How Not to Support Obamacare

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Peter Laarman: What’s striking about the president’s pirouette on the ACA, and about Democratic disarray in the face of the renewed GOP assault in the House, is the absence of any open discourse on the underlying ethics of health care.

God Responds to Administration Wish That He Consistently Attend Local Town Board Meetings

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Peter Laarman: I was a little surprised on Friday to find a front-page LA Times piece indicating that the Obama Administration sides with conservative Republicans and the Religious Right in a Supreme Court case involving prayer at local government meetings.

Time to Call a Satan a Satan?

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Peter Laarman: The radical Republicans in Washington and in many statehouses want to further punish and distress the poor; they want to enshrine prejudice and discrimination; they want to shred human and civil rights that are currently secured by law.

The Humanities Make Life Bearable

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Peter Laarman: Actually, my dears, what is killing the humanities is precisely the empire-in-decline anxiety that drives this report: the sense that Chinese college grads these days might actually know their Moliere and their Montesquieu better than our grads do.

Transformative Justice and Mass Incarceration: Can Faith Communities Help Create a New Frame?

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Rev. Peter Laarman: A safe society is first and foremost a just society. In that respect we have an awfully long way to go. Let’s not waste any more time.

Remembering Bob Edgar

Bob Edgar

Peter Laarman: Bob Edgar had to contend with timidity among the good and the great especially during his years with the NCC, where denominational bigwigs (Bob’s bosses on the governing body) were privately horrified that their point person should actually seek to change oppressive systems rather than simply make mewling noises about them.

American Infidel: Robert Ingersoll Was the “Great Agnostic” of the (Last) Gilded Age

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Peter Laarman: Ingersoll’s clarity and passion influenced almost everyone, from Mark Twain and Walt Whitman to Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison, and from Frederick Douglass and Margaret Sanger to Gene Debs and “Fighting Bob” La Follette.

Mad About Money

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Peter Laarman: The very wealthiest Americans, whose share of income and wealth has shot up astronomically for the past 25 years, have somehow gotten a huge number of other Americans to buy into the idea that there isn’t enough money. And that therefore we should cut lifeline benefits that go to poor children and sick people and old people and veterans.

And Now: Forgive Us Our Debts!

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Peter Laarman: Just a word about the Next Big Thing: the coming lame duck session and the “fiscal cliff” and the prospect of a not-so-grand bargain in which Democrats will yield yet more ground to Pete Peterson’s baleful “austerity for you but not for me” proposals.

Coalition Pushes LA’s DA Candidates On Mass Incarceration Issues

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Peter Laarman: With Public Safety Realignment now underway, the DA’s role becomes even more pivotal. What our chief prosecutor believes and does has a huge impact on incarceration levels.

Romney’s Prosperity Gospel: The Candidate as Televangelist

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Peter Laarman: Obama cannot and should not condemn those in the electorate who buy into Romney’s “there will be showers of blessing” message, but he probably does need to get his preacher voice on to remind folks that all covenant promises are conditional.

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