• Whenever you hear someone claim that the Bible is “inerrant,” remember that what he’s telling you is that he thinks his ability to read and understand the Bible is inerrant, which is to say that he thinks he is inerrant.
Or, as Heath Bradley puts it: “When someone questions your interpretation of the Bible, you really don’t help yourself by accusing the other person of questioning God. That would mean that you don’t see any gap between God and your understanding of God. If you don’t see that gap, that makes you a scary person.”
• Small-town police blotters are always fascinating. Even more so when they’re from Greco-Roman Egypt: “Thus, paradoxically, the fetal attack was intended as an act of counter-sorcery. Iulius probably thought that Gemellus, with his ‘evil’ eye, was the one using magic against him, and, in response, he brought a fetus to ward him off and to claim back the crops that should have rightfully been his own.”
Oh, sorry, that’s Doctor Jim West on the losing end there. The learned doctor received his Th.D. from Andersonville Baptist Theological Seminary, and kudos to Dr. West for doing so. Since, unlike Dr. West, I’m not an arrogant credentialist, I won’t sniff about the school’s accreditation or even make jokes about the place being named after a concentration camp commanded by a man executed for war crimes.
I do wonder, though, about any theological school that’s willing to bestow a doctorate on somebody who doesn’t seem to understand Rule No. 1. Theological education ought to do a bit more than take an asshole, teach him Hebrew and Greek, and then declare him the Rev. Dr. Asshole.
• “Punching down,” Elizabeth Stoker writes, “is contrary to the Christian ethical project. This is not a religion of punching down.”
Yes. And I’d go a bit further than Stoker does. I would say that punching down is contrary to the Christian ethical project, and so is failing to punch up when you’re in a position to do so.
• The recent Google doodle honoring Rachel Carson set off another round of the dishonest right-wing legend that claims DDT would have wiped out malaria if not for those genocidal environmentalists. Ed Darrell, who blogs at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, has been valiantly fighting against that pernicious lie for years. You may want to bookmark this post of his for future reference for the next time some Fox-addled relative or co-worker recites this stupid bit of anti-environmentalist propaganda: “Yes, malaria is still a plague; it’s not Rachel Carson’s fault, and your saying so probably kills kids.”
“We’re taking money away from the disabled community and giving it to motor sports?” Claitor asked during the committee meeting.
“The answer to your question, Sen. Claitor, is yes,” said Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, the committee’s chairman, in response.