Why Are You Laughing?

Two ways of looking at “Je suis Charlie.”

"Turn Left" by manitoon via Flickr.

What’s Left?

Daniel Schultz parses a political theology.

Killing the Buddha

Ghosts of Cairo

Anthea Butler hears the ghost of Malcolm X in Obama’s Cairo speech. “So the past isn’t over until we understand it,” writes poet Lawrence Raab in his new book, The History of Forgetting, “which is one of the reasons / ghosts keep appearing.” Obama’s speech will not allow them to rest, says Alexander Cockburn. “There…

Killing the Buddha

The Mysteries of Torture

One doesn’t often look to Keith Olbermann for revelation of religion in the public sphere, but he inadvertently exposes the raw nerve at the heart of the “debate” over torture. Broadly generalizing, we might say that on one side, the anti-torture side, are humanists, empiricists, who base their opposition not in religious morality, as might…

Killing the Buddha

Talmud vs. Torture

I noted yesterday that religious voices against torture have not been clearly heard in the public conversation. That’s in part the fault of a media that tends to “get” religion only when expressed as either innocuous spirituality — the stuff of inspirational tales in the Saturday paper — or dangerous fanaticism, perfume or mustard gas.…