A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? I’m still feeling that Pandemic Wall. I find I’m resistant to making even small plans, and hesitant . Probably some good rest will help, so I’m keeping the weekend as clear as possible.

The only for-sure activity is watching Wanda-Vision with the kids after dinner tonight. Have you been watching? We are very into it. And maybe we’ll play a round of Blair Monopoly — Oscar made it for us for Christmas and it’s so a full-on treasure.

Ready for your weekend links? Here are a few things I’ve been wanting to share:

-One in every 475 Native Americans has died from Covid since the start of the pandemic. For the Navajo Nation, it’s one in every 160 people. “Our collective grief is unimaginable.”

-A horrific story of sexual (and other forms of) abuse at a white-run orphanage in East Africa.

-A Japanese Museum that features artifacts resembling faces.

-This NYT piece categorizes all the individuals charged related to Jan 6th.

-It’s Time to Talk About Violent Christian Extremism.

Hand-Made Valentines: 8 Favorites for Kids, and 6 for Grownups

-Despite having billions in cash and other funds, Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. took billions more from an emergency relief program for small businesses slammed by the coronavirus. (Oh crap. Am I about to hear the same thing regarding the LDS church?)

Examining the Case Against the Filibuster.

-The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.

-“Nearly 70% of Americans support President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan.”

-Ordered this sweatshirt: Pay Black Women. (There’s a t-shirt too!)

Here are some tweets I saved for you:

-Do you remember when you first understood what privilege means?

This thread was total news to me. I didn’t know that teaching anti-democracy was a thing for certain American religious groups.

ADHD in women.

Can’t wrap my head around it either.

Love this so much.

Should the tent be so big it accommodates Anti-Semitism?

-The extremely-wealthy hoard more money than they could possibly spend while their fellow citizens starve.

-Tying health insurance to employment was always a mistake.

We have a sexism problem.


I hope you have a really relaxing weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


20 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. Wow, so many great links! Especially grateful for the Politico piece about Elizabeth Neumann…I’ve been hoping for a good shareable essay like this that connects the dots between QAnon, Christian extremism, and violence. And I had no idea about the bipartisan shadow campaign–and I’ve been paying attention!

    1. Well, I haven’t read it yet, but I can’t think of an explanation that would make me think any church (including my own) should benefit from government relief intended for small businesses. Especially considering churches are tax-exempt, and small businesses most definitely are not.

  2. The explainer Andrea linked to does a great of explaining just why the Catholic church received PPP loans. It’s because it’s not one organization. The parish church in my neighborhood is a different legal entity than the K-8 school located on the property adjacent to the parish church and those two are each different entities that the Catholic charity a few miles away and they are different legal entities from say, another Catholic parish or church across the country. They all have the name ‘Catholic’ but are separate legal entities that employ people in the community. I’ve thought about the people I know who work there; do I still want the music director who is an amazing organist to have a job so that music is still available to the students and still there for the community concerts when covid is over? You bet I do. Just because the school, church, and charity have ‘Catholic’ in their title doesn’t mean their budgets and finances are all interconnected. Just because they are non-profits with the name ‘Catholic’ doesn’t mean that the people who work there don’t do any less good or need jobs any less than any other non-profit or small business in the community. I’d much rather see PPP loans to go these local places than large corporations.

    1. It still seems clear that there are enough funds in the Catholic church’s coffers to support all of those different entities without relying on government support while being tax exempt. The same thing is true for the Mormon church. Hey, if churches want to give up tax exempt status, I’m happy to change my mind. Tax exempt churches shouldn’t be competing with actual small businesses for relief. And obviously, big corporations shouldn’t be either.

  3. Our (Lutheran) church received a PPP loan of about $218,000 last year. All of the money went to pay the salaries of the preschool and after school program staff. They were completely closed until August and have been at reduced capacity since then. I feel fine with this as it kept the staff (almost all women) employed.

  4. “tying health insurance to employment is a control mechanism”

    So much truth in that statement. At a previous employer that offered gold-plated health insurance, we referred to that as “the golden handcuffs”, because the place was otherwise pretty miserable.
    I’ve always wondered why the political brains can’t turn this into an issue of competitiveness. Just imagine the entrepreneurial spirit one could release if people didn’t have to risk their family’s access to healthcare in order to start their own business.

  5. Atima and I (and some other awesome activists) co-founded a police reform group. Cool to see you share her tweet – she’s great!

  6. Great list as always. I hope you can get some rest. I also hope your mom is doing well!

    That tweet about a sexism problem is spot on. I just wrote a post about this issue in my life. I’m planning to go back to work in the fall and so many things should change now that there’s just no denying how deeply impacted we still are by the patriarchy.

  7. Now I am really curious about the details of Blair Monopoly!
    Considering all the cool things I have read here about Oscar over the years and by the looks of it, I’ m sure it was a fantastic Christmas present. :)
    Thank you for the links and a happy weekend for you all.

  8. Regarding employer-provided health care, and how it can be (is?) a “control mechanism” to keep people employed – as an employer (small biz), it goes the other way too – it’s an administrative/HR and financial burden that I wish was not on my plate.

  9. One of my favorite Friday posts ever. Especially loved focus on democracy.

    Would like to know more on LDS church and 54 million–sources?

    Just did a cursory look–because I really hope the church didn’t take the money.

    Here is a report in the Deseret News from May 2020 that says the money was turned down by church universities. Does anyone have additional information?

    1. I’d appreciate additional information as well. Shannon, where did you read that? Do you have a source? If not, I don’t want to keep your comment up. It’s not okay when people try and use this platform to spread nonsense.

  10. I know our Presbyterian church took PPP loans. Our church’s real estate holdings are tax exempt, but we pay all employer-side taxes, same as any other employer. Our church is actually four different NFP entities with staff, including our area’s largest daily soup kitchen, our area’s largest weekly food pantry, a “meals on wheels” service that delivers 20,000 meals to homebound weekly (up from 5,000 meals pre-covid). We are the area’s largest employer for formerly incarcerated.

    Of course, I don’t know the issues involving all the PPP money that went to the Catholic Church. But I do know when we have a client with tricky immigration issues, we turn to the lawyers at Catholic Charities, who provide excellent professional services for free.

    Under the Bush administration, the US government kicked a lot of services over to community providers, most of whom are facilitated by a church (in our region anyway). While I’d prefer these services were run by the state, I’m happy to have these services supported during the pandemic

  11. I also just read this book that I found really interesting- Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow. Right after the Capitol Riot, Trevor Noah had linked to a clip of the author and subject when they were on his show a few years ago. I found it especially interesting how this former white nationalist (whose ideas changed in college) was able to change his long held beliefs because of various and divergent ways his classmates reacted to him (exclusion, but also inclusion and continued discussion).

  12. Karen, yes to this! I’ve always wondered why Republicans don’t consider it a win for business to have universal health care.

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