Sunday favorites

“For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity.” [Read more...]

Life is a maze and love is a riddle


OK, I finally figured out what song that creepy “Always Submit to the Church Administration” ditty reminds me of, and it’s not Frente! after all. Plus: The need for a new Twain; an honest discussion of witch hunts; and the true story of the Lone Ranger. [Read more...]

American-style socialism (Do you wish to continue this transaction?)


The new law was a Good Thing. From now on, banks could no longer charge you ATM fees without telling you about them beforehand. They were still allowed to take $2 out of your account every time you wanted to check your balance or just to get access to $20 of your own money, but they had to tell you they were doing it. In America, in the 1990s, this is what constituted “socialism.” [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (2.12)

Kali Holloway on “How Delusional Nostalgia Is Killing the White Working Class” (i.e., why Trump is winning). Walter Brueggeman sides with the Gospel against the Bible. Margo Kaplan asks and answers a question about how we treat IVF clinics. And Daniel José Camacho on how multicultural churches can wind up reinforcing racism. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 68: ‘A Grief Denied’


The vengeful demiurge of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins seems like a cruel god. Both he and his followers seem to take a bit too much delight in the destruction of the wicked and the weak. They seem to be basing their idea of God on a twisted paraphrase of Julian of Norwich: “All go to Hell, and all go to Hell, and every kind of person goes to Hell.” [Read more...]

Always Submit to the Church Administration


The cult-like Church of Christ (the other one) has produced a video that manages the tricky feat of being simultaneously charming and creepy as hell. The kids are adorable, the message is ghastly. It’s not hard to find this kind of theology in places like, say, Charismanews, but I’ll never understand why such bonkers heresies continue to be described as theologically “conservative.” Anyway, I’d really like someone to do a punk version of this song. Please. [Read more...]

It hurts down here on Earth, Lord

Screen shot 2016-02-10 at 6.00.46 PM

Eliel Cruz’s “Faithfully LGBT” project shows us the beautiful faces of the real people often sidelined by the church as an abstract “issue” to be debated. They’re not issues — they’re our brothers and sisters. Deal with it. Plus: Parents rising up in Flint; John McCain condemns the Torture Party; surprising decency in Georgia; and the British Mycological Society has something for everyone. [Read more...]

This generation has far too many ‘Ezras’ already, thanks


Ezra was such an abusive, wrong-headed jerk that whole chunks elsewhere in scripture go out of their way to repudiate his ideology and behavior. That’s why Ruth is in the canon. It’s why Ruth is in every story of David and why Ruth is in the genealogies of Jesus in the Gospels. [Read more...]

I do not care for primary season


Primary campaigns, and particularly primary debates, tend to get bogged down in purity disputes. When the candidates mostly agree on policies, programs, and priorities, they turn to debating purity, and the focus shifts to accusations and counter-accusations in which old votes and speeches are parsed for supposed evidence of a failure to uphold 100-percent purity on the agreed-upon stance. This is play-acting and pretense and it’s worse than meaningless. [Read more...]

NRA: The most trusted name in news (is not ‘Global Weekly’)


So far in the Great Tribulation, CNN is crushing the competition. The cable news channel has established itself as the one and only reliable source for breaking news in the earth’s last days. Fox News is AWOL in this story — I suppose because everyone there was Raptured. And over at Global Weekly, the world’s greatest reporter has decided to take the month off for an “escapade” in Israel, and to attend a funeral back in Illinois. [Read more...]