1. Does David Barton realize that government schools are indoctrinating our children in the theories of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, forcing them to learn the principles of his Arabic “restoration” and even going so far as to require the use of Arabic numerals instead of thus used by the early Christians?
2. “I know that President Reagan would never have let this happen,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, said yesterday about Syrian’s apparent use of chemical weapons. Steven Benen responds with a reminder that this is not a hypothetical matter. Reagan did respond to the use of chemical weapons by a Middle Eastern dictator. Here’s how:
3. Terry Firma alerts us to a contentious battle in Brandon, Mississippi, over one Southern Baptist church’s plan to erect an 11-story, 110-foot-tall cross on it’s property. (The current tallest structure in Brandon is just two stories high, so this giant cross would be the biggest erection in town.)
This is apparently a thing, promoted by a donor-seeking nonprofit called “Crosses Across America.” The group says its mission is to “preserve, maintain, and construct roadside crosses across America.” OK, a skeptic might say this is an act of pure tribal symbolism — basically pissing on trees to mark territory, writ large. But why would they say they’re doing it?
Is it supposed to be evangelistic? If so, have you ever heard of anyone, anywhere, who became a Christian because they saw a ginormous roadside cross? I’ve heard a lot of personal testimonies, but none of them told such a story.
4. The BBC interviews Esther W., who, as a child, was at the center of a horrific case of Satanic panic on tiny Orkney Island. That story is disturbing (trigger warning) as it describes the abuse of children — first by parents, then by a system that repeated the abuse, failing in its duty to protect children because it was too busy using them as pawns in a fantasy role-playing battle against a non-existent Satanist conspiracy.
5. I don’t admire Mother Angelica — her cheery, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew face never quite hid the reactionary behind the mask — but this is a fascinating profile of her and of the cable network she created by Renee K. Gadoua at Religion & Politics. It’s always strange to see a woman with obvious gifts of leadership using that talent to argue that women must never be allowed to lead.
6. Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for one day. Punish and humiliate a man for not being able to fish after you’ve outlawed all boats except for luxury yachts, and that man will go hungry for the rest of his short, miserable life. If you’re Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, these are the only two possibilities you can imagine.
7. This was the No. 1 song on Billboard’s chart 43 years ago today. Still seems appropriate: