Things I Have Learned Due to My Google News Alert for the Word ‘Satanic’

As longtime readers of this blog well know, I have a strong interest in and/or obsession with the ancient, pervasive motif of Satanic baby-killers. In Western cultures, this is the superlative epitome of evil. The ultimate Bad Thing imaginable is the killing of sweet, innocent babies, and this is said to be done for the [Read More…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 79: ‘Grace and greed’

We’re told about all this debauchery and chaos not because our heroes encounter any of it, but because the authors want us to know that “Rayford was worried about his and Chloe’s safety.” Because Rayford was desperate to get himself and his daughter saved “before anything happened to them.” That pretty much sums up the golden-ticket understanding of “salvation” that shapes Left Behind’s version of Christianity. [Read more…]

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OotGOism: ‘Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it …’

Mychal Denzel Smith: “When your self-conception is centered on the idea of your own goodness, it prevents you from hearing any critique of your ideology/behavior. Thinking of yourself as ‘good’ allows you to justify harmful words and actions, since anything you do, in your mind, is ‘good.’ … We will have to create new selves.” [Read more…]

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Seems like a thousand years to go

I’m not saying that everybody needs to heap praise on Beyonce’s new album “Lemonade,” but if you’re a married man and you’re freaking out condemning it, then we’re all going to have to assume you’re cheating on your wife. Also: A Pennsylvania primary roundup; Bad Jackie in the news; the ignoble history of guns in church; and more. [Read more…]

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White evangelicals and ‘the social upheaval of the ’60s’

Usually, this is stated with a polite euphemism. We don’t name all of these things specifically but, instead, we just say that white evangelicalism arose in response to “the social upheavals of the 1960s.” That allows us to pretend that this is about something else — about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, rather than about the backlash to increased legal equality for people of color and for women. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (4.26)

Rick Perlstein on the unpleasant political lineage of Trumpism. Adam Kotsko and Deborah Jian Lee on the whiteness of white evangelicalism. Andre E. Johnson on the old arguments resurfacing as “bathroom bills.” And John Oliver on abortion laws. [Read more…]

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NRA: The Fifth Seal

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 324-325 We’ve arrived at the tricky part of Rayford Steele’s sermon on the Seven Seals of Revelation. The first four are easy for any End-Times preacher because: A) Most people are at least broadly familiar with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; and B) Conquest, War, Famine and Death all [Read More…]

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Sunday favorites

“What you are doing is not good. You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.” [Read more…]

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I hate this sunless Saturday

Anyone knocking on the door, like Cornelius, and saying, “I am one seeking the grace of God to travel with you in God’s service together” should be welcomed. Let’s hope the archbishop sees the larger implications of that. Also: Getting the lead out; imagining a better approach to incarceration; and hospitality and rebirth in an Italian village. [Read more…]

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I don’t have any right to pick the Republican nominee

I’m confused by some of the complaining about so-called “closed primaries.” Pennsylvania’s primaries are next week, but it’s not accurate to say that “Pennsylvania” is holding elections. The Republican and Democratic Parties are holding elections to choose their nominees. Republicans are voting for Republican nominees and Democrats are voting for Democratic nominees. How else should that work? [Read more…]

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