Tony Campolo offers an Official Statement on his stance on the issue of homosexuality

Tony Campolo (photo via Eastern.edu)

This is an Official Statement announcing his change of “stance” on an “issue.” Such Official Statements are a kind of ritual genre in the white evangelical tribe, and that genre both limits what can be said and shapes how it can be said. They cannot be about justice or injustice directly, but only about one’s “stance” toward them. And they aren’t constructed to accommodate or acknowledge actual people, only the “issues” that affect them. This displaces the conversation — removing it several steps from the fierce urgency of now and pushing it off toward some more abstract and ethereal discussion of the relative validity of various possible “stances” and their status within the tribe. [Read more...]

‘They made me feel welcome’

Screenshot from Dennis Gilman's "Anti-Islam Protest Attracts Phoenix's Best & Worst" video for the Phoenix New Times. (Click pic for link to full video.)

So just imagine this happens to you, at your church. You arrive for the Sunday morning service and you’re greeted by 250 or so protesters. They’re shouting and angry and they carry guns — lots and lots of guns. And just so there’s no mistaking the focus of their aggressive threats and anger, most of them are wearing T-shirts that say things like “F–k Christianity.” [Read more...]

Never gonna fall for modern love: A personal testimony in The New York Times

Bowie_ModernLove

But the main thing in that youth group — the paramount, central thing — was sex. Sex, and the not having of it, was the essential defining characteristic of that youth group, and of the subculture and tribe that produced it. In practice, in the undeniable day-to-day experience of that youth group and that tribe, sex and the not having of it were the most important thing that was said and taught and experienced of God. Sex and the not having of it were conveyed as the essential meaning of the faith. [Read more...]

The Council of Women for Home Missions this ain’t

Screen shot 2015-06-02 at 2.08.04 PM

There’s a lot to criticize in the early-20th-century “Americanization” efforts of the various Protestant home mission societies, but there’s also a lot to admire. A hundred years later, a new council of prominent spokespeople for America’s Christian Values wants to revive all of the worst aspects of those efforts, while rejecting all that was good about them. [Read more...]

The ‘CharlieCharlieChallenge’ doesn’t lead to demonic possession — but it can nurture credulity and willful ignorance, which is worse

SellSoul

The “CharlieCharlieChallenge,” like Ouija boards, is pretty dumb. But neither of those is as bad as the overwrought condemnation of such things by Christians who fear them because they believe they’re actually supernatural. See, Robert Johnson folklore is not actually orthodox Christian theology. And even if you play “CharlieCharlie” at midnight at a Delta crossroads and sign a contract in blood, you can’t actually sell your soul to the devil. That’s not an actual thing. [Read more...]

The Duggar Family Scandal: A reader

HuckAndJosh

Here’s a round-up of some insightful commentary and reflection in response to the Josh Duggar scandal. This is not the first time that prominent religious right figures have been exposed as sexual predators and hypocrites after making a career out of demonizing LGBT people while celebrating their own sexual “purity.” Nor will it be the last. [Read more...]

Back to the ’80s, because we never left them (part 2)

Witchunter

Any skeptical questions about the reality of these alleged horrors was reinterpreted — and fiercely condemned — as a defense of those same horrors. Questions such as “How did they have time to fly the children to Mexico?” or “Why are there no records of such a flight?” wouldn’t be answered directly because answering them would threaten the fantasy. Instead, anyone asking such questions would be recast as a defender of Satanic ritual abuse by Mexican soldiers. [Read more...]

Back to the ’80s, because we never left them

Laycock

The D&D backlash of the 1980s wasn’t sustainable because the unreality of the imagined threat eventually became impossible to deny. But while this particular form of symptom spiked and dissipated, the disease remains — with the moral entrepreneurs continuing their role-playing fantasy by concocting and warring against ever-new sets of imaginary monsters. [Read more...]


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