A good joke can change the world


I have always believed that a good joke can change the world.Now we have proof that it's true: "Office Space helped rid the world of 'flair.'" “About four years after Office Space came out, T.G.I. Fridays got rid of all that [button] flair, because people would come in and make cracks about it,” [Mike] Judge recently told Deadline. “One of my ADs asked once at the restaurant why their flair was missing and they said they removed it because of that movie Office Space. So, maybe I made the wor … [Read more...]

Tears for the perpetrators. Anger at the victims.


Amy @ Watch Keep highlights a rare story of a local church responding appropriately to finding an abuser on its payroll.John Sluder was an associate pastor at Believers Church in Auburn, Alabama: His arrest in May got him kicked out of the church where he had been for 30 years.  Lee County Sheriff's detectives say the two adult victims came forward in April to report they were abused in the early 1990's.... [Attorney Ben] Hand represents Believers Church where his father is the pastor. H … [Read more...]

Obama also did not create a religious exemption permitting discrimination on the basis of race or sex

Photo by Man vyi via Wikimedia Commons.

The Rev. Canon Susan Russell, who blogs at An Inch at a Time, wound up changing her plans for the weekend when she was invited to attend Monday's White House signing ceremony for President Obama's executive order prohibiting LGBT employment discrimination for government contractors. Russell was one of many religious leaders present at the ceremony.Obama's executive order simply amends the existing policy prohibiting contractors from employment discrimination on the basis of race, creed, sex, … [Read more...]

A whiskey priest is not the same as a Nazi


Roger Olson, bless him, approaches an interesting and important subject, then trips over it in a splendid pratfall. "Should a Theologian's Life Affect How We Regard His/Her Theology?" Olson asks.Olson begins, as many do when addressing this topic, with a discussion of Paul Tillich: "Reinhold Niebuhr was widely reported to have cut off his friendship with Tillich due to his observations of Tillich’s treatment of women students at Union Theological Seminary." That enhances my admiration for N … [Read more...]

American Exceptionalism: A simple test of national character


Here is a video showing how Norwegian people respond when they encounter a child who has been separated from his parents:Here is a video showing how Americans respond when they encounter children who have been separated from their parents:Any questions? … [Read more...]

Whatever happened to the clobber texts for slavery? (Unlearning the lies, cont’d.)


For centuries, Christians have been arguing over the clobber texts used to deny women's equality in the church and in society. Those Bible passages -- a dozen or so verses selected from the origin stories of Genesis, the laws of Moses, and the epistles of Paul -- are hotly contested in an ongoing argument over their meaning and interpretation. Every year we see a new crop of books devoted to the exegesis of those verses, granular studies of first-century Greek terms and their cultural … [Read more...]

Javert Syndrome, Texas justice, and Satanic baby-killers


Charles Kuffner shares some news of justice long-delayed in Texas. This is from Pamela Colloff's report in Texas Monthly, "Anthony Graves' Prosecutor Finally Has to Answer for His Actions": It’s been eight years since the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the DA who prosecuted Anthony Graves for capital murder had done something unconscionable: withheld favorable evidence and used false testimony to secure a conviction — a conviction that sent Graves to death row.Since that federal r … [Read more...]

Seeking ‘religious liberty’ just like Elijah at Kishon

Executing prisoners is a vital expression of religious liberty, Kishon style.

Robert Knight is kind of a journeyman utility infielder of the religious right. I forget which team he's with these days -- might be the Family Research Council, might be Concerned Women of America or one of the others. It's one of those groups that insists that good Christians must have no fellowship with unrighteousness and no communion with darkness.Except for the Unification Church, because the Moonies' newspaper is a reliable source of right-wing partisan hackery and that's what's most … [Read more...]