The Pearly Gates are never, ever closed

The Pearly Gates of Heaven are a cliché image in popular culture. Every time a famous person dies, newspaper cartoonists churn out variations of the Famous Person at the Pearly Gates cartoon. The same Pearly Gates scene gets recycled endlessly in movies, TV shows, advertising, and more jokes than we could ever get written down. But in all of that pop-culture imagery and in all the religious folklore built around it, we tend to get one detail of John of Patmos’ vision completely backwards. [Read more…]

‘It sounds like a whisper’

Here’s Tracy Chapman with your Saturday protest anthem and open thread.   [Read more…]

LBCF, No. 123: ‘An inconvenient sooth’

Originally posted August 3, 2007. Read this entire series, for free, via the convenient Left Behind Index. This post is also part of the ebook collection The Anti-Christ Handbook: Volume 1, available on Amazon for just $2.99. Volume 2 of The Anti-Christ Handbook, completing all the posts on the first Left Behind book, is also now available. Left [Read More…]

The IndigNation

American society is marked by the baffling phenomenon of the haves resenting the have-nots. This is such a common feature of American life that we almost get inured to how dazzlingly weird this is. The wealthy deride the poor as “takers.” The rich resent the poor. White folks indignantly resent people of color. Men resent women. The powerful resent the powerless. This is ass-backwards and utterly illogical. [Read more…]

Trump is the logical outcome of the white evangelical narrative of decline

Donald Trump is the end-product (so far) of the white evangelical narrative of decline — the product of generations of jeremiads bemoaning every small step of greater justice and greater equality for women, people of color, and religious and sexual minorities. That narrative has always condemned and rejected “Selma, Seneca Falls, and Stonewall” as — in Howe’s words — “American cultural decline” that is “moving the country farther from resembling [a] Christian society.” [Read more…]

Postcards from the class & culture wars (2.21.17)

“I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” [Read more…]

A super-massive black hole and why I don’t like worship music

Many of the songs and choruses that make up our “worship music” claim to be about God, but the language they use to describe God is indistinct from the language we might use to try to describe the super-massive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Many of these songs could be sung, without changing a word, by a Sagittarius A* death cult. [Read more…]

Sunday favorites

“Almighty, give attention to us who are suffering grievously from an impious and profane man, puffed up in his audacity and power. For you, the creator of all things and the governor of all, are a just ruler, and you judge those who have done anything in insolence and arrogance.” [Read more…]

LBCF, No. 122: ‘Fact and fiction’

Left Behind is a fictional world, and as such its creators are free to invent a fictional president, a fictional Manhattan that’s 50 miles long, and a fictional U.N. with fictional powers. They are even free to invent a fictional Bible full of fictional prophecies. This is exactly what LaHaye and Jenkins have done. Their problem — and it’s a big problem — is that neither they nor most of their millions of devoted readers realize that this is what they have done. [Read more…]

Don’t know a soul who’s not been battered

President Donald Trump held a press conference today. It was bonkers. Plus: Elizabeth Drew provides an overview of the first three weeks of Trump’s presidency; a Barton-ite Republican announces his candidacy; and Reverend Bruiser vs. Dr. Viper. [Read more…]