Loveless ethics and the enormous, mendacious, disembodied anus


I like this bit from comedian Patton Oswalt: “What if I 1,000-percent believed … that there was a giant, invisible anus hovering over me, and if I wasn’t nice, and helpful, and courteous and charitable to everyone I met, the anus would appear, suck me up into it, and I would be devoured by shit piranhas? I would be the nicest guy you ever met.” But I don’t think such a belief really would make him a nice guy at all. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?

“When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place.” [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 26: ‘Go to Hell’


Most evangelical fiction has conveyed this evangelistic impulse — albeit with the unfortunate awkwardness and fecklessness that characterizes too much of their evangelism. But that’s not what one finds in Left Behind. Here you find little concern — and even less of a sense of responsibility — for the plight of the untold millions. What one finds instead is a sense of triumphalism. Those “inside the fold” feel no sense of obligation to those on the outside — they are bad people who are getting what they deserve and the godly remnant gets to watch, more in delight than in sadness. [Read more...]

Fingers that are picking turn to dust


Sen. Ted Cruz does not want to come on up for the Rising. Plus: The Badger and the cattywampus; J.I. Packer departs evangelicalism; the Big Box and the invisible hand; the “true measure of greatness;” and a reminder that Kermit is the anti-Prufrock. [Read more...]

How the ‘Hobby Lobby’ court invites religious hucksterism


By refusing to acknowledge or accept that part of their job, the courts are routinely screwing over local officials who don’t have the option of retreating to some lofty, abstract, above-the-fray perch. Those local officials are required — by laws upheld by the courts — to render judgments about the legitimacy and sincerity of religious claims. And that’s true whether or not the courts ever deign to provide them any guidance for doing so. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?

“Go in to your father’s concubines, the ones he has left to look after the house; and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” [Read more...]

I’ve gotten down from my little throne

The WITCHES of Chicago. (Click for article.)

Let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the book sales. Plus, schism in the name of unity, the narrative of decline, an obvious Bill O’Reilly joke, unintentional inspiration from Ikea, and music selections from the ghost of Jerry Falwell. [Read more...]

Religious liberty and naked beach parties


I’m inclined to agree with the police chief’s conclusion: “That isn’t a church.” This certainly appears to be what he and other local officials have concluded — an attempt to exploit the tax-status of a church while operating as a club geared to attract partying spring breakers. But it’s also possible that Bishop has founded a new church that embraces ecstatic forms of worship including — and requiring — body paint, lingerie parties, “and a little twerkin’.” [Read more...]