7 things @ 9 o’clock (10.2)

1. Smell the religious liberty: “Christian-owned Hobby Lobby won’t stock Hannukah merchandise.” Just another glimpse of what happens when you redefine “religious liberty” as being all about the right to refuse service.

Lester Maddox: Early martyr for “religious liberty.”

2.Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers.” Every time anybody else has said that, Bill Donohue and the rest of the perpetually aggrieved indignation industry have thrown a hissy fit.

3. Anti-Muslim groups took in $119 million between 2008 and 2011. The Liar Tony Perkins reads that and laughs. Scaring people into giving you money by promoting fear of Muslims is pretty lucrative, but that $40-million-a-year industry still can’t compete with scaring people into giving you money by promoting fear of Teh Gay and fear of Satanic baby-killers.

4. Scott Paeth shares some excerpts from a recent interview with theologian Jürgen Moltmann, including this fascinating anecdote which shows, I think, how the world interrupts and reshapes the work of theology. In April of 1968, Moltmann was at Duke University, conducting a conference on his book Theology of Hope:

And then someone came storming into the room and cried, “Mar­­tin King is shot!” By the end of the day there were pictures of cities burning everywhere — the black population was enraged by the murder of the pro­phet of the civil rights movement. And then Durham came un­der curfew and we broke off the conference and they all rushed home as quickly as they could.

And then I saw that the theology of hope is not the right way to speak the gospel to Americans: they need to get a feeling of the suffering and violence and injustice in their country. And I promised that whenever I re­turned to that country I would speak about the cross of Christ and the cross of Martin Luther King and all the black people who had been lynched. And so I came to write The Crucified God. …

5. I am very happy to learn that there will be a Wendell Berry profile/tribute on TV. I am also aware of the irony of Wendell Berry on television, and the further irony of my learning about this on my computer.

6. Yes, this makes me feel better about not finishing Ulysses: Virginia Woolf said she gave up on it after 200 pages. OK then.

7. Kathryn Schulz on Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep:

As to why other people read horror: I have no idea. Or rather I have a great many ideas, which amounts to the same thing. Maybe, by so flagrantly crossing lines, horror fiction reassures us that they still exist, in ourselves and in society. Maybe it helps us rehearse our own death, to prepare for it, stave it off or both. Maybe it provides a sense of meaning and control where none truly exist. Maybe it’s the counterfeit prey the zookeeper feeds the lion. Maybe it’s just fun. A strange sort of fun, some will say—but then, so is reading Finnegans Wake.


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  • Rakka

    Melkor, or Azathoth? Your guess is as good as mine.

  • guest

    It may actually be more sensible and efficient to choose to use your vast but finite resources to make a huge improvement in a small place (and Maine is not a rich part of the world) instead of spreading them around nationally or internationally where the effect would be wider, but overall smaller. I guess, although the people I was talking to did not at all give this impression (and they were quite wealthy themselves), it felt a little ‘lord of the manor’ to me.

  • Carstonio

    I agree in principle. Maybe subconsciously I assume that anything worthwhile has to be laborious and time-consuming, and that personal enjoyment should be secondary to responsibilities and obligations. I sometimes notice myself assuming that things cannot be both entertaining and enriching, whether we’re talking about food or fiction, with the expectation that’s in human nature to crave empty calories in both areas.

  • MuseofIre

    Totally legit. Literary YMMV.

  • redsixwing

    I can’t imagine Melkor wanting bad music, though. Different, and half the credit, but bad? That’s a different kettle of fish.

    … unless you’re talking about a different Melkor. XD

  • also a guest

    Do you have evidence that he doesn’t also share his good fortune with people more distant, or did you just jump to that conclusion all by yourself?
    It’s really great that even people who are very generous get criticized for probably not doing it properly according to folks on the internet the extent of whose own giving is a total secret.

  • tricksterson

    Kingh has written on several occasions that he considers the entire horror genre to be inherently conservative for that very reason.

  • tricksterson

    If you don’t think Fred, or many of the posters here have expressed negative views of Hobby Lobby’s mysogynistic and homophobic tendencies then you must be new here. or wilfully ignorant.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Well now, don’t forget that King also wrote a book where the secret power needed to defeat an eldritch abomination was achieved via group sex.