Let Us Now Praise Wealthy Men?

Structural Poverty

Peter Laarman: We should know by now that effective and lasting change is rarely implemented from the top, not even through the visions of the great intellectuals and theologians.

Forget Conservatives, Can ‘Piketty Porn’ Inspire the Left?

what can inspire the left

Rev. Peter Laarman: In 2014 it is equally obvious that concentrated wealth is the fundamental moral evil threatening human well being, democracy, and the planet itself. This is why lots of people who would never otherwise go to hear a nerdy economist have been flocking to Piketty’s appearances.

How Not to Support Obamacare

obamacare-fumble-590

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.

Time to Call a Satan a Satan?

elphicare

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

woman reading

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.

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.

Mad About Money

greed

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!

obama accepts

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.

Romney’s Prosperity Gospel: The Candidate as Televangelist

billy graham and mitt romney

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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