‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’

Beware of anyone who wants to eliminate all arbiters of law, legitimacy, and truth. Beware of anyone who dismisses law, or fact-checking, or academics, or science, or data. If they see those arbiters as a threat, then they likely see truth and reality as an obstacle. They’re probably trying to lead you somewhere unreal. [Read more…]

Taste the rainbow

Tonight we’ll see if Donald Trump is able to pretend to be something other than Donald Trump for 90 whole minutes. Let Trump be Trump. Also: A sad day for baseball; Mark and Homer; Rudy Giuliani is literally atrocious; and Eric Metaxas is a silly, silly man. [Read more…]

Sunday favorites

“You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning.” [Read more…]

LBCF, No. 100: ‘BBC3’

Replaying the familiar Gospel scenes in an “anti-Gospel” of Nicolae Carpathia would have allowed our authors to explore the character and meaning of both Christ and Antichrist. Such an approach might have proved both entertaining and edifying, which is what Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins say they intended these books to be. But I’m afraid our authors aren’t terribly interested in the character and meaning of either Christ or Antichrist. [Read more…]

‘We must love one another or die’

Moral obligation — love, solidarity — is boundless and universal. It is also, always, particular and differentiated. Those two things are not in conflict. Those two things have never been in conflict. Pretending that they are in conflict always leaves a trail of bodies. [Read more…]

‘To keep oneself unstained by the world’

Purity is the main thing here, after all — retaining the unsullied perfection of our undefiled religion. The whole orphans and widows bit is really just thrown in there as an afterthought for those who feel kind of weird just sitting around, avoiding the world, stayin’ pure and undefiled. But clearly it’s optional. Extra-credit, maybe, but not required. And really it’s just too dangerous to risk it. [Read more…]

You have to keep an eye on the thing you’re refusing to look at

A T-shirt reading “Sandusky is innocent” is not a claim that those wearing it have access to some body of evidence unknown to the courts and the public and Sandusky’s own attorneys. The claim has nothing to do with evidence or with logic. It’s based on desire. This is what they want to be true, and so this is what they choose to believe “truth” means. [Read more…]

Oh yeah? Well what about Robert Byrd?

Any discussion of Trumpian racism is likely to be changed, abruptly, into a discussion of former West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd — the No. 1 go-to tu quoque response for white Republicans defending Trump. Tu quoque is a fancy Latin phrase meaning, roughly, “So’s your mother,” and like all arguments taking this form, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Those shouting “Robert Byrd!” inevitably don’t understand what they’re saying — rejecting the basis of their own argument as well as its only possible conclusion. [Read more…]

Sunday favorites

“Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;
those who are glad at calamity will not go unpunished.” [Read more…]

LBCF, No. 99: ‘Boutros Boutros Carpathia 2’

This, keep in mind, is being presented as stirring oratory. “Buck was tired and felt grimy wearing two-day-old clothes,” L&J write. “But his worries were a distant memory as Carpathia moved along.” And what, exactly, does Carpathia say that causes Buck to forget his worries? He recites the names of the member states of the United Nations. Alphabetically. No, really. [Read more…]