“The Patient Body” is a monthly column by Ann Neumann about issues at the intersection of religion and medicine. This month: Politicizing sick bodies and the body politic’s sickness. Continue Reading →
A friendly reminder to all of us at the start of this new election cycle: “Pro-life” means much, much more than just anti-abortion. It’s an entire set of beliefs leveled at legislating bodily autonomy. For women, yes and most controversially, but also for the sick, the poor, the disabled, the terminal, gays, parents; in short, “pro-life” efforts impact health care access for all of us, regardless of our belief systems. So stories like this, at The Economist, are helpful but fall way short of the necessary discussion that should be taking place in the national media. Continue Reading →
By Jeff Sharlet
The reverence with which so many upper-middle class Americans read The Economist has always puzzled me. There’s much to admire about the magazine, but it generally performs the same function as Newsweek, boiling down events into centrist conventional wisdom, facts be damned. A report in the July 3, 2010 issue, “The religious right in east Africa: Slain by the spirit,” is a case in point. I’ve been reporting on the religious right anti-gay movement in Uganda from here in the U.S. and from Kampala for nine months now, so I’m in a good position to see The Economist’s strange moves; I wonder what I’d make of the article that follows it, on Somaliland’s elections, if I were as informed on that story. But one needn’t have expertise to debunk The Economist’s report; a Google search would do it, especially if you landed, as you likely would, on the well-documented blogs of gay activist Jim Burroway or evangelical scholar Warren Throckmorton.
The biggest error is The Economist’s declaration that the bill no longer calls for the death penalty. That’s propaganda put out by the bill’s defenders. In fact, as I learned by asking the bill’s author, Ugandan Member of Parliament David Bahati, it does. (I’ll be publishing those interviews in my forthcoming book, C Street.) Bahati acknowledges that the death penalty may drop out of the final version; but it hasn’t yet, and it’s dangerous for The Economist to say as much. Continue Reading →