Tag: interpretation

The First Amendment Under A Microscope — Part 1 Of 3 — The “Establishment” Clause

The First Amendment Under A Microscope — Part 1 Of 3 — The “Establishment” Clause

14th Amendment, activism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, citizenship, civics, community, conflict, constitution, critical judgment, Education, Fascism, Ideology, injustice, law, Politics, Presidency, progressive politics, Rationality, reflection, republic, Resistance, Second Amendment, Secularity, Supreme Court, Trump, Uncategorized
In October of 2017, I published what I intended as a more detailed examination of all three of the main clauses of the First Amendment:  the "establishment" clause, the "free exercise" clause, and the "abridgement" clause (encompassing freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. Life got in the way, however, and only the first part of the column, on the "establishment" clause, ever appeared. Since then, however, and largely as a result of the continuing assault of the Trump Administration and other parts of the American fascist community on First Amendment liberties, I have returned to the subject of the First Amendment, and have written the other two parts -- "free exercise" and "abridgement" -- that I neglected back in October of last year. In the interest of continuity, I am re-publ
The Hazards Of Defending The Indefensible

The Hazards Of Defending The Indefensible

Abrahamic Traditions, Archetypes, Buddhism, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, community, Compassion, conflict, contemplation, covenant, Creation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, entering into suffering, epistemology, Ethics, faith, higher criticism, Human Condition, monotheism, parable, paradox, Problem of Evil, Rationality, Religion, Scripture, The Divine, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized
Over the years of studying and dealing with both the practitioners and the practice of theodicy, I have developed a pretty accurate set of antennae for detecting when even people of undisputed integrity and good will have gone “a bridge too far” in their zeal to “justify the ways of God to man” by defending conduct that, in other contexts, would be assessed as unambiguously criminal. In  such cases, God is allowed to breeze by despite conduct that would earn a human a war-crimes trial at The Hague. No devout monotheist is exempt from this risk, not even the most temperate, rational, and tolerant. Fr. Ron Rolheiser is a quintessentially temperate, rational, and tolerant man par excellence, both professionally and personally, as I can attest from having met him, spoken with him one-to-on
Cherry Picking The New Testament

Cherry Picking The New Testament

Archetypes, Art, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Cherry picking, Christianity, conservatism, Creator, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, epistemology, fables, faith, God, Hebrew Scripture, Ideology, Jesus, Judaism, monotheism, Rationality, reflection, Scripture, Secularity, Skeptic, Theodicy, Theology, Trump, Uncategorized
When I was at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1988, one of the more unsettling things I learned in my classes on postmodernist interpretation theory, both the ones I took and the ones I taught, is what the seemingly prosaic act of reading (almost?) always entails. Unpacking that statement is a many-splendored thing, too complex to address here. Suffice to say that one of the more disillusioning aspects of the act of reading a text, any text, is that we always, almost always despite ourselves, read selectively even when we do not want to. Or think we do not want to. Cherry-picking reading with a usually unconscious confirmation bias is an almost constant aspect of reading. And I am tempted to remove the "almost" in that prior sentence. Usually, on some level (almost?) always unconscious, we ...