Martyrdom vs. Martyr Complexes

Fred Clark has a post about an Evangelical blog entry by Karen Swallow Prior that made a connection between the martyrdom of Stephen and the fact that Hobby Lobby is going to have to provide comprehensive insurance for employees, including coverage for things that the employer personally does not want to. Employers have always had [Read More…]

Don’t Force Us To Obey The Bible!

Someone made a point on Facebook that I thought was really insightful and worth turning into a brief post here. Time and again, I have heard conservatives say that taxing the rich to care for the poor is antithetical to Biblical teaching because it is essentially forcing people “at gunpoint” to give, rather than allowing [Read More…]

The American Samaritan

In a comment on yesterday’s post depicting a “Bad Samaritan,” it was suggested that there were ways of depicting a conservative American outlook that might be more accurate. It inspired the above image. What do you think? If the “Good Samaritan” in the story in Luke’s Gospel reflected conservative American values, rather than those of [Read More…]

The Bad Samaritan

Earlier today I created an image to illustrate one popular inversion of the Bible, and now I am sharing another, which I found rather than created. If the Samaritan who behaved as depicted in the story in Luke came to be known as the good Samaritan, then must we not say that one who speaks [Read More…]

Beyond the Queen James Bible

I read with interest in recent days the news (which I thought I’d heard announced at some point before) about the¬†Queen James Bible. What this Bible does is translate the eight “clobber passages” in ways that reflect what many scholars understand them to mean, seeking to make clear that they are not about contemporary same-sex [Read More…]

Fringe: There is Only One God in this Laboratory

The episode of Fringe “Black Blotter,” which aired last week, fascinated a lot of people because of its LSD-augmented aspects, and in particular its surreal tribute to Monty Python (with an Empire Strikes Back moment worked in for good measure). There has been a connection between religion and psychedelic drug use for as long as [Read More…]

Skewed Conservative Christian Priorities

Bob Cargill created and shared this checklist: I think Bob is right about some things and sort of wrong about some things. I think he is right when he says that the skewed prioritization has to change, and that there is reason to be hopeful that it is indeed changing. I think he is sort [Read More…]

If Jesus Spoke Like Some of His Modern Followers

And here’s a reminder that not all of Jesus’ followers sound like that. Some, I think, sound rather more like he did. A friend shared this quote on Facebook: praying together as a class in school isn’t christian. and the pledge of allegiance is NOT christian. and plastering bible verses on walls of public buildings [Read More…]

Why I’m Glad Matthew’s Infancy Narrative Isn’t Literally True

In the wake of tragedy, we may view things differently. While some at church this morning spouted offensive platitudes (despite the pastor’s explicit mention of the pain they cause and their inappropriateness), I found myself thinking about the text of the sermon, about the massacre of the innocents in Matthew 2. In the story, it [Read More…]

Profiting from Tragedy

As always, when some individual or groups pull out their guns and mow down innocent victims, as happened today in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, there are people who will try to profit from it. I'm not talking here about the makers and sellers of guns, although they do indeed profit both at [Read More…]