• Darrell Dow shares a picture of the Irvington Bible Baptist Church and the obligatory Breaking Bad reference for this story of a pastor who faces charges as part of an Indiana “spice” ring manufacturing and selling illegal synthetic drugs. Read that story, then look again at that picture of the church — the bright blue door and trim. We should have known.
• “The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but maintains the widow’s boundaries” (Proverbs 15:25). Beaver County (Pa.) Common Pleas Judge Gus Kwidis does the opposite. He tears down the widow’s boundaries and maintains the house of the proud — over a $6.30 interest charge on the widow’s property taxes.
“‘Cursed by anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice.’ All of the people shall say, ‘Amen!'” (Deuteronomy 27:19).
Or, for those who prefer poetry, some brilliant verse from lighthill at Making Light.
• So the tea party candidate running a Republican primary challenge against House Speaker John Boehner is also an adjunct professor at fundamentalist Cedarville University in Ohio. Or, rather, he was an adjunct at Cedarville — J.D. Winteregg lost his job at the school due to his attack ad on Boehner that spoofs those Cialis commercials and features lots of single entendres about “electile dysfunction” and the fact that Boehner’s name is similar to the word “boner.” Such naughty “humor” led Cedarville administrators to take time out from their busy schedule of purging female faculty and censoring student publications and end their association with Winteregg.
Some may question whether Winteregg’s being too extreme even for Cedarville makes him unfit for public office. I’d say the fact that he was ever associated with Cedarville in the first place does that.
Anyway, since this story involves the intersection of politics and crude dick jokes, let’s turn to the authority on that — Rebecca Schoenkopf of Wonkette, for the final word:
Who will be the first brave free-speech hero to argue for Mr. Winterbottom’s right to be crude and gross and still teach at a Christian college? Oh, none of you, that is only when people are loud and proud racist or loud and proud anti-gay, and then their getting fired from their jobs in the private sector is the same as getting FEMA camped, because Barack Obama is the real racist? Benghazi.
• Sarah Posner on Sarah Palin and her statement endorsing water torture as “baptism”:
Most of Palin’s public expressions of religion are performative rather than sacramental, and her invocations of them to political audiences strike a tone of irreverence rather than piety. …
Palin sees herself as a warrior for God, engaged in spiritual warfare to save America from evil and to keep America Christian. But in joking that torture was like a baptism, Palin revealed her view of evangelization as an act of force, not love, and her view of salvation as something one imposes on irredeemable enemies, who further prove their lesser worth by protesting and resisting it. Get it? It just shows how the Muslims can’t even see how something “so cool” is actually good for them.
• Brian McLaren on the liberation that comes from being banished by the tribe:
I grew up in a world where one’s credibility is always on trial. Gatekeepers (official and unofficial) look for differences to condemn, and they quickly and decisively banish those who differ. All that happened to me quite a while ago. … Once I had been banished, I realized that there is a big world “out here” where people are less interested in banishment and more interested … in doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.
This is the main thing the gatekeepers don’t want anyone to know: Their only weapon — banishment — involves “punishing” dissenters by condemning them to join an amazing party. Everything is better “out here.” The sooner you can get yourself banished, the happier you will be.