The Nation’s Pulse

The Nation's Pulse


By 10.25.13

The scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the goblins, those kids egging your house, or biting down on a sharp surprise in a Special Dark. It’s adults who impersonate children. 

Halloween, a holiday for children, has transformed into an unholy day for adults; its focus has shifted from gustatory appetites to sexual ones. It doesn’t take a warlock to see that this is frightening.

Popular costumes this year include Miley Cyrus’s mouse leotard, theHunger Games huntress, and, long after its sell-by date, variations on the 50 Shades of Grey theme, which is a long way of saying that by far the most popular costume this year, and indeed for at least 10 years running, is “whore.”

The Nation's Pulse

The Improbable Return of the Family Farm

By 10.18.13

In a time of free market consolidation.

The Nation's Pulse

The Case for (a Different Kind of) Education

By 10.17.13

Public schools are failing, private schools too expensive -- why not try something else?

The Nation's Pulse

Bishop Spong’s Unintended Consequence

By 10.14.13

A recent Religion News Service article on infamous Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong celebrates him as an aging maverick whose provocative sexual and theological stances supposedly are no longer controversial. At age 82, the former Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, is writing his 24th book. In the 1980s and 1990s his works infamously speculated that the Virgin Mary was impregnated by a Roman soldier, that St. Paul was a self-hating homosexual, and that Jesus’ unresurrected body was torn asunder by wild dogs. 

A former Southern segregationist, Spong celebrated his spiritual maturity away from racism into more enlightened religion, which also rejected Christian orthodoxy. He later joined the then publicity savvy Jesus Seminar, whose liberal scholars once made headlines by voting with marbles over which Gospel stories were not true.

The Nation's Pulse

Bishop Spong’s Unintended Consequence

By 10.14.13

His reinterpretations have sped the decline of Protestant institutions.

The Nation's Pulse

Bakery Bullies

By From the October 2013 issue

On a cold morning this past January in Gresham, Ore., Aaron Klein sat down with two customers at the bakery he owned with his wife, Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The two women, a bride and her mother, were making plans to purchase a wedding cake. Before discussing the details, Klein asked his customers a few standard questions. When would the wedding be? What was the groom’s name? At the second question, there was an awkward hesitation, and the mother explained that this would be a wedding between two brides. Klein politely but firmly told them that because of his and his wife’s Christian beliefs, they would not bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Without a word, the bride and her mother got up and left.

The Nation's Pulse

Shutdown Artists

By 10.7.13

Resisting the sweeping “shutdown” authority of our beloved Obama administration.

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Thank Goodness It’s Only a Government Shutdown

By 10.4.13

Obama doesn't bring us together. Football does.

The Nation's Pulse

Time Streams in a Small Town

By 10.3.13

A summer trifecta in the farming town of Kenyon, Minnesota.

The Nation's Pulse

Double Frappuccino, Hold the Pistol

By 10.2.13

(10:22 a.m.) Tony, our head barista, tells me that Frank Miller is gunning for me and plans to meet me at high noon at Starbucks. I consider myself a peaceable man who doesn’t look for trouble, but Miller is after me for supposedly crowding into line ahead of him for my morning frappuccino. He vows to get back at me. Miller, a notorious outlaw, was nabbed several times for stealing packets of Splenda from various Starbucks.

(10:47 a.m.) The clock is ticking but I need to protect myself from the crazed gunman for terrorizing baristas while other patrons cower beneath tables and behind their laptops, fearing for their lives. Until now, it has been impossible to find a table without Wi-Fi.

(10:58 a.m.) Miller is notorious for shooting up a Starbucks in Dodge City and another in Durango, where he and his boys made off with a valuable supply of chocolate-covered biscotti. Clearly the varmint will stop at nothing. Miller swept through four or five Starbucks in Denver and is said to be on his way to our little neighborhood hangout.