I do not care for primary season


Primary campaigns, and particularly primary debates, tend to get bogged down in purity disputes. When the candidates mostly agree on policies, programs, and priorities, they turn to debating purity, and the focus shifts to accusations and counter-accusations in which old votes and speeches are parsed for supposed evidence of a failure to uphold 100-percent purity on the agreed-upon stance. This is play-acting and pretense and it’s worse than meaningless. [Read more...]

NRA: The most trusted name in news (is not ‘Global Weekly’)


So far in the Great Tribulation, CNN is crushing the competition. The cable news channel has established itself as the one and only reliable source for breaking news in the earth’s last days. Fox News is AWOL in this story — I suppose because everyone there was Raptured. And over at Global Weekly, the world’s greatest reporter has decided to take the month off for an “escapade” in Israel, and to attend a funeral back in Illinois. [Read more...]

Sunday favorites

“Wealth is treacherous; the arrogant do not endure. … Shall not everyone taunt such people and, with mocking riddles, say about them … Because you have plundered many nations, all that survive of the peoples shall plunder you.” [Read more...]

Pray that you will be among those ‘left behind’


To promote their Rapture mythology, “Bible prophecy” enthusiasts turn to Matthew 24, as read through the filter of the Scofield Bible and the lyrics of a Larry Norman song. But Larry and Scofield very clearly get that passage wrong. They’re reading it backwards. In Matthew 24, getting “left behind” is a Good Thing. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 67: ‘Selective literalism’


The point of all three of Jesus’ stories, of course, is that the kingdom of God is made up of those who do good, not those who do evil — and particularly not those evildoers (weeds, goats, Dives) who ignore the needs of the poor. To read such stories and ignore this point is perverse. To interpret them as primarily about the specific mechanics of the End Times — the role of Abraham and angels, the heat-setting of the fiery furnace — is even more perverse. [Read more...]

Could you be my little movie star?

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Now that evangelical colleges like Oral Roberts are cool with requiring students to wear Fitbits, does this mean we can move past our cultural Mark-of-the-Beast-phobia and stop having to carry around paper documentation of auto registration and proof of insurance? Also: Freeform Nephilim, jury duty, Robyn Hitchcock’s Kaddish, Nehushtan in Texas, and Winona, forever. [Read more...]

Marco Rubio and the Hebrew Congregation of Newport


To Sen. Marco Rubio, President Obama’s visit yesterday to a Baltimore mosque was “divisive.” Obama’s acknowledgement of the equal rights of religious minorities, to Rubio, amounts to “pitting people against each other.” So let’s revisit President George Washington’s 1790 “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport.” It’s really good, but Marco Rubio isn’t gonna like it. [Read more...]

There were voices down the corridor

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Ah yes, the “Hotel California” urban legend, widely embraced by white evangelicals eager to believe that the Eagles’ hit song was a detailed allegory about the Church of Satan. This applied the interpretive approach evangelicals had taught themselves for reading Genesis, Revelation, and the Sermon on the Mount — read the metaphors literally and the literal statements as metaphors. Thus a song about selling one’s soul to the music industry turns into a song about musicians actually selling their souls. [Read more...]