If you close this window in your browser, the world will soon end in a fiery cataclysm. Not "the world might end," but the world will end. And it will do so as a consequence of your closing this window in your browser. We're talking cause and effect. If … then. If X, then Y. [Read More...]

Lying your way to crazy

Wednesday's post on bearing false witness wasn't prompted by a specific incident in the headlines as much as it was by a general phenomenon. Scarcely a day goes by without some public official saying something insanely untrue and ridiculously stupid — and yet says it with what seems to be utter sincerity. Scarcely an hour [Read More...]


"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor," the eighth commandment (in some numberings, ninth) reads. When I was growing up in Sunday school our teachers usually paraphrased the archaic King James Version English of that commandment as "don't lie." Teaching children not to lie is a good Sunday school lesson, but note that [Read More...]

Anti-justice? Wow.

Television and radio host Glenn Beck has, as Steve Benen puts it "doubled down" on his opposition to Christian churches that speak of "social justice." Yesterday, Beck told his radio listeners to "look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. … If you find [them], run as fast as [Read More...]

Rumor-panic, defined

So I’m reading Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend, by Jeffrey S. Victor. Excellent stuff. And I come across this paragraph: In order to avoid vague notions of what constitutes a “rumor-panic,” in my research I defined a “rumor-panic” as a collective stress reaction in response to a belief in stories about immediately [Read More...]

Things I don’t much care for

* Traffic lights that have the same timing patterns at 3 a.m. as they have at 5 p.m. * Lamar Alexander's decision that it was more politically beneficial to lie about the effects of health care reform on skyrocketing insurance premiums than it would be to, you know, actually try to do something about skyrocketing [Read More...]

She is on her way

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. — Arundhati Roy From Minnesota, “Residents work to purchase their own mobile home park“: Owner Bill Halverstadt decided to give the residents who live in the 14-acre Meadowview Manor park the opportunity to buy it [Read More...]

501(c)(3) free speech

Throughout the 1990s I worked for religious nonprofits. Those groups were doubly blessed by the IRS. As religious organizations, they didn't pay taxes. And as 501(c)(3) charities, they were able to solicit tax-deductible donations. Those privileges didn't come without some corresponding stipulations and qualifications. The very same religious status that protected us from entanglement with [Read More...]