The ‘CharlieCharlieChallenge’ doesn’t lead to demonic possession — but it can nurture credulity and willful ignorance, which is worse

SellSoul

The “CharlieCharlieChallenge,” like Ouija boards, is pretty dumb. But neither of those is as bad as the overwrought condemnation of such things by Christians who fear them because they believe they’re actually supernatural. See, Robert Johnson folklore is not actually orthodox Christian theology. And even if you play “CharlieCharlie” at midnight at a Delta crossroads and sign a contract in blood, you can’t actually sell your soul to the devil. That’s not an actual thing. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 35: ‘Nice people finish last’

In Jesus' parable, the priest and the Levite rely on a proper doctrine of salvation by grace and faith alone. The Wicked Samaritan tries to earn his way to Heaven with good works.

Fear of a doctrine of “works righteousness” — salvation through good works — has led to a fear of good works themselves. This is not unique to LaHaye and Jenkins, although they do exhibit a particularly virulent strain of the disease. They believe the road to Hell is paved not with good intentions, but with good works. [Read more...]

The Duggar Family Scandal: A reader

HuckAndJosh

Here’s a round-up of some insightful commentary and reflection in response to the Josh Duggar scandal. This is not the first time that prominent religious right figures have been exposed as sexual predators and hypocrites after making a career out of demonizing LGBT people while celebrating their own sexual “purity.” Nor will it be the last. [Read more...]

Back to the ’80s, because we never left them (part 2)

Witchunter

Any skeptical questions about the reality of these alleged horrors was reinterpreted — and fiercely condemned — as a defense of those same horrors. Questions such as “How did they have time to fly the children to Mexico?” or “Why are there no records of such a flight?” wouldn’t be answered directly because answering them would threaten the fantasy. Instead, anyone asking such questions would be recast as a defender of Satanic ritual abuse by Mexican soldiers. [Read more...]

Back to the ’80s, because we never left them

Laycock

The D&D backlash of the 1980s wasn’t sustainable because the unreality of the imagined threat eventually became impossible to deny. But while this particular form of symptom spiked and dissipated, the disease remains — with the moral entrepreneurs continuing their role-playing fantasy by concocting and warring against ever-new sets of imaginary monsters. [Read more...]

Consent is a necessary prerequisite for any sexual ethic

TwoBoxes2

To put this all another way, for social conservatives, marriage is necessary and sufficient for ethical sexual activity. When they hear folks like Libby Anne (or me) emphasizing the essential importance of consent, they therefore assume that we are, in turn, arguing that consent is necessary and sufficient for ethical sexual activity. But that’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying consent is necessary. Period. [Read more...]

Walmart.moose

WalmartMoose

In praise of “tough nuts.” Plus: the Pledge of Allegiance is idolatrous (and really creepy); “blood moon” lunacy isn’t just a fringe thing; a data point in support of Randall Balmer; and a new reason for (some) politicians and TV preachers to be anxious. [Read more...]

Culture warriors vs. the common good

NapalmInTheMorning

“I would hate for people to vote no for bad reasons, for sort of bigoted reasons, for nasty reasons, for bullying reasons,” Donal McKeown, the bishop of Derry, said before the Irish referendum. A culture-warrior could never say that. For a culture-warrior, a vote for your side is simply a vote for your side — no matter what the motive. If the bigots and nasty bullies can help your side win, then you need their votes. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?

“Then Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines.’ He strained with all his might; and the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed during his life.” [Read more...]

Nationals’ reliever shows us how to organize GOP presidential debates

Screen shot 2015-05-23 at 3.53.01 PM

So here’s my plan: Invite all two dozen of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates to Nationals Park for a post-anthem stand-off. The last four still standing — still on the field, caps held over their hearts — qualify for the televised debates on Fox and CNN. It would be silly and stupid, but it might still be an improvement over the current process — which is, itself, a goofy parody of macho posturing and performative patriotism. [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X