Harvey Weinstein, Tim Murphy, and the Evil Fruit of Tribalism

On the surface Harvey Weinstein and Tim Murphy have nothing in common. Weinstein is a Hollywood mogul and an avid supporter of various liberal causes, such as Planned Parenthood. Murphy is a Republican Congressman and a staunch proponent of the pro-life movement. But last week both men were exposed as frauds. On October 5 The New York Times published a scathing expose of Weinstein and his long history of sexual harassment. The same day, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced that Murphy intended to resign as a result of the fallout from the news that Murphy was having an affair and urged his pregnant mistress to get an abortion.

While Wenstein’s gross conduct was news to the general public, it was well known to those inside the Hollywood bubble. And while it is unclear to what extent Murphy’s affair was known, there is evidence that other sorts of workplace abuse and misconduct were widely known in GOP Congressional circles. So why weren’t these men exposed as charlatans before now? Continue reading

Eulogy for the Obama Presidency

According to polling data, I am not supposed to like President Obama. I am white, I live in the South, I am an evangelical, and I am a conservative. But contrary to these demographics, I have always had a a measure of personal appreciation for the President. I am no fan of his politics, but I have always felt positively toward him as a person. Maybe it’s because our childhoods were so similar (his father was also absent and he was raised in part by his grandmother as well). Maybe it’s because he is a huge college basketball fan like me. Or maybe because, by all accounts, he is a faithful husband and devoted father. I judge politicians on a personal level by the “could I envision going to a ballgame and having a good time with him/her” test. And on that test, President Obama passes with flying colors.

In view of the final day of his presidency, I wanted to offer some reflections on his time in office. I thought about entitling this post Thinking Through Faith as a Citizen. But there are broader issues to discuss regarding Christian citizenship, topics I hope to address in future articles. Instead I decided to call this post Eulogy for the Obama Presidency. I am a preacher, after all, and writing eulogies is part of my job. Literally, eulogy means “good word.” And I intend to say some good words about the President’s time in office. But eulogies are usually delivered at funerals, a time of great sorrow, and a sense of sadness pervades my thoughts about the Obama presidency as well. Continue reading