The National Prayer Breakfast is bad for the nation, bad for prayer, and bad for breakfast

President Abraham Lincoln never once attended the National Prayer Breakfast. (Creative Commons photo by Jeff Kubina.)

I do not much care for the National Prayer Breakfast. This is an event at which people display their patriotism by showing their disdain for the Constitution. It’s an event at which people display their piety by contradicting the words of Jesus in the Gospels. That makes the National Prayer Breakfast bad for the nation and bad for prayer. [Read more...]

The unicorns of the King James Bible

Screen shot 2015-02-11 at 7.11.10 PM

The oldest English translations of the Bible have unicorns in them. The original Hebrew texts did not. So where did those King James Version unicorns come from? From translators’ best guess at the meaning of a word that still leaves us guessing. [Read more...]

American Family Association ‘repudiates’ what it’s been saying for years (and what it’s still saying)

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So from now on, when Bryan Fischer arrives at the American Family Association studio in the AFA headquarters to produce his daily AFA radio show on behalf of the AFA, the AFA wants you to know that he probably doesn’t speak for them, unless he does. [Read more...]

Maybe the Apostle Paul was just a lousy writer

JackJesus2

Ask a 21st-century American Christian if getting a tattoo is a sin, it’s far less likely that they will respond by citing Paul’s argument in Romans or Galatians and far more likely they’ll respond by babbling about “ceremonial laws” or some other contemporary concoction that would’ve left Paul bewildered to hear of it. There’s an old saying that if one student fails the final exam, it’s their fault, but if every student fails the final, then it’s their teacher’s fault. So maybe that’s true here too. Maybe the Apostle Paul was just a lousy writer. [Read more...]

When fantasy role-playing replaces faith you still need a decent DM

Strachan

Strachan’s fawning flattery is directed at an audience of conservative white Christians who love to sing “Dare to be a Daniel / Dare to stand alone!” This is a white evangelical subculture that replaced faith with fantasy decades ago. For them, discipleship means leveling up in a fantasy role-playing game in which they pretend to be heroic warriors battling against Satanic baby-killers, relativists, evolutionists, postmodernists, New Agers, the Gay Lifestyle, and a whole Monster Manual of other imaginary horrors. Strachan invites them to play this game, and they love this game. [Read more...]

The Bible wasn’t written to provide source material for inspirational posters

MountUpBaby

Open a Bible at random and poke a finger arbitrarily at any verse and you’re just as likely to encounter something bizarre, bewildering or bloody as you are to find something sweet and soporific. The Bible is not a collection of harmless, uplifting platitudes. It is not an almanac of pleasant sayings suitable for cross-stitching. It is not an endless catalog of slogans to be screened onto T-shirts or recited by the local Chamber of Commerce for the purpose of civic pacification. [Read more...]

Slavery and the way we read the Bible: The picture is accurate, but it’s upside-down

The picture is accurate, but it's upside-down.

Turner writes: “The way that most white American evangelicals read the Bible did not lead them to oppose glaring social injustices.” No. The acceptance of glaring social injustices led to “the way that most white American evangelicals read the Bible.” [Read more...]

Slavery and the Creation of a Counterfeit ‘Biblical Civilization’ in America: 1619-1865

Venus

The King James Version of the Bible was completed in 1611. The first African slaves were imported into Jamestown in 1619. “Biblical” Christianity and the idea of “biblical civilization” grew up alongside slavery. The latter shaped the former, and the two things have been inextricably intertwined ever since. [Read more...]


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