November 6, 2003

I'm not sure why someone thought I'd be receptive to the following invitation, but it arrived today in my mailbox. Anybody else get this? A message from blogsforbush@yahoo.com: As a noted conservative blogger, we'd like to invite you to the virtual Blogs for Bush community, a low-traffic, invitation only e-mail list for bloggers who support reelecting President George W. Bush — plus a group blog you're welcome to join coming soon at http://www.blogsforbush.com/. Our mission at Blogs for Bush is… Read more

November 5, 2003

I have to thank Amy Sullivan of political aims for the link in the previous post to the Hal Lindsey comic. She reviews Alan Wolfe's The Transformation of American Religion in The Washington Monthly. In the course of that review, she describes the old Spire Comics versions of Archie comics: In the days before VeggieTales, we read Christian versions of Archie comic books, in which Betty, Veronica and the whole gang traveled the world proselytizing. Mainly what I remember from… Read more

November 5, 2003

Before Left Behind, before LaHaye and Jenkins, there was Hal Lindsey. Lindsey wrote some of the best-selling books of the 1970s — titles like There's a New World Coming, The Late Great Planet Earth and The 1980s: Countdown to Armageddon. That last title, understandably, has been out of print for about 13 years. Lindsey didn't write novels — although I don't think his books qualify as "nonfiction" either. But he had as much influence and popularity in his day as… Read more

November 5, 2003

"Religion that God accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress …" James 1:27 Itea Goldstein wrote with some good questions about this earlier post in which I wrote: "Religious congregations are well-situated to make a difference in the lives of women struggling to cope with domestic violence." Here's Itea: I'm curious about this statement … What's the reasoning for it? I've always had the impression that: A) Religious groups try to… Read more

November 4, 2003

CNN has high hopes that its forum tonight, co-sponsored by Rock the Vote, will attract the younger viewers that seem to elude the network: Courting an audience that doesn't heavily watch the network, CNN is teaming with the Rock the Vote organization to sponsor a Democratic presidential debate with questions asked by young voters. … CNN, like many individual news programs, tends to have an older audience. Pulling in younger viewers will make the network more attractive to advertisers. But… Read more

November 4, 2003

In an op-ed column in today's New York Times, David Brooks offers a preemptive defense of American resolve in the face of atrocities yet to be committed by Americans. Brooks argues that such atrocities will be a necessary and vital component of America winning the war in Iraq, which is also, he says, "the Battle of Midway in our war on terror." The president will have to remind us that we live in a fallen world, that we have to… Read more

November 3, 2003

1. Dominic Nutt of Christian Aid notes in The Guardian that the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq is in violation of a U.N. resolution over its handling of reconstruction funds from Iraq's oil income: Under UN resolution 1483, the UN also obliged the coalition to set up an independent monitoring board to oversee and to publish these oil accounts. This was meant to happen in May this year and failure is no minor matter. Does this mean the Bush administration… Read more

November 3, 2003

From Avishai Margalit's essay in The New York Review of Books on Norman Podhoretz's The Prophets: Who They Were, What They Are: There is true greatness, I believe, in the prophets. Their writings should not be treated as relevant "lessons" for our times, whether the lesson is for the left, the right, or the center. (Still, anyone who reads Jeremiah, for me the most powerful of the prophets, will recognize that Norman Podhoretz would be hard put to recruit him… Read more

November 3, 2003

A hearty "amen" to this post from Amy Sullivan, who writes of her: … continuing frustration with reporters who have very thin Rolodexes when it comes to writing about religion. Barry Lynn can certainly be considered an expert on most religious matters and I'm sure he's a fine person. But when he is the only source ever quoted to represent a very broad array of opinion, public debate suffers. So, once again, religion/politics reporters: Pull out a few extra cards… Read more

November 3, 2003

I don't remember much of Donald W. Thompson's series of rapture movies from when I saw them back in middle school at Hydewood Park Baptist Church. I do remember that they were pretty scary. Thompson was a low-budget hack, but he had an eye for haunting detail — the drone of an unattended lawn mower in a suburban yard (Thompson raptured people fully clothed) was far creepier and more affecting than anything in Left Behind. Thompson's films — A Thief… Read more

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