Time was when we had a neutral commons where those of us who wanted to say something could say it, try to earn people’s attention, and choose whether to give them our own. I’m speaking of course of the internet—a long decade ago, before social media swallowed it whole.
There are at least two important differences between a touring musician who skips a state to make a point and a service provider who doesn’t want to provide services on account of personal opposition to the larger thing being served.
It’s all over my Facebook newsfeed: some retail stores are bucking the trend and staying closed for Thanksgiving Day, and people—Christians and atheists, conservatives and liberals—are applauding them for it.
I’m a Cub fan but also a National League fan, so I was disappointed to see the Mets lose the World Series this week. And when an error on a routine play contributes to the outcome, that’s just rough—not the best way to lose or, for that matter, to win.
At its worst, Protestantism has long been deeply suspicious of all holy things, of the very notion that a physical object can carry anything of the sacred. At its best, such a suspicion is aimed instead at the notion of holier things—of an elite, rarefied sacrality that sets a few things utterly apart.
I was trying to write a provocative article for a readership that includes many people who a) oppose the death penalty for faith-based reasons, and b) take for granted that replacing it with LWOP is a fairly straightforward good. But I should have done more to anticipate how others might see a one-sided article where I saw a narrowly focused one.
It’s Monday, so it must be time for everyone to share last night’s main John Oliver segment and talk about how correct and funny and amazing he is. To be clear, I generally agree with this left-of-center consensus: Oliver’s longform takes on the old Daily Show template are informative, impassioned, and hilarious.
I had a mixed response, however, to last night’s segment.
My article in the current issue examines an ongoing challenge for death-penalty opponents: abolishing the death penalty in a given state has generally meant sentencing a lot more people to life without parole, a sentence just as hopeless and final.