Hallelujah everybody say ‘Cheese’: Christmas is still affordable (The Robert Earl Keen Christmas Price Index for 2014)

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Nobody has $116,000 lying around to buy their true love 12 days of weirdly archaic Christmas presents. You need to save your money for those big family gatherings, when three hours into the party, you’re gonna need to run out to the gas station convenience store to pick up a few things we’re running out of. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 12: ‘The Naked Truth’


If you saw a dozen people instantaneously vanish, leaving only a pile of clothing where they formerly stood, you would probably take a look at those piles of clothing to try to figure out what just happened. But then you’re not a character in “Left Behind.” … [Read more...]

The Bible used to get a lot of things wrong

"You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you ..."

If those early Southern Baptists were wrong about slavery, then they were wrong about the Bible — wrong about how to read the Bible. They were wrong about slavery because they were wrong about how to read the Bible. Contemporary white evangelicals want to retain the same approach to reading the Bible, but not the same conclusions about slavery. That doesn’t work. [Read more...]

U.S. policy toward Cuba, a brief review

1960: U.S. isolates Cuba in an attempt to force reform. Policy fails.
1961: U.S. isolates Cuba in an attempt to force reform. Policy fails.
1962: U.S. isolates Cuba in an attempt to force reform. Policy fails.
1963: U.S. isolates Cuba in an attempt to force reform. Policy fails.
1964: U.S. isolates Cuba in an attempt to force reform. Policy fails. … [Read more...]

If your ministry involves ‘restoring’ an unjust illusion of ‘peace,’ then your ministry is a lie

The BGEA;s rapid response team headed to Ferguson "to minister to police" about a month after the group's first annual "National Law Enforcement Retreat."

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s “rapid response team” was invited by members of the Ferguson police department “to minister to police.” The BGEA team says it’s helping to “restore peace” to Ferguson, by which it means it’s helping to calm people down, to get them to stop protesting and go back to accepting things the way they are. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (12.17)

Kathryn Schulz on the Mann Gulph wildfire and so very much more; Ezra Klein on the torture report; W. Caleb McDaniel on the history of Eric Garner’s “enough;” Stephen Prothero on the culture wars as conservative performance pieces; and Andrea Powell on the American habit of locking up victims. [Read more...]

Most Americans believe in the Virgin Birth — and that torture is cool


A new survey finds that 73 percent of Americans say they believe Jesus was born to a virgin, because that’s what the Bible says, and these Americans believe the Bible is the Holy Word of God. Another new survey finds that two thirds of American Christians approve of torture. Because, apparently, American Christians don’t give a withered fig about what the Bible has to say. [Read more...]

NRA: The underground church


Bruce Barnes wasn’t just a pastor, traveling evangelist and biblical scholar. He was also a master electrician, plumber, carpenter, excavator, architect and locksmith. And he could carry refrigerators and convertible sofas up and down the stairs all by himself. Unfortunately, Bruce never paid much attention to seismology. [Read more...]