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Hating Charlton Heston and Following Jesus

Scandal is an essential aspect of religious consciousness. It is not simply negative. The victim who offends us also helps us to recognize that the 'normal' way we do things is fundamentally flawed. So are we willing to let ourselves be scandalized in a way that challenges us? Jeremiah Alberg I have never held a gun in my hands or fired a weapon of any kind, but (and?) I am steadfastly in favor of gun contr ...

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The First Lie: Language’s Big Bang

Once a person begins to desire what the model desires, he learns very quickly that disclosing the desire – naming it, speaking it – is the shortest route to making certain that he will never obtain the object. In this situation only dissimulation will succeed, and the best way to dissimulate is to say the opposite of what one means. Jeremiah Alberg, Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses: Reading Scandalous ...

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Scandalized by Gangs: A Live Chat with Rev. Romal Tune

Before we chat with Rev. Romal Tune at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement this Wednesday, February 26, I need to make a confession: I wish that the young people who join gangs would go to church instead; if there’s a God in heaven, then gangs should wither and die and church youth programs take their place. It doesn’t sound like much of a confession, does it? Before I met Rev. Tune, author of God’s Graffiti foun ...

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Duck Dynasty and the Idolatry of Freedom

I know. We’re all a little fatigued about the Duck Dynasty and freedom of speech controversy. As many have pointed out, everyone has been free during this controversy. Phil Robertson was free to make his statement to GQ. GQ was free to publish it. A&E was free to suspend Robertson for making comments that it thought hurt their image. And, despite that justification, A&E is free to air Duck Dynasty m ...

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The Miley Cyrus Scandal: MTV’s Video Music Awards, Sex, and Moral Outrage

I didn’t watch the Video Music Awards last night, but this morning I noticed that Miley Cyrus is getting all the attention. Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe gives voice to the moral outrage that many are feeling. She just couldn’t stop lambasting Miley for her performance: That was really, really disturbing…That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed…probably has an eati ...

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Paula Deen: Scapegoat du Jour?

The brouhaha surrounding Paula Deen, the Food Network star accused of tolerating a racist atmosphere in the kitchen of one of her restaurants, has sent my Scapegoat antennae vibrating. Folks are lining up on opposite sides of the issue, to either defend or condemn this Queen of a Southern cooking financial empire. Dropped by the Food Network, Smithfield Foods and now Walmart, and with a Facebook page popula ...

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OMG! Miss Utah Made a Mistake!!! Let’s All Feel Superior!!!

The Internet is abuzz with Miss Utah. Marissa Powell was asked at Sunday night’s Miss USA Pageant, “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does that say about society?” Powell responded, “I think we can relate this back to education, and how we are continuing to try to strive … to … figure out ...

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Angelina’s Mastectomy Scandal

On Tuesday, Angelina Jolie went public with the news that she had a preventative mastectomy and we can’t stop talking about her. Which is nothing new – talking about Angelina is an American pastime. We have opinions – strong opinions – about Brad and Jennifer and Billy Bob, about her international adoptions, her humanitarian causes and sometimes we even talk about her movies. We enjoy loving and hating her ...

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Justin Bieber at the Anne Frank House: Our Addiction to Scandal

On Saturday, the pop culture icon Justin Bieber visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam while on a world tour. At the end of his visit to the museum, Bieber wrote a message in the guest book. His three-sentence message has become Big News. Sunday afternoon I checked my Huffington Post app and discovered this headline on the homepage, “Fury Erupts over Bieber’s Obnoxious Anne Frank Comment.” This morning t ...

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