiance has apparently nestled its way into my subconscious because I dreamt about it last night. We were visiting my childhood house. My son was in our ...

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Maleficent the Feminist? A Cautionary Tale

If the new Disney Studios movie Maleficent is, as some are saying, a feminist attempt to redeem images of weak and powerless women in fairy tales, then it is a cautionary tale. Feminism has always been its own worst enemy when it strives to create women in the image of men rather than encourage women to abandon rivalry with men and seek their flourishing elsewhere. This is a story about the redemptive power ...

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Joe the Plumber, God, and Guns

Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known as Joe the Plumber, re-emerged in the news last week. He made headlines in the wake of the shooting tragedy in Isla Vista, California. Joe wrote an “Open-Letter” to the families of the victims. One section of the letter has been highlighted more than any other: ...

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Parenting Confessions: How a Child Redeems the Sins of His Father

Parenting is hard. It’s damn hard. It happened to me again on Sunday morning. We just moved to Oregon last week and were about to try a new church. Our morning routine is pretty typical: we tell our children it’s time to get dressed. Our first and third child diligently put on their clothes, while our middle child finds a thousand and one ways to stall. Driving. Me. Crazy. Intellectually, I could sympathize ...

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The Beatles and “Queenie Eye” through the Lens of Mimetic Theory

(This article written by special guest contributor Curtis Gruenler, Professor of English at Hope College) On March 21, 1964, “She Loves You” hit the top of the U. S. chart. It was The Beatles’ second American hit, but their first triangular song—the first to begin to explore love as a relation not just between two people, but involving a third who acts as a model of desire and can become also a rival and an ...

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Dieting to Extremes: Anorexia, Mimetic Desire and the Death of Isabelle Caro

Are you on a diet now? Are you starting one tomorrow? Dieting is a preoccupation for most of us, the result of living in a land in which we are bombarded with two competing messages: advertisements of often irresistible foodstuffs and media idols celebrated for their svelte figures. Some of us manage to lose some weight, many gain it back, but for a few of us the healthy desire to control our eating and she ...

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The Forgiving Corpse: A Parable

How’s this for an unlikely scenario? One of the characters in Keith Huff’s new crime comedy, Big Lake Big City, is a petty criminal named Stewart who ends up not quite dead after a screwdriver accidently gets embedded in his skull. If the doctors try to remove it, he will die; if they leave it in, he will die. But somehow he isn’t dead yet. For a few days he walks around in a liminal space between life and ...

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Adam Falls Again: A Review of Geoffrey Nauffts’s Play Next Fall

A wonderful production of the play Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts is currently being staged by the AstonRep company at the BoHo Theatre in Chicago. My apologies to out-of-towners who won’t have the opportunity to see the show, because it is blessed with a gifted ensemble, headed by Mark Jacob Chaitin and Ryan Hamlin in the lead roles. Hamlin plays Adam, who, unlike the Biblical Adam, has no relationship with ...

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