Sunday WTF?

“The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands.” [Read more...]

Fourth of July fireworks


“These ministers make religion a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action, nor bowels of compassion. They strip the love of God of its beauty, and leave the throng of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form. It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, and thugs. It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” But a religion which favors the rich against the poor; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, tyrants and slaves; which says to the man in chains, stay there; and to the oppressor, oppress on; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and enslavers of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies his fatherhood of the race, and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man.” [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 40: ‘Ars poetica’

The Steeles' bedroom looks something like this.

Sorrow is the main reason this section of the book sort of works. Rayford here seems to stumble across an insight that eludes Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. He realizes that this “Rapture” idea doesn’t make any difference. Irene and Raymie are gone, and it doesn’t make a bit of difference — to him, or to them — whether it’s due to a Rapture or to an aneurysm. [Read more...]

Try not to be the Bad Guy in the story: What it means to be ‘on the wrong side of history’

This man lost. His side lost. But he was not on "the wrong side of history" because he is the good guy in this story.

“The wrong side of history” is not a claim about the future, but a claim about the present. And it’s not a claim about winners or losers or about the inevitable progress of the dialectic. It’s about good guys and bad guys. Every rhetorical invocation of TWSOH is an invitation to ask Mitchell and Webb’s question: “Are we the baddies?” [Read more...]

Unsolicited product endorsement: The Ultomato


Once your tomato plants get big enough to start drooping, they’re too big to use one of those wire-cone tomato-cage contraptions. There is a better way. Plus: The Bible celebrates non-procreative sex; “81 things Mike Huckabee has denounced;” recipes for land-shrimp; and just a stranger on the bus, tryin’ to make her way home. [Read more...]

Who is [always, constantly] burning black churches?


We don’t have readily available data on the historic or current rates of arson attacks targeting black churches. We thus don’t know if the current wave of reports of such attacks represents an increase in the number of incidents or an increase in the amount of attention paid to them in the media. Whether or not the number or rate of such attacks is currently on the rise, the more important fact is that such attacks on black churches in America have never stopped. [Read more...]

Eric Metaxas says ‘Amen’ to Ann Coulter’s anti-immigrant racism


Ann Coulter’s anti-immigrant campaign is based on an argument that is indistinguishable from the racist manifesto of alleged killer Dylann Roof. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” And supposedly respectable “mainstream” white evangelicals like Eric Metaxas are enthusiastically saying “Amen!” [Read more...]

Tribal gatekeepers are not in the best interest of baseball


Smith’s payoff secured a change in his behavior. Jones’ payoff ensured that his behavior will not change. We might argue that Jones has more integrity because he never strays from his original ideology, but this is faint praise — like arguing that Pete Rose had more integrity than the Chicago Black Sox because he was betting on his team to win instead of deliberately throwing the game. [Read more...]