Friday Links

I spent the day hanging out with my family, so these are coming a little late…

–Why Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is neither brave nor serious.

–Free-range meat isn’t necessarily “natural.”

–A case for universalism from the Scottish evangelical preacher and biblical scholar William Barclay.

–A review of a recent book called What’s the Least I can Believe and Still Be a Christian?

–The WaPo reviews a local prog-metal band called Iris Divine (here’s their MySpace page).

–Do Americans love war?

–Speaking of war, April 12 marks the 150th anniversary of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter and the onset of the Civil War. I’m thinking of marking the anniversary by finally tackling James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom this spring.

–As I write this, it looks like the two parties are getting close to a budget agreement that will avert a government shutdown. But I still wanted to note that a shutdown would have a major impact on the District itself, shutting down a number of basic city services. This is something that hasn’t gotten much attention.

–The AV Club continues its feature “Loud”–a monthly review of the latest in punk, hardcore, metal, and noise.

Friday Links

–Why Washington doesn’t care about jobs.

–At the Moral Mindfield, Marilyn has more on the question of whether welfare reforms benefit animals raised for food.

–Metallica’s classic album Master of Puppets turned 25(!) yesterday. This was the first real metal album I ever heard, and it’s still one of the best.

–NPR’s “First Listen” is streaming the new REM album in its entirety.

–For all the sci-fi nerd parents of small children out there: Goodnight, Dune.

–David Brooks will decide when it’s time for you to die.

–A lecture from Peter Singer: Evolution versus ethics.

–From the blog Experimental Theology, a series of posts on universalism: part 1, part 2, and part 3.

–How all the extra noise created by human beings affects animals.

–On James Alison and discipleship.

–Peter Gomes, the black, Republican (at least until late in his life), openly gay Baptist preacher who was the long-time minister at Harvard’s Memorial Church, died unexpectedly from complications associated with a stroke this week. Michael Westmoreland-White has an overview of Gomes’ life and work.

–Two good ones from Fred Clark at the (newly moved!) Slacktivist: The epistemology of Team Hell and Should I not be concerned?

–In honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 9th, Oxfam is “raising awareness about hunger, climate change, and other crises facing women worldwide.”

ADDED LATER: Glad to see Marvin back in action with posts on Christian Taoism, the politics of union-busting, and the Rob Bell-universalism brouhaha.

Some links for the weekend

– Peter Singer on balancing concern for the environment with efforts to lift people out of poverty.

– Kevin Drum on the difference between liberals and libertarians.

– Bob Herbert on Sargent Shriver: “one of America’s great good men.”

– Peter Berger’s blog at The American Interest. (Here’s a piece on recent developments in American Lutheranism.)

– A three-part article from Derek on communing the unbaptized:1|2|3.

– Bls says the church needs a program. (Or does it already have one?)

– How Moby-Dick navigates between fanaticism and nihilism. And a previous piece on a similar topic by the same author.

– A killer new song from the German tech-death band Obscura.

Friday Metal: Everyone in Converse

Here’s a clever video from the German metalcore band Heaven Shall Burn (a very metal name, that):

Friday Metal: As I Lay Dying, “Condemned”

From their new album, “The Powerless Rise”:

The triumphant return of Friday Metal!

Friday Metal: Day after Earth Day edition

Gojira, “Embrace the World”

I sit on a rock
Cannot be touched by struggle & confusion
I reclaim my space inside my structure
Look at this point
All is about nothing, everything comes near
The remotest parts of the world

By silence
We can dissolve disruptive vibrations
I have to try
Gaia’s alive for good
Under my feet the forest
Over me the largest
It’s roundness I feel
Lifelong misery
How do we get to Avalon?
There is a bridge beyond
Indestructible the earth is a temple

I cannot see what is wrong and
All gods are one

I close my eyes
I’m all around, I feel so present
Embracing it’s vastness I hold
Facing the world
I become a part of it
I’m not alone anymore

I embrace the world

Friday Metal: Peter Steele, RIP

I was never a big Type O Negative fan, but was sad to hear about the death of frontman Peter Steele this week. Here’s “Black No. 1”:

Friday Metal: Barren Earth, “Curse of the Red River”

“Supergroup” may be stretching it a bit for some, considering the band members are drawn from relatively obscure European death metal bands, but Barren Earth’s full-length debut is very good. Here’s the title track:

(Good) Friday Metal: Iron Maiden, “Run to the Hills”

Live in Bogota, Colombia, from their 2009 documentary “Flight 666”: