As spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere, pieces in this issue of The Public Sphere fathom the hopes, limits, possibilities, and problems of seasonal shifts and moments of personal or social change. Taking a cue from U.S. attorney general Eric Holder, Valerie Bailey considers that liberal Protestants, and the U.S., more broadly require a new confession that addresses pervasive moral cowardice, and Jacqueline Hidalgo engages Ugly Betty in the non-postracial era. Breanne Fahs wonders if and in what ways Natalie Dylan’s sale of her virginity is and is not a feminist act. Jeremy Fernando explores the ritual necessities of Valentine’s Day, while Paloma Ramírez finds inadequate romantic comedies to be a cultural curse. In more artistic meditations, Hope Miller reflects on a road trip to Utah, and Geoshino Ollscia ponders seasonal rains. Finally, Katy Scrogin weighs the value of violence in artistic truth.
- Hockey Moms, Prayer Nazis, and Why I Love But Fear People Like Sarah PalinRemember that really nice girl who greeted you warmly as a potential friend when you first arrived at college? Remember how she conscientiously invited you to dinner, or to study, or to her Christian fellowship activity? Remember the conversations about religion that you thought were a precursor to sharing secrets among friends? But then you expressed a different opinion, or you joined a liberal club, or you started to explore your sexuality, and suddenly, you felt a sharp pain in your back? Betrayed by some evangelical whom you thought was a friend?
- Your 258 Closest FriendsAn acquaintance of mine claims to have 258 friends. That number could be larger, actually; the figure only represents the number of boon companions who show up on her MySpace page and not those additional pals who might appear in real time but avoid online social networking.
- The Church Needs a New Confession: Pathetic-ness as Moral FailingOvert evil is easy to discuss. It’s banal evil that is hard to acknowledge. And you can’t confess to a sin until that sin has been acknowledged. Churches spent the rest of the twentieth century acknowledging the sins of genocide. However, in her writings, Hannah Arendt, who witnessed the trials against the Nazis, wrote about how the Nazi war criminals resisted acknowledging that their boring, nine-to-five office jobs of record keeping or laboratory work on the use of chemicals in the gas chambers had actually been evil. In her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Arendt chronicles the wartime activities and trial of German Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, who claimed that he was only doing his bureaucratic job as a transportation logician.
- Missing the Good Samaritan on the Present-Day Road to JerichoThis year, while serving as a chaperone for college students on a nearly two-week trip to the Holy Land, our Palestinian tour guide pointed out that our bus was now on the Road to Jericho. I sat up in shock; the Jericho Road had now become real and covered in asphalt. I looked at the road, stunned at how much it looked like the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Except, in the middle of the road was a huge concrete wall that seemed to stretch almost ten stories into the sky.
- The New, Hard Work of PlayPerhaps we would all enjoy ourselves more... if we let kids be kids when and in the places they need to be kids, and parents be adults when and in the places they need to be adults.
- What We Lose When We Lose GodAO Scott has recently proposed that we are living in a post-partiarchal age that is also the end of adulthood. Here I want to suggest that the death of God continues to be a more fundamental liberating loss of our cultural moment.
- Red Baiting MandelaIn the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death in 2013, a small, but vocal, number of critics decided to pull out an old canard about his affiliation with Communism.
- Howling AgainIt would be wrong, wouldn’t it<br> to ask for sacrificial stand-ins<br> cheap substitutes
2008 election Asian Asian-American Break-up Bush administration Christianity cultural memory Election election 2008 eric holder Filipina Filipino Filipino-American gay marriage healthcare reform human sexuality identity immigration Internet Introduction Iran marriage Presidential Election race racism Religion same-sex marriage social aspects of sexuality Tagalog Travel