Peter Laarman: No amount of high-end religious training appears to have shaped Jerry Brown’s conscience sufficiently for him to escape the all-too-familiar pattern of selling himself politically.
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.
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.
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.
Peter Laarman: We should use this occasion to celebrate, modestly, today’s breakthroughs for LGBT people even as we publicly lament the losses suffered by Black America and pledge our firm solidarity in struggles against hate and injustice that are still to be won.
Peter Laarman: Do we suppose that today’s Thought Police, who have far more intrusive tools, will be more benign toward persons and groups whose behavior they regard as suspicious?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Progressive Christians United Annual Event, with La Makia Castillo, Patrisse Marie Cullors, and Sarah Nolan at St. Michael’s Church in Studio City.
Peter Laarman: Working for money has always involved emotional expression. But touting the boss man’s political agenda is a very different thing from touting the boss man’s product, a more reasonable expectation.
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.