LBCF(T), No. 132: ‘The sticking-place’

Rayford Steele gets a thrill from the idea that he is living in “the most cataclysmic period in the history of the world.” That thrill — which plays a big role in the allure of Rapture-mania Christianity — comes from the idea that this makes him special, that it makes his life more meaningful than it might otherwise seem. That attitude only makes sense from an extremely self-centered perspective: Sure, the apocalypse means widespread suffering and death, but it makes MY life more significant, so on balance that’s a plus. [Read more…]

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I can’t forget the glamour

Today is the centennial of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, and thus a day worth celebrating. Also: The Temple of Knowledge; the trash-can-as-trash problem; literal navel-gazing with creationists; and Orrin Hatch refers to Native Americans as “far-left special interests.” [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 131: ‘7 pages, 6 phone calls’

Bad writing entails a failure to convey or communicate whatever it is that the writer is trying to express. LaHaye & Jenkins have failed at something prior to and more fundamental than that. They began by portraying one whole world — the post-Event world following the Rapture, and then they abruptly and completely abandoned it for a different one, a different kind of world, in which the next set of preordained events from their End Times Checklist could be imagined. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (4.20.17)

Wise words from Te-Nehisi Coates, David Dark, Fred Rogers, Ijeoma Oluo (and her brother), Molly Worthen, and from a former president who used to offer hope and inspiration at annual Easter prayer breakfasts. [Read more…]

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Money, Hell, and ‘Kirk Drift’

That engagement may initially be hostile, but that hostility compels me to pay attention. It gets me to the point of, “Oh yeah? Well, we’ll see about that!” And, as embarrassing as that misplaced hostility may later prove to be, it has the salutary effect of compelling me to see about that, which means it can render me, perhaps for the first time, capable of seeing about that. [Read more…]

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Captain Kirk, the Green Woman, and the Bible

She must have been one of Kirk’s romantic conquests, right? If you had asked me that, I’d have told you, yes, of course, everyone knows that. J.J. Abrams even included a funny reference to it in the 2009 movie reboot. But as Horáková points out, that’s wrong. James T. Kirk never even met that green woman. The text doesn’t always say what we are sure it says. [Read more…]

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Holy Saturday

Yesterday was this same Saturday, and so was the day before that, and the day before that, and the day before that. Why should we expect that tomorrow will be any different? Seriously, just look around. Does it look like the meek are inheriting the earth? Does it look like those who hunger and thirst for justice are being filled? Does it look like the merciful are being shown mercy? [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 130: ‘Dissipation’

Every attitude expressed by Buck here — his condescending exploitation, his bitter, spiteful frustration — is reinforced later in the book or the series by born-again characters intended to be perceived as wholly reliable narrators. Hattie refuses to be merely a sexless and submissive helpmeet, so she is condemned as a slut. These are, in the world of Left Behind, binary options for women. [Read more…]

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