Sunday salmagundi

• Rayford Steele theology in Kentucky: It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it’s passionately sincere and sincerely passionate.

• David Wheeler reports that some Christian home-schoolers want their science lessons to include science. Biblical scholar Peter Enns hopes that this will mean their Bible studies will also come to include study of the actual Bible. And historian John Fea hopes that it will mean their history lessons come to include actual history rather than “the usual fare offered by David Barton and other Christian nationalists.”

• Note to churches that eschew talk of social justice: If justice and fairness and all that ethical/theological mumbo jumbo won’t convince you to join us in advocating for fairer wages, then please take a look at this study from the Indiana University School of Philanthropy: “Only about 4 in 10 congregations had revenues that kept pace or were ahead of inflation between 2007 and 2011.”

If wages don’t keep pace with inflation, then church giving likely won’t keep pace with inflation either. Churches are supposed to be fighting for the poor because their God demands they do so. But if that doesn’t convince them, then they should at least consider fighting for higher wages out of simple self-interest. (And for higher Social Security benefits too.)

• When I say that the men in leadership positions within the white evangelical subculture have no coherent sexual ethic and that they either do not understand or else completely reject the ethical importance of consent, what I mean is crap like this.

Horrible situation in China’s Huangpu River. Makes me wonder what the cleanup was like in the country of the Gadarenes.

• “For those who fear that immigrants will take away jobs from native-born workers, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has a new proposed solution: Give visas to immigrants who create jobs.”

This sounds promising, and with our ongoing jobs crisis otherwise being quietly neglected as the new normal, it’s definitely worth trying. Unfortunately, President Obama supports the idea — meaning even Moran himself may soon end up fighting against it as evil secret-Muslim socialism.

You’re Not Allowed to Kill Civilians.

• “Provided you are not a writer,” Chris the Cynic says, “at some point in your life you will be approached to write a movie for the Sci-Fi Channel.” He goes on to provide excellent advice for when you do get your turn on such a project. This advice applies not only to the inadvisable situation of writing such a movie, but also to the even dicier situation of watching one.

One book, and many albums, to add to your wish lists.

• This juxtaposition, flagged by Kim Fabricius, is devastatingly precise:

“That the Church dares – in a world nauseous with false egalitarianism – to declare things too holy to be dressed in anything but a finery I cannot afford, a secrecy I cannot know, and a reverence I can only hope to attain – all this convinces me that she alone is the throne of Eternity on earth.”

Bad Catholic on the papal conclave

“There are three forces, the only three forces that are able to conquer and hold captive forever the consciences of these weak rebels for their own happiness – these forces are: miracle, mystery, and authority.”

— The Grand Inquisitor to Jesus.

• “One Complaint to CFPB Fixes Mortgage Snafu That 9 Months of Dealing With the Bank Couldn’t

This is why Mitch McConnell and 42 other Republican senators refuse to allow a vote confirming CFPB director Richard Cordray. The CFPB protects consumers from mistakes and crimes by banks. McConnell wants to protect banks from consumers, even when those banks make mistakes or commit crimes.

It’s just that simple. It’s just that clear.

• I get that Republicans don’t like President Obama and therefore have decided to refuse even basic cordiality and decency toward the man they view as their opponent. But you’d think that Republicans would at least pretend they don’t also hate President Lincoln.

• If Christian prisoners were being held without trial in another country and then had their Bibles confiscated, American Christians would be in a frenzy.


"don't seem healthy."

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