The kingdom of God is like a practical joke

Leaves are falling here in the Brandywine Valley, carpeting everything in a lovely, multicolored chore. This time of year always reminds me of one of my favorite church high school youth group activities from when I was growing up in a fundamentalist, nondenominational Baptist church in New Jersey. This one didn’t involve passing out gospel [Read More...]

The intolerant antinomy revisited

“If it’s what I think it is,” said Lenore, “it’s a sort of joke. A what do you call it. An antinomy.” “An antinomy?” Lenore nodded. “Gramma really likes antinomies. I think this guy here,” looking down at the drawing on the back of the label, “is the barber who shaves all and only those [Read More...]

Mark Driscoll and T.J. Mackey

I finally figured out who it is that “complementarian” Seattle preacher Mark Driscoll reminds me of.   Because it’s not going to stop ’til you wise up. [Read more...]

All others pay cash: The Shepherd-Balkin Amendment

In other church-state news yesterday, the House of Representatives voted 396-9 to reaffirm that America’s “national motto” is still our national motto. That motto, officially adopted in 1956, is “In God We Trust.” It replaced what had been up until then America’s unofficial motto of “E pluribus unum.” Replacing an affirmation of unity amidst diversity [Read More...]

Respecting an establishment of religion

Ed Brayton flagged this article reporting on one of the dumbest legal arguments ever put forward by advocates of privilege for majority religions: “Giles School Board’s lawsuit defense: Somebody else hung Ten Commandments.” When the [Giles County, Va., school board] voted 3-2 to allow an exhibit of the Ten Commandments and historical documents in county [Read More...]

David Brooks, old bookstores and new trends

Charlie Pierce has lost all patience with David Brooks’ shtick. That’s an amusing rant, if you like that sort of thing (I do, and Pierce is really good at it), but I’m just going to use it as an excuse to repost part of my own David Brooks rant, explaining why his book Bobos in [Read More...]

Dottie Rambo vs. Herman Cain

Herman Cain: Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks — if you don’t have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself! … It is a person’s fault if they fail. Dottie Rambo: He looked beyond my faults and saw my need. It seems impossible — or at best audaciously hypocritical — [Read More...]

Billy Sunday warned us that this would happen

I’m reading W. Scott Poole’s Satan in America: The Devil We Know and have just finished his discussion of Billy Sunday, the celebrity evangelist of the early 20th century. Poole sends us to George M. Marsden’s Fundamentalism and American Culture, in which he shares a warning attributed to Sunday in 1925: Our country is filled [Read More...]