This is not good news. This is not salvation.


Thomas Kidd's short post today on African American poet Phillis Wheatley gave me pause when it came to his discussion of George Whitefield -- the great evangelist of the Great Awakening whose death was the subject of Wheatley's first popular poem. I didn't realize that Whitefield was a slave-owner -- an untroubled, unrepentant, complacent slave-owner. But he was actually worse than that. Growing up in the white evangelical subculture, I knew a bit about Whitefield. We studied the … [Read more...]

The ivy taps on the window pane


• The state of Iowa may well elect a U.S. senator who believes in -- and fears -- Nicolae Carpathia, the fictional Antichrist character in the World's Worst Books. Tim LaHaye's John Birch Society paranoia and ignorance about what the United Nations actually is are now so mainstream that a major party candidate for national office openly uses Left Behind as a foreign policy manual: Out here in Real World Land, Agenda 21 is a nonbinding international initiative aimed at promoting sustainable … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (6.17)


Dr. Jen Gunter, "An OB/GYN writes to George Will about college rape" There is no woman who I have ever met personally or as an OB/GYN who thinks that surviving a rape confers some sort of privilege. I am genuinely curious if you interviewed a few young women hoping to earn their college rape badge or is that just a conclusion you reached looking at the issue of sexual assault through the myopic lens of misogyny? Come spend a day in my clinic Mr. Will. Come see how the scars of rape linger … [Read more...]

Let me be your choir


• The Naked Football Club is a team of Brazilian prostitutes who played a match Saturday in Belo Horizonte, a city that is also host to the World Cup. The match, played against a local university club, was an effort to raise awareness about sex-workers' rights. "Rights must be the same for everyone," player Patricia Bonges said. "The match was organized by the Prostitutes' Association of Minas Gerais," AFP reports, which represents the region's 80,000 sex workers, fighting for their rights, … [Read more...]

Father’s Day


To all the fathers out there, here's hoping you have a much better Father's Day than the one I expect Tywin Lannister will be having this evening. And here's hoping you'll be a much better father ... (For those not watching Game of Thrones or reading the books: Tywin Lannister -- deliciously portrayed in the HBO show by Charles Dance, above -- is a Very Bad Father who habitually does Very Bad Things to his children and to other people's children. If I follow the story correctly, then tonight … [Read more...]

Prayer isn’t a game of ‘What’s My Line?’


Hemant Mehta is right -- this Family Circus cartoon offers the "least helpful theological advice ever": Granted, picking on Family Circus is low-hanging fruit. The treacly fixture of the comics page is usually only good for a laugh if you disregard the caption and replace it with Charles Lavoie's proposed universal New Yorker cartoon caption. (In this case, that's funnier if you make it Jeffy's response to his mom.) But as is often the case, this cartoon is recycling a common platitude -- a … [Read more...]

Sunday favorites

Matthew 12:7 But if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice,” you would not have condemned the guiltless. … [Read more...]

They took down that post


This is a pleasant surprise. They took down that post. By "that post" I mean the horrible rape apologia published earlier this week by Leadership Journal, Christianity Today's magazine for white evangelical pastors. And by "they" I mean both Leadership Journal -- which removed the post entirely, and "they" the dozens of Christians, mostly women, who wrote to the editors of LJ, commented, wrote blog posts and started the Twitter hashtag #TakeDownThatPost. The latter "they," remarkably, were … [Read more...]