An ‘old Cherokee story’ and other lies from the pulpit

“Which wolf will win?” “The one I feed the most.” I heard this story dozens and dozens of times from pulpits and in small groups and around campfires. Sometimes it was attributed to an old Indian, sometimes to an old Eskimo, sometimes it was an old African speaking to missionaries on the Dark Continent [sic]. Nope. [Read more…]

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They have always been here. If you didn’t know that before, it’s because you couldn’t be trusted to know.

Rick Scarborough seems shocked that many white evangelical Christians have had abortions or know someone who has. He regards this as a sudden and very recent development. It’s not. These folks have always been there — in white evangelical churches and institutions. [Read more…]

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This is what abortion politics is for

Failing the clearest moral test of your time and culture is only a problem so long as that moral test is what people are talking about and thinking about. So talk about something else. If you’ve made yourself a moral pariah because you’ve spent the past three decades fighting a rear-guard battle in defense of systemic, violent, oppressive injustice, then you need to find some other subject on which you can cast yourself as the Good Guy — as the heroic champion of morality. [Read more…]

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Satanic baby-killers.

C.S. Lewis said that a determination to cling to the idea that our enemies are as bad as possible is “the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils.” That process always leads, inexorably, to pretending, then wishing, then enslaving ourselves to, the lie that our enemies are the worst-possible thing we can imagine: Satanic baby-killers. [Read more…]

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Credit scores and the Mark of the Beast

Enthusiasm for a national ID card shows that fear of the Mark of the Beast is no longer the factor that it used to be in American politics. That’s a shame, because I was hoping to channel that fear to rally public opposition to credit-scoring. Using the creative exegesis favored by “Bible prophecy” scholars, credit scoring seems to be exactly what Revelation 13 was talking about. [Read more…]

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The national ID card and the Mark of the Beast

For a big chunk of those voters, Orwell’s language of “Big Brother” isn’t the preferred literary metaphor for the totalitarian nightmare they fear. They’re not worried about Big Brother, but about the Antichrist. This is why it’s so startling and jarring to see demand for a national ID card as one of the top issues on the agenda of these Trump-loving voters. Because everybody knows that a national ID card is the Mark of the Beast. [Read more…]

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Donald Trump as Cyrus the Great

White evangelicals are looking to Donald Trump as a kind of modern-day Cyrus the Great. Cyrus was the ungodly king who restored the people of Israel and gave them back their country after the exile. Trump, these Christians believe, is the ungodly king who will end their long exile of life under a black president, giving white folks back “their” land. [Read more…]

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Driscoll and Trump: A tale of two bullies

What we’re seeing here is a failure of, as Gushee says, “moral formation.” When one student fails the final exam, the fault may lie with that student. When the entire class fails the final exam, the fault lies with the professor. And when we see a massive failure of moral formation on the scale of what we’re seeing with white evangelical support for Trump, the fault lies with the entire faculty, the entire curriculum, and the culture of the entire school. [Read more…]

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