Remembering Differently: Memorial Day

If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, Americans do not approach Memorial Day in a uniform way. Some Americans barbecue, party, and celebrate their day off work while others lament the national disconnect with “what the holiday is all about.”

So there’s these two sides of the conversation: Read more “Remembering Differently: Memorial Day”

Talking About War: American Mass Media and Christian Theology

This project centers on mass media portrayals of military and warfare in the United States and seeks to reflect upon them through the application of practical theology.  Elements of the Christian theological tradition will serve the current project as a norming influence[1] and ground subsequent proposed responses to the proliferation of speech, warfare depiction, and entertainment that spur militarism.  This project does not intend to determine whether or not war is ever justified; it focuses on the depiction of and speech about warfare in the American media.

Mass Media Portrayals of Warfare

I have compiled the following series of videos, images, and messages produced by the entertainment industry, United States government, and various news outlets.  Examination of these case studies will reveal thematic language, tropes, and characteristics of warfare depiction. Read more “Talking About War: American Mass Media and Christian Theology”

It Isn’t Barbarism When We’re Giving Kudos

This week’s GOP presidential debate showcased an eruption of applause for Governor Rick Perry and his state’s track record of 234 more inmate executions than any other state, “more than any other governor in modern times.”  Barbaric? According to Perry, absolutely not.  Americans simply “understand justice.”

Fun Fact:

Between 1973 and 1995, the Senate Judiciary Committee found the “overall rate of serious reversible error in capital cases” to be 68 percent of almost 4,600 cases studied.1

But I can see how one wouldn’t lose any sleep at night over such problems; after all, the real Americans are clapping.

[1] Gushee, David P. and Glen H. Stassen. Kingdom Ethics. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003, p211

Create Your Own Caption: Nifty Gifty U.S. Military Crosses

Nifty-Gifty Military Crosses
Nifty-Gifty Military Crosses

The irony here is strong.  In order to explore the depths of meaning behind these souvenirs recently discovered at a shop in Gorman, California, we’re having a caption contest.  Create a caption for this picture and leave it in the comments.  Good luck and in hoc signo vinces!

UPDATE/DISCLAIMERThere is no disrespect intended by this post, or the subsequent comments, toward the members of our military.  One must realize, however, how crazy the idea of a cross imprinted with the seal of the United States military is.

Addressing Our Heart Warming Practice of Self-Interest in 300 Words or Less

We respond to a discussion starter in 300 words or less each week in our Christian Ethics class.

This week’s topic was particularly beautiful, so I thought I’d share it: Read more “Addressing Our Heart Warming Practice of Self-Interest in 300 Words or Less”

Pin the Tail on the Death Penalty

blind_justice

Justice is blind,” or so the saying goes.  If justice were blind in the United States of America, why are blacks who kill whites twenty-two times more likely to face execution than blacks who kill blacks?[1]  Why does the jury selection process often succeed in selecting all white panels in areas where the majority of the population is African American?[2]  Why aren’t the affluent ever executed in our society?[3]  Why is it always the poor who face capital punishment?  I’ll tell you why; because Justice is a liar.  Her blindfolded act is a sham.  She clearly sees in terms of race and economic status. Read more “Pin the Tail on the Death Penalty”