Thank you to everyone who visited, read and commented here in 2012.
Here’s a quick video recap of the highlights of the past year:
That’s actually “Our Story in 1 Minute” — which covers a bit more than just the past year, but I think there’s a couple seconds there at the end from 2012. I saw that via Phil Plait, who also points to the video “Timeline: The Age of the Universe,” a history of everything in 14 minutes — thus covering roughly a billion years per minute. Helps keep all the usual Dec. 31 retrospectives in retroperspective.
Anyway, here are the posts from the past year here that got the most attention.
Evangelical gatekeepers are scared of Rachel Held Evans. Her next book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, comes out later this month and already they’re panicking.
Part of what happened on Tuesday was that millions of people rejected that claim on moral grounds. This was not just a political or pragmatic disagreement that preserved their essential claim of godly morality. It was a powerful counter-claim — the claim that the religious right is advocating immoral, unjust and cruelly unfair policies on both of its hallmark issues. Knee-jerk opposition to legal abortion and to gay rights weren’t just rejected as bad policy, but as bad morals — as being on the wrong side of right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, biblical vs. unbiblical, moral vs. immoral.
Doug Wilson is unwell, unwhole and unhinged. God have mercy on Mrs. Wilson, and on all her daughters.
For evangelicals, one’s “stance” determines one’s standing. What does it mean that a stance is the all-important determinant of one’s status and legitimacy in the community? Part of what it shows, I think, is the way that stance trumps sub-stance.
What happens if Obama wins? The sky will fall, the moon will turn to blood, the seas will boil, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together … mass hysteria!
Conspiratorial warnings about Africans and anti-colonialism contributed to Dinesh D’Souza’s legitimacy among evangelicals.
That scene from Casablanca is what it should mean to sing hymns in church under the reign of the imperial beast. John of Patmos would understand that scene. I don’t think Tim LaHaye would.
It’s probably best to be fair and also kind, but fairness is the important part. As long as you’re fair, no one else will really care whether or not you’re particularly kindly about it. But if you’re not fair, then kindness isn’t even a possibility.
Maybe the best summary of that history is just to quote Spike and Denzel: “I say and I say it again, you’ve been had. You’ve been took. You’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amok.”
No matter what women do, it’s their fault. If they get a job and earn a living in the marketplace, then it’s their fault because they should be staying home to raise their children. If they stay at home to raise their children, then it’s their fault because they need to stop being so lazy and go get a job. If you’re a mother, the GOP says, then whatever it is you’re doing is wrong.
I’m both relieved and disappointed that the show did not continue for a sixth season. That left another key institution spared from this same harsh examination. I’m thinking of the church — a powerful, visible, historically important institution in Baltimore and other great American cities.
Focus on the Family made 34 specific, detailed predictions about what would happen in “Obama’s America.” They came up 0-for-34.
At some point between 1968 and 2012, the Bible began to say something different. That’s interesting.
Even more interesting is how thoroughly the record has been rewritten. We have always been at war with Eastasia.
The New American Standard Bible translated this passage that same way up until 1977. But something changed between 1977 and 1995 — something that had nothing to do with scholarship, language, accuracy, fidelity or readability.
American politics had changed between 1977 and 1995. It had polarized and radicalized millions of American Protestants, rallying them around a single issue and thus, as intended, rallying them behind a single political party.
In 1977, the sort of American Protestants who purchased most Bibles couldn’t be summed up in a single word. But by 1995, they could be: “abortion.”
Mitt Romney lies. A lot. He lies more than any other national candidate for office in my lifetime. And I was born before the Nixon administration.