Relitigating the Golden Rule

Protect religious groups you admire by protecting religious groups you do not admire. Otherwise you’re just trying to find a loophole in the Golden Rule — trying to compel others to do unto us as we would have them do while exempting ourselves from any obligation to do unto them as they would have us do. And that’s not good. [Read more…]

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White evangelicals and ‘the social upheaval of the ’60s’

Usually, this is stated with a polite euphemism. We don’t name all of these things specifically but, instead, we just say that white evangelicalism arose in response to “the social upheavals of the 1960s.” That allows us to pretend that this is about something else — about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, rather than about the backlash to increased legal equality for people of color and for women. [Read more…]

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What if we learned about the Bible from the people who got it right?

The victims of injustice tend to have a far better theological track record than the defenders, perpetrators, and beneficiaries of it. We should try learning from them for a change. Perhaps it would be better to learn about the Bible from the people who got it right than to continue learning about the Bible from people who insist on getting it wrong. [Read more…]

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Don’t waste time trying to please people who are determined never to be pleased by you

A 50-year-old letter from a great theologian in response to evangelical gatekeepers provides a general life lesson we all need to learn. “They should not expect me to take the trouble to give them the satisfaction of offering explanations which they will simply use to confirm the judgment they have already passed on me.” [Read more…]

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‘Christians have permission to laugh’ means ‘Christians NEED permission to laugh’

The Babylon Bee is a rare thing — an evangelical humor site that’s actually funny. Sadly, that’s not enough to recommend the site to an evangelical audience. They can’t just be told it’s funny, they also need to know if it’s “edifying” — that they have permission to laugh. [Read more…]

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The Bartonizing of ‘mainstream’ white evangelicalism continues apace

Back in January, I worried that “A Ted Cruz win could further Bartonize ‘mainstream’ white evangelicalism.” Specifically, I worried that folks like John Fea and Warren Throckmorton would be subjected to the marginalizing tactics long practiced by the right-wing gatekeepers of the white evangelical tribe. This is what I was talking about. Dr. Fea’s restrained, temperate [Read More…]

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South Carolina GOP threatens evangelical churches

South Carolina Republicans are pushing a bill that would hold churches criminally and financially liable if any refugees they resettle should ever — at any point in the future — be involved in or accused of negligence or violent crime. The S.C. GOP hopes this bill will intimidate churches into turning their backs on refugees. And they’re hoping that other states will adopt similar legislation. [Read more…]

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Educated men who are almost as ignorant about insurance as they are about human reproduction

Men who don’t understand how sex works or what contraception does are now suing the government, taking their case before a bunch of male Supreme Court justices who have no idea how health insurance works or what contraception does. And this group of ridiculously ignorant men would like to rewrite our laws regarding contraception and health insurance. What could go wrong? [Read more…]

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