The Pit Gets Crowded

Last weekend my wife and I did a brief communion talk at our “new” (in COVID-adjusted terms) church, in which we touched on a few of the points I’d made in my Pit Stop post from a couple years back, surrounding this Bible passage:

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

– Matthew 12:9-11 (NIV)

In a nutshell, the post commented on how painful it was to watch much of white American evangelicalism’s Pharisee-like slow-motion reaction to the continued rise of online misinformation, Christian nationalism/law enforcement hagiography and the ongoing need to address systemic racism and start repenting at the institutional level.

While there’s still an incredibly long way to go, we’ve been fortunate enough to have found a group that’s at least continually taking steps in the right direction and forcing these hard conversations, which I truly appreciate.

All that being said, 2022 keeps on 2022-ing, and the pit is getting more and more crowded. Let’s peer in at two recent additions, shall we?

  1. Buoyed by the current Supreme Court, states are playing around with some fairly terrifying anti-abortion laws, including Missouri, which floated (and seems to now be adjusting based on blowback) restrictions for women with very likely non-viable and potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancies.

    Don’t kid yourselves, these attempts will only get more and more brazen. Will evangelicals toe the party line and simply let women lose their rights and/or be forced to die, or will this be a time for a compassionate awakening and the start of real conversations about the history of abortion rights and conservative Christianity in America?

  2. As all sorts of restrictive laws around LGBTQ rights for minors continue to swirl around, will evangelicals be willing to open their minds (and churches, unlike this sad case) to those in the eye of the storm? Given the elevated suicide risk among these children, is it better to let them die or extend a helping hand in love?

There’s no shortage of overconfident evangelicals that will proudly quote their preferred interpretation of Bible passages as a way to whistle right past these sheep in the pit.

As for what Jesus himself would do? I have a pretty good guess, and it’s time to start loudly and publicly talking about it.

Media Diary (February 2022)

Some stuff I’ve experienced lately (and not necessarily only new releases):

Severance (TV): I’ve found this to be incredibly compelling so far

Nightmare Alley (Movie): Fantastic, and I’m always a sucker for sideshows

Grim & Mild Presents: Sideshow (Podcast): Case in point

Inventing Anna (TV): Loved it, now waiting for her return as Ruth Langmore

Kimi (Movie): Sleek and entertaining

Pam & Tommy (TV): I look forward to this every week

Red Rocket (Movie): Was a big fan, and this viewing was part of a mini Sean Baker binge

Tangerine (Movie): Which included this (amazing!)

Starlet (Movie): As well as this (also killer)

Painting With John (TV): Glad it’s back, I find this so relaxing

Archive 81 (TV): Tore through this

The Girl Before (TV): Simple and fascinating

Swan Song (Movie): I found this to be quite moving

We Need To Talk About Cosby (TV): The way he layered in the stories of the women chronologically was powerful and horrifying

The Final Member (Movie): A charming and fascinating look at the world of penis collecting

Des (TV): David Tennant was chilling

The Woman in The House Across The Street From The Girl in The Window (TV): Have just started this, but already enjoying

Murderville (TV): So far, so good on this too

The Tinder Swindler (TV): Insane that he got as far as he did

Media Diary (January 2022)

Some stuff I’ve experienced lately (and not necessarily only new releases):

Ozark (TV): Easily one of the best shows currently “airing”

The Last Duel (Movie): Really enjoyed this

Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera (Podcast): I can’t believe this reality show ever aired (nah, of course I can)

The Righteous Gemstones (TV): This show has no right to be this great

The Tragedy of Macbeth (Movie): Beautiful and haunting

Public Speaking (Movie): Finally got around to seeing this, what a legend

The Gilded Age (TV): Definitely along for the ride

The Card Counter (Movie): Super compelling

King in The Wilderness (Movie): An unflinching look at a great man

Peacemaker (TV): Those opening credits!

Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street (Movie): I read the book years ago, and this was a great refresher

Somebody Somewhere (TV): I love its strange energy and on-target capturing of small Midwestern town vibes

The Super Bob Einstein Movie (Movie): This guy was the best

Snowpiercer (TV): TIME TO GET BACK ON THE TRAIN, FOLKS 🚆

Mr. Saturday Night (Movie): What a career

30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story (Movie): Was fascinating to see the motley crew involved in their creation

The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman (TV): I can’t believe how long this guy kept (and is still keeping!) people under his spell

Jagged (Movie): What an album

Pharma Bro (Movie): Man, this guy

Secrets of Playboy (TV): As you might have guessed, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses at the mansion

American Gadfly (Movie): Amazing how far these teens got!

The Murders at Starved Rock (TV): An interesting case that’s of special interest to those of us that grew up in Illinois

Auto Focus (Movie): Greg Kinnear was amazing

Punch-Drunk Love (Movie): I’d seen this before years ago, but enjoyed it a great deal this time around

Inherent Vice (Movie): This was fine (and had some light Lebowski vibes), but wasn’t mindblowing

Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer (TV): Gruesome, but offers a fascinating look at Times Square’s sordid past

Postcards from Babylon: Evangelicals in the Shadow of Christian Nationalism (Movie): Guys, I think Christian Nationalism might be bad

Doctor Who: Eve of The Daleks (TV): The holiday special was definitely an improvement from the horrible Flux series

Gentlemen Broncos (Movie): This got fairly terrible reviews at the time, but I found it to be pretty solid

The World According to Jeff Goldblum (TV): If Disney+ keeps putting ’em out, I’ll keep watching ’em

Children of Men (Movie): Thought this was fine, but didn’t get into it as much as I expected

Dead Asleep (Movie): What a wild case

JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass (Movie): I was obsessed with JFK when I was younger, so this was a welcome return