Police, yet again, refuse first aid for man they shot for no reason

The police who shot him for no apparent reason did not provide even rudimentary first aid as Charles Kinsey lay there, handcuffed, unarmed, and bleeding. This is monstrously irresponsible. It is, frankly, evil. And it is par for the course for trigger-happy American police. [Read more…]

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Culture warriors have weird ideas about how courts work

Litfin is so eager to minimize the legitimacy of LGBT people’s claims to legal and civil equality that he starts from an “activist judges” narrative that fails to grasp even a Schoolhouse Rock-level understanding of how government works. In Litfin’s telling, the “judicial branch” just suddenly decided one day to start legislating from the bench — “pressing hard” to create new “controversial” rights for LGBT people. That’s not how courts work. [Read more…]

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Rewriting evangelicals’ past to preserve our mistakes

Christianity Today was co-founded by L. Nelson Bell — Billy Graham’s father-in-law and also the founder of The Southern Presbyterian Journal, a pro-segregationist magazine explicitly dedicated to what Bell (a Wheaton graduate) called “racial integrity.” Bell’s argument in opposition to the Civil Rights movement was irreducibly and emphatically “moral and religious.” He categorically denied that “bare-knuckled racial discrimination” or animus had anything to do with his position. It was, he insisted, a matter of faithfulness to God and of defending the authority of the Bible. [Read more…]

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A servant for good

Romans 13:1-7 is a classic text in Christian political thought, the place where Paul suggests that government is established by God as “a servant for good” and “does not bear the sword in vain.” The disagreement among Christian readers of this text isn’t focused on the “instituted by God” bits, but rather on what Paul says about the temporal source of power and legitimacy for these “authorities.” Some Christians argue that this source of power and legitimacy is “the sword.” Others of us disagree: We say it is “the good.” [Read more…]

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The gun undermines the badge

A badge, by itself, can mean something. A badge accompanying a gun becomes just flair and decoration. American police demonstrate this themselves constantly. When their authority is questioned, they don’t reach for their badge, but for what they regard as the source of that authority. And that isn’t their badge. This is a concession on their part that the badge is not meaningful to them. And if it is not meaningful to them, there is little reason that it should be meaningful to anyone else. [Read more…]

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As politically pure as a bystander’s clean hands

The surest way to lose at politics is to refuse to participate in it because you’re above it all. Refusing to sully yourself with the ugly business of compromise and get-what-you-can incremental change doesn’t mean you’ll have pure, clean hands when the revolution comes. It means the other guy wins, big time, because nobody is playing against him. [Read more…]

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James Dobson is reliably untrustworthy

It seems that some of the same right-wing hacks who have for years suggested that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim now want us to believe that Donald Trump is a secret born-again Christian. Asked to defend his claim of Trump’s secret conversion, James Dobson instead pointed out that, to him, defeating Hillary Clinton was more important than whether or not he’s telling the truth. [Read more…]

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Good morning Britain

I’m sure not everyone in the UK who just voted to set fire to the bedsheets shared all of the ugly racism of UKIP supporters. Others apparently just thought it might be fun to swing the wrecking ball and see what happens. We could think of such people as Jesse Ventura Voters or as Arnold Schwarzenegger Voters or as Assholes Who Don’t Care If Vulnerable People Suffer Just As Long As They, Personally, Are Entertained. [Read more…]

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