News, views, notes and quotes

A note from Gerald,
prayer&politiks’ guardian angel

Signs of the Times” is on vacation this week, but we’ve posted two election reflection pieces you will enjoy.


The first, “O Shizzle! Electoral season parable,” is a first-person story about a happenstance conversation across party affiliation lines, “in this age of un-friending, of only seeking news outlets that contribute to opinions we already hold.”


The second piece, “Magdalene’s recovery,” compares this week’s history-making election—of a female presidential candidate of a major party—with history of a more ancient sort, as St. Mary Magdalene gets upgraded in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar.


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¶ Micah met me for lunch today to debrief on the fabulous reading of Alyson Mead’s “The Quality of Mercy” and talk back we had at Judson last Saturday.

        We are sitting in the lunch-time packed Waverly Restaurant and discussing race, sexism, religious leanings and the systems of institutionalized colonialism that are keeping all of us down and oppressed. And as those of you know me, my side will be colorful and explicit and bold.

        So I am aware that there is what seems to be a family of tourists sitting next to us. After 40 minutes of this focused and lively conversation Micah asks for the check and goes to pay.

        As soon as he does the woman, who is sitting right next to me, taps me on the shoulder and says, “I hope I don't offend you, but I am a conservative Christian from St. Louis here with my family and I could not help but overhear you two talking, and again I don't want to offend you”—and I'm thinking O Shizzle, she's gonna put me on blast for language or my anti-Christian views or our Black Lives Matters talk. —continue reading “O Shizzle! Electoral season parable” by Thom Fogarty and Micah Bucey

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¶ Hillary Clinton’s election this week as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee surely knocks another hole in the “glass ceiling” obstructing women’s full inclusion into the human enterprise.

        It should go without saying that the struggle for gender justice is far from over; but every advance should be permitted its celebration—even for those who, like me, maintain profound concerns about Clinton’s entanglement with Wall Street’s domination of our economy along with her militarized foreign policy instincts.

        Let me suggest, though, that an event last week will have longer-term implications for greater mutuality between women and men.

        I did not know until recently that the Roman Catholic Church (in common with the various Orthodox communions) centuries ago set 22 July as remembrance day for St. Mary Magdalene. Just weeks ago, on 10 June in another of Pope Francis’ bold moves, Magdalene’s remembrance day was upgraded from a “memorial” to a “feast” day on the Catholic liturgical calendar.

        This modification may not sound like much to those of us in low-brow communions; but the elevation is actually quite significant in its context and will, very likely, open doors beyond as well. —continue reading Ken Sehested’s “Magdalene’s recovery: The church’s first evangelist joins an elite group of saints

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