1. Mama McFly gets raptured: Lea Thompson will be playing Irene Steele in the Left Behind reboot. That CinemaBlend piece by Kristy Puchko has a good rundown of the other apocalyptic and Rapture-related movies and TV projects we’ve seen of late — including HBO’s potential series based on Tom Perotta’s Left-Behind-ish The Leftovers.
2. “U.S. bans sale and trade of white rhino horns.” Wait — you mean selling white rhino horns wasn’t already illegal? Better late than never, I guess. But at least such sales are banned now, since rhinoceros horn causes impotence, baldness, cancer, halitosis and gout.
3. To paraphrase Emma Goldman: These folks can dance, and I want to be part of their revolution.
4. Congratulations to James Holmes on his recent election victory in Colorado. Big win for his team!
5. Joe Murray has contributed a video to the NALT Christians Project — which now has more than 60 videos posted (this is easy to do). Murray’s contribution is interesting because he used to be a culture-warrior for the religious right, working for the American Family Association and the Alliance Defense Fund. Murray tells his story at Truth Wins Out, confirming my suspicions about the squabbles among religious-right groups over market share of the shrinking pie of direct-mail donors.The main weapon of the religious right, Murray says, is its perceived “monopoly on morality.” Efforts like NALT, he says, are “a devastating blow to the Christian Right” by demonstrating that this claim of a monopoly on morality is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
6. Kittredge Cherry marked the anniversary of 9/11 by remembering Fr. Mychal Judge, “gay saint of 9/11 and chaplain to New York firefighters.” What was that again about a monopoly on morality?
7. John Turner continues reading Carolyn Dupont’s Mississippi Praying: Southern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1975:
Indeed, her book is more than a chronicle of Deep South white evangelicals in the civil rights era. It is also an indictment of the individualistic theology of white evangelicalism. Readers should ponder this indictment. In Mississippi Praying, those Protestants with more complicated views of scripture and an openness to the social implications of the gospel are the moderates and progressives. At least some of them took (for Mississippi) bold stances on civil rights. Those with literalist views of scripture and an overwhelming focus on individual salvation backed segregation to the hilt. Furthermore, that conservative evangelical theology lived on in more monolithic denominations after the 1960s.
… At the same time, while I agree with Dupont that one cannot simply blame a “culture” while absolving a “theology” (as if the two are not tightly connected), I hesitate to label “evangelical theology” the problem. One could take a rather literalist approach to scripture and arrive at very different conclusions about race and social justice.
One could do so, in theory, but isn’t it interesting that one so very rarely does? When justice is perceived as a threat to one’s theology, that’s probably an indication that one’s theology is also a threat to justice. And if your theology can’t be reconciled with justice, then you’re doing it wrong.