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Week In Review

Another Week Ends: A Compassionate Judge, Johnny Football, Smug Liberalism, Choose Your Own Failure, Alcoholic Wine, and Hobbes & Me

Another Week Ends: A Compassionate Judge, Johnny Football, Smug Liberalism, Choose Your Own Failure, Alcoholic Wine, and Hobbes & Me

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.

1) Hard not to start off with this amazing story of grace in practice, of an accused criminal sentenced to 24 hours in jail, and accompanied the whole time by his judge. The Washington Post tells the story of Green Beret veteran Sgt. Joseph Serna and District Court Judge Lou Olivera, and the Veterans Treatment Court over which he presides. The story describes Serna’s three tours of duty, the friends he lost, the multiple times he almost died himself. And the consequential PTSD he faces today.

While Serna’s years in combat…

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Another Week Ends: Crooked Cops, Rueful Rates, Toasted Prayers, Humanized Preppies, Katims’ Path, GNR Haters, and 15 Year Old Prince

Another Week Ends: Crooked Cops, Rueful Rates, Toasted Prayers, Humanized Preppies, Katims’ Path, GNR Haters, and 15 Year Old Prince

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with musician Derek Webb, among other things. Conference recordings coming early next week!

1. Given the grim findings reported in the next item, I thought we’d kick off with a beautiful story of grace that aired on CBS this week. Pretty much the reverse of every prison movie ever made, thank God:

2. This past Friday, the National Institute for Health Statistics published updated findings on national rates of suicide, and the news is not good. Bluntly put, between 1999 and 2014, the US suicide rate has risen by…

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Another Week Ends: Lots of Religious Things Including But Not Limited To Cheerleaders, Voyeurism, Marshmallows, and Solitary Confinement

Another Week Ends: Lots of Religious Things Including But Not Limited To Cheerleaders, Voyeurism, Marshmallows, and Solitary Confinement

Check out this week’s episode of The Mockingcast–and subscribe through iTunes or your favorite Android Podcasting App!

1. The Atlantic’s project, “Choosing My Religion,” is running full steam ahead (Ethan mentioned it a couple weeks back), and its goal is simply to record stories of how young people deal or don’t deal with religion.

As a part of the project, a particularly interesting article surfaced this week entitled, “Cheerleaders for Christ,” featuring the story (as reported with a surprising amount of grace) about a Texas high school whose cheerleaders wrote Bible verses on their banners at football games. (Speaking of Texas high school football, and…

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Another Week Ends: Doubtful Substitutions, American Psychos, Anxious Superheroes, Angry Texts, and Throwback Specials

Another Week Ends: Doubtful Substitutions, American Psychos, Anxious Superheroes, Angry Texts, and Throwback Specials

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast.

1. I hope everyone had a nice Easter week. Hard to believe we’re less than two weeks away from NYC! Which means that those of us in liturgical churches will be reading about “doubting” Thomas this Sunday. A perfect opening for the recent installment of The NY Times’ Stone column, this time from philosopher William Irwin, “God Is a Question, Not an Answer”. Before you roll your eyes at the title (#gimmeabreak), a big part of Irwin’s argument has to do with dismantling any understanding of faith that doesn’t allow…

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Another Week Ends: Sue Klebold, Religiosity, Asperger’s, Babylon Bees, and Holy Week Personality Types

Another Week Ends: Sue Klebold, Religiosity, Asperger’s, Babylon Bees, and Holy Week Personality Types

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast.

1. Heather Havrilesky comments on A Mother’s Reckoning, the new memoir by Sue Klebold (mother of Dylan, one of the Columbine shooterS), and naturally, she has some beautiful insights into the nature of our fascination with this woman’s story. On the one hand, Havrilesky notes, there is an innate longing to hear about the mother of a suicide-shooter, if only to form an opinion—or learn a lesson—on what not to do in mothering. Havrilesky unpacks her own impulse there. But then she also describes what it must be like to…

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Another Week Ends: Shark Repellant Bat-Spray, the Greatest Complaint in Religious Literature, Sharing What Cannot Be Shared, Law & the Gospel According to Richard Rohr, How to Make Christian Movies, and How to Be a Christian

Another Week Ends: Shark Repellant Bat-Spray, the Greatest Complaint in Religious Literature, Sharing What Cannot Be Shared, Law & the Gospel According to Richard Rohr, How to Make Christian Movies, and How to Be a Christian

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast.

1. Occasionally buzzwords in hip Christianity osmose into the world outside, or vice versa, and that’s definitely the case with ‘broken,’ a word which has somehow found favor in all sorts of social circles, from megachurches to not-so-mega churches, to Hollywood. It caught my eye in The New York Times’ article, Ben Affleck’s ‘Broken’ Batman:

When he watches other movies that strain to make their protagonists likable and valorous, Mr. Affleck said: “I find that boring. Instead, I think it’s interesting how we manage the best version of ourselves, despite our flaws and…

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Another Week Ends: Officer Clemmons’ Feet, Ego Depletion, Episcopal Bingo, Borgen, Togetherness, & Choral Benefits

Another Week Ends: Officer Clemmons’ Feet, Ego Depletion, Episcopal Bingo, Borgen, Togetherness, & Choral Benefits

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast. It’s a special one.

1. This first one got me in the gut, as I bet it will anyone who grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. NPR’s StoryCorps interviewed Francois Clemmons this week, who played the role of friendly Officer Clemmons on the series for over 25 years. It turns out that Clemmons was the first black actor to have a recurring role on an children’s television series. I had no idea. But what makes this so poetic is that Mr Rogers had him play a policeman, AKA a representative…

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Another Week Ends: Inflamed Parents, Static Vanderpumps, Hopeless Habits, Leadershipology, and Desktop Dining

Another Week Ends: Inflamed Parents, Static Vanderpumps, Hopeless Habits, Leadershipology, and Desktop Dining

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast.

“Footprints” via XKCD.com (http://xkcd.com/1575/)

1. Don’t think we’ve ever led off with the Social Science Study of the Week, but this one is so good it bears all our attention. Quartz reported this week on new research confirming that “Being a good parent will physiologically destroy you”. Check it out, ht JD:

Researchers surveyed 247 pairs of parents and their adolescent children on how often and to what degree parents could understand their children’s feelings and respond with appropriate concern. They also took blood samples. Empathetic parents and their children…

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Another Week Ends: (Crushing) Childhood Dreams, Mrs. Crews Still Loves Her Husband, “The Atheist Had It Coming,” The Arts Strike Back, Belittling Big Data, Snapchatting Nudies, Forgiving Engineers, and Pleasing United Airlines

Another Week Ends: (Crushing) Childhood Dreams, Mrs. Crews Still Loves Her Husband, “The Atheist Had It Coming,” The Arts Strike Back, Belittling Big Data, Snapchatting Nudies, Forgiving Engineers, and Pleasing United Airlines

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast, featuring a brand-new co-host!

1. Last Friday The Washington Post ran a brilliantly pessimistic article entitled, “No, honey, you can’t be anything you want to be. And that’s okay.”

When my son turned one, friends gifted him with an illustrated Snoopy the Dog book called “You Can Be Anything.” …Dressed in the garb of his chosen occupation, Snoopy is pictured as a “world-famous lawyer,” a “world-famous literary ace,” and even a “world-famous grocery clerk.” Snoopy is superlative in everything he does.

When my son tried to turn these flimsy paper pages with…

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Another Week Ends: Kanye, Mavis, Scalia, Narcissism, Cancer, and A Saintly Smackdown

Another Week Ends: Kanye, Mavis, Scalia, Narcissism, Cancer, and A Saintly Smackdown

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast, which features, among other things, Jacob Smith discussing “A Lenten Theology of the Cross”. 

1. Following the release of Kanye’s new album, The Life of Pablo, which dropped on Valentine’s Day, but which is only available on Tidal, many of us find ourselves once again captivated by Yeezus, one of modernity’s greatest cultural antinomians: In his life, Kanye West has broken so many cultural little-l laws (from portraying himself as Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone to making such a public spectacle as to get name-called by the POTUS)…

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Another Week Ends: Turklean Empathy, OK GO, The Cursed Child, Religious Skepticism, Couples Fooling Themselves, and Hail, Caesar!

Another Week Ends: Turklean Empathy, OK GO, The Cursed Child, Religious Skepticism, Couples Fooling Themselves, and Hail, Caesar!

Click here for the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast, featuring JR Rozko, Aaron Zimmerman and EKR.

The new OK GO video is amazing! Click on the image to watch.

Sherry Turkle, at it again, people. In The New York Review of Books, Jacob Weisberg samples a troop of tech-related books released this year, one of which is Sherry Turkle’s new one, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. Turkle, who we’ve talked about quite a bit on Mockingbird, is an MIT clinician and an ethnographer, and has focused her expertise in the last two books on the rise…

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Location images of Love & Friendship, a Jane Austen film adaptation starring Kate Bekinsdale and Chloe Sevigny, directed by Whit Stillman. CHURCHILL PRODUCTIONS LIMITED. Producers Katie Holly, Whit Stillman, Lauranne Bourrachot. Co-Producer Raymond Van Der Kaaij. Also Starring: Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell & Morfydd Clark

Another Week Ends: Ambitious Critics, Saving Beauty, Love & Friendship, Infinite Jest, Mother Theresa, Suede and The Whitney Plantation

Click here to listen to the accompanying episode of The Mockingcast, featuring Stephanie Phillips.

1. Funny how some weeks a single theme comes to dominate this column. This week that theme appears to be beauty and our relationship to it. First up, NY Times film critic A.O. Scott has a tome coming out next week entitled Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think about Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth, which attempts to make sense of his field in a time when social media appears to have devalued or trivialized it. This past weekend his employers ran a precis of the book,…

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