‘Moral tribalism’ and translating the d-word

Haidt’s use of that word “righteous” is primarily, almost entirely, negative, implying a kind of self-righteousness or a sense of self-justification. This is righteousness as rectitude, as uprightness, or moral purity and correctness. It is righteousness as the acquisitive and proprietary possession of truth. This form of righteousness is not a virtue, but it’s what American Christians have learned from their American Bibles. [Read more…]

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If abortion is murder, then you shouldn’t be a single-issue voter against it

Accepting the premise of abortion-as-murder provides no justification for forming a partisan voting bloc in the hopes of one day perhaps changing the composition of the Supreme Court. That would be an utterly, miserably, monstrously inadequate response. The implications of John Piper’s suggestion that this should make us “single-issue voters” is reprehensible — akin to suggesting that we should willingly collaborate in the Holocaust 364 days a year, while on that one other day voting for the reformist elements of our Vichy Republic in the hopes of eventual change. [Read more…]

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‘The Supreme Court’ doesn’t mean abortion — it means Shelby County

White evangelicals vote based on the Supreme Court. The best that can be said for this voting strategy is that it intended to produce an overturn of Roe v. Wade but instead, accidentally it produced the Roberts Court’s ruling in Shelby County, ripping out the guts of the Voting Rights Act. That may be overly generous, though. If we consider the real history of the religious right, it seems Shelby County was the real goal of this Supreme Court voting strategy all along. [Read more…]

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‘Vote for the crook. It’s important.’

Although David Duke won the Republican nomination, he was not endorsed by Republican officials in Louisiana. Instead, they condemned him as “unfit for office,” urging Louisiana voters to stop him by voting for Edwards. Louisiana Republicans famously distributed bumper stickers reading “Vote for the Crook. It’s important.” [Read more…]

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Tim LaHaye: dead fundamentalist

“Fundamentalist” is a word that means something. It is a useful and necessary descriptive word that conveys meaning and distinction. It is a useful and necessary word that has a definition, and Tim LaHaye fits that definition. Tim LaHaye — separatist, inerrantist, literalist, dispensationalist, creationist — fits that definition definitively. [Read more…]

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How to make a fortune (and lose your soul) prophesying the End Times

Want to make some easy money? A bit of creatively implausible exegesis and some conveniently elastic numerology can give us a new-and-improved End Times countdown that starts next year. There’s a fortune waiting to be made for anyone who doesn’t mind that this would entail becoming a soul-less, blasphemous, predatory monster. [Read more…]

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‘You will find out on that day …’: False prophets and lost endings

The Republican National Convention opened yesterday in Cleveland with a horrifying “benediction” from prosperity-gospel huckster Mark Burns. Burns has me thinking again of Zedekiah son of Chenaanah, the ridiculous court prophet-for-hire from the Bible. But as always when dealing with this story, I wind up getting frustrated and sidetracked by it’s missing ending. [Read more…]

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Culture warriors have weird ideas about how courts work

Litfin is so eager to minimize the legitimacy of LGBT people’s claims to legal and civil equality that he starts from an “activist judges” narrative that fails to grasp even a Schoolhouse Rock-level understanding of how government works. In Litfin’s telling, the “judicial branch” just suddenly decided one day to start legislating from the bench — “pressing hard” to create new “controversial” rights for LGBT people. That’s not how courts work. [Read more…]

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