On Friedersdorf, Conor and Mark discuss a North Carolina church that’s suing for the right to perform same-sex weddings. Does this case show that conservatives are hypocrites about religious freedom? Conor and Mark are both troubled by an Oregon case in which the state’s gay marriage ban is going undefended in court. Has Clippers owner Donald Sterling received due process? They discuss how condemning Sterling’s cartoonish racism lets us off the hook for more insidious forms of bias, like housing discrimination. Is there a downside to the strong American taboo against racism? Plus: Why same-sex marriage is not a slippery slope to polygamy.
On Friedersdorf, Conor and Elizabeth consider how Bushwick, Brooklyn quickly went from post-apocalyptic wasteland to hipster paradise. They discuss the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix and how binge watching has changed our relationship with TV. They move on to a controversial essay by a woman who chooses not to use birth control, which leads to a consideration of new ways that non-fiction writers can tell stories. Is Mark Bittman wrong about eating meat? And is a Northwestern student wrong to refuse to sing a song with lyrics by Walt Whitman?
On Friedersdorf, Mark and Conor kick things off by discussing the Pope’s resignation and how American Catholics are processing it. Can the Church change the internal culture that enabled the sex abuse cover-up? They next explore this question: Is it possible to be an NFL star and a good Christian? And is the idea that sports build character just a myth? Mark explains why he wants to develop the habit of occasionally smoking pot. And Conor argues that in the war on terror, Americans ought to show more courage.