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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

…he 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 bedro…

On TV: I Am Deacon Claybourne

On TV: I Am Deacon Claybourne

…nsidered dropping the recording from my DVR list several times, most of them coinciding with the appearances of Avery’s childish pout, which could have generated its own drinking game. But there remained one reason for me to tune in each week. Okay, two: Connie Britton’s hair counts as both a reason and a work of art. Reason number two? The show’s resident addict, Deacon Claybourne. Unrequited love is a guaranteed viewer-grabber – we’ve all…

A Few Thoughts on Righteous Minds and Religious Liberty

A Few Thoughts on Righteous Minds and Religious Liberty

…d, equally important, confirm the nastiness of those who are Outside, who are Not Us. And it’s worth noting, as Avery Pennarun has recently noted, that one of the things that makes smart people smart is their skill at such rationalization: “Smart people have a problem, especially (although not only) when you put them in large groups. That problem is an ability to convincingly rationalize nearly anything.” In “The Inner Ring” Lewis portrays this g…

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

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

…still have hearts.” I still think about that, especially now. Excerpts from the following story by Andrea Avery takes this line of thinking to experience. A teacher at a well-to-do private school, she talks about the moralistic pharisee in us all, the one that judges that to be best, and this to be, well, okay, not as good. She speaks about money, about what it does to the children she teaches, and what judgment it sparks from those on the…

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 f…