Who was more Catholic: St. Francis or Torquemada?

Slouching

This framework grants an advantage to one kind of religion over the other. One strain is rewarded with the presumption of authenticity. The other is punished with the presumption of a lack of conviction. That grants the former greater influence within the religious tradition, and greater influence in the larger society. I’d prefer we didn’t do that. [Read more...]

The framework of fundamentalist propaganda distorts how we view every religion

Screen shot 2015-02-20 at 4.24.01 PM

I think of this as a Yeatsian framework because it privileges the supposedly “more authentic” forms of religion due to their passionate intensity, while disregarding the supposedly “less authentic” due to their imagined lack of all conviction. And because it admires the passionate intensity of what I consider the worst aspects of religion while dismissing what I consider the best of religion as nothing more than that lack of conviction. [Read more...]

When some faction says they, and they alone, are the Real, True Christians, you shouldn’t take their word for it

StupidJuice22015.

The compulsion to elevate oneself as the righteous remnant, and to draw boundaries between Real True Believers and everyone else, is the hallmark of a particular strain of fundamentalist religion. It is a mark of religion that, I think, has elevated the cardinal sin above the cardinal virtue — substituting pride for love. That pride drives the obsessive need to constantly make and enforce distinctions between Us, the righteous few, and Them, the apostate hordes falsely claiming the name of our religion as they trundle down the broad path toward destruction. [Read more...]

The devil has been in twice as many movies as Jesus (and how that has changed our theology)

Priceless

Vincent Price is theologically significant. Price wore a devilish goatee that made him look like Satan. How do we know that’s what Satan looks like? We learned it from Vincent Price — and from a thousand other pop-culture and folk-culture figures preceding him. [Read more...]

What if it were all true?

Also for this TV show, everything in every Jack Chick tract is true. All of it.

Here’s the premise for a TV show: It’s all true. Everything Pat Robertson says is true. Everything that’s posted on Charismanews is true. All of it. All the writers need to do is conform the fictional reality of the show to the wild reality described every day by Robertson, et. al. [Read more...]

Two cheers for CT’s take on multi-level marketing

Multilevel marketing.

The remarkable thing here is that Anderson’s skeptical take on multilevel marketing appeared on the website of Christianity Today — a publication at the institutional heart of the white evangelical subculture. And in that subculture, you can’t swing a Stella & Dot necklace with hitting several institutions dependent on multilevel marketing money. [Read more...]

Painful nonsense

Icsi

He is telling us that “most of the people who have ever been born” have never been born. The word “born” cannot bear that. It will not allow itself to be used and misused in this way. We cannot make people who have never been born a subset of people who have ever been born. Neither language nor logic will allow it. [Read more...]

‘Everybody Loves a Holy War’

MarkMark

‘Everybody loves a holy war
Draw the line and claim divine protection
Kill the ones who show the most objection
Everybody loves a holy war’ [Read more...]


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