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The Place Beyond the Pines: Where Toxic Shame is Met with Apology

The Place Beyond the Pines: Where Toxic Shame is Met with Apology

…the boy. Upon the event of his last bank hit, Luke suddenly finds himself in a high-speed chase. Police officer, Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) stalks him down, finally cornering him in a bedroom of a house a few blocks away from the place where Luke crashed his bike. Avery then shoots and kills the robber. Before the shootout scene, Avery’s presence in the narrative is utterly nonexistent–killing Luke Glanton in a children’s bedr…

On TV: I Am Deacon Claybourne

On TV: I Am Deacon Claybourne

This fantastic reflection on Nashville comes from our friend Stephanie Phillips: I have a confession to make: I still watch Nashville. I realize this hardly makes me a singular phenomenon; last week’s ratings indicate I was joined by five and a half million. The reluctance of my admission finds its basis in the direction the show has taken since around the second half of the first season, when the narrative’s musical focus was usurped by suds: R…

A Few Thoughts on Righteous Minds and Religious Liberty

A Few Thoughts on Righteous Minds and Religious Liberty

I believe it was Austin Powers’ father Nigel who once remarked, “There are only two things I can’t stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures… and the Dutch.” That movie came out while I was in college, and the joke struck a chord. Having been educated in proudly ‘progressive’ institutions, I grew up hearing a lot about tolerance. My secondary school, for example, hos…

I Don’t Teach Poor Kids: Need and Moralistic Stereotyping

I Don’t Teach Poor Kids: Need and Moralistic Stereotyping

The latest installment of the Oxford American is the Education Issue. In it are all sorts of stories about teaching, teachers, bad schools, good schools, back-to-school, the smartest girl in school, schools of hard knocks, the school cafeteria, field trips, college trips, pop quizzes, quiz cheat-sheets. In a time when nearly every sociopolitical conversation touches on education, there is, thanks to the efforts of numerous reform initiatives in…

Mark Galli is Cooking

Mark Galli is Cooking

Mark Galli strikes again. This is a man liberated. Some quotes (savor this article as you might savor a medium-rare ribeye): “There is in the soul of American evangelicals a feverish anxiety. If our faith in Christ does not lead to our moral uplift, we jumpstart a new spiritual formation regimen that promises to lift us. If the church is not making a difference in the world, we shame ourselves to become more socially relevant and evangelis…

For Your Weekend Viewing Pleasure–Jesus People: The Movie

I can only hope that this movie signals the emergence of a newfound levity and self-deprecation among Christians, particularly among the “Evangelical” wing (of whom I consider myself a member). Perhaps this will equal the skewering brilliance of South Park’s Faith+1 without the sardonic edge—we’ll see. You can watch all 6 of the original shorts here. Best quote so far, “She has a real heart for God. . . and…