Sunday WTF?

“So Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took some torches; and he turned the foxes tail to tail, and put a torch between each pair of tails. When he had set fire to the torches, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burned up the shocks and the standing grain, as well as the vineyards and olive groves.” [Read more...]

There must be a better world somewhere

Asked to name "the greatest living president," several 2016 Republican candidates answered "Ronald Reagan." (Click angry Nixon for full story.)

No, Texas: Accurately noticing that many Christians do not give as much as they can to help the poor is not “bashing on the Christian community” — although Jesus, James, and many of the early church leaders did bash on the Christian community for that very reason. Plus: RIP BB King; Republicans name Ronald Reagan the greatest living president; three more things that confound Louis Gohmert; and if you want to be a hero, YNATKC. [Read more...]

‘We must be careful about what we pretend to be’: How tribal cheerleading creates new tribal dogma and changes the tribe to conform to it


Over time, these kinds of tribal-cheerleading responses to pollsters and other catechists eventually become required responses. And thus, over time, the things that people pretend to believe as a “way of showing that they’re members in good standing” of their political faction become the things that members of that faction actually believe. The fluff becomes substance — becomes dogma. And the tribe is transformed to conform to this new dogma. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 33: ‘The Final Frontier’

"Excuse me, but what does God need with a starship?"

Despite Left Behind’s intended “Bible-prophecy” premise, I still haven’t ruled out the space-alien theory. I’m not thinking of the almond-eyed grays of “Close Encounters,” but of something like the powerful creature in “Star Trek V” who masquerades as God. Yeah, I know. The odd-numbered Trek movies mostly suck, but bear with me here. … [Read more...]

It’s hard to believe it’s been 505 years since 1607

Screen shot 2015-05-14 at 5.19.57 PM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stumbles on history, and arithmetic. No wonder he wants to cut education funding. Plus: What actually works to repel mosquitoes; Bill O’Reilly doesn’t care for you kids today and your race music; and “Congrats, you have an all-male panel!” [Read more...]

Harriet Tubman stole from the rich and gave to the poor

The real-life American Robin Hood.

Harriet Tubman was Robin Hood. Later in her life, after the law had been changed and the Constitution rewritten, Tubman was praised and honored as a war hero and a humanitarian. But make no mistake, during her years as a “conductor on the Underground Railroad,” Harriet Tubman was an outlaw and a thief who regularly stole the property of wealthy Maryland farmers. [Read more...]

When you’re chewing on life’s gristle


Cheer up, Huck. Some things in life are bad. They can really make you mad. But 30 years later you’ll realize the sky didn’t fall. Plus: Historical Adam listicles, moving your neighbor’s ancient boundary stone, millions still subscribing to AOL, and a speech from the accidental senator. [Read more...]

White privilege: An illustration

This photo is the product of a string of poor decisions.

For those keeping score at home, if you’re white, you can apparently refuse to take your hands out of your pockets and threaten to kill a cop while sporting a tattoo of the Number of the Beast on your forehead. But Freddie Gray is dead because he “made eye contact” with a police officer. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (5.12)

Candida Moss on the pedagogy of Hell. Libby Anne on “Orgies, Bisexuality, James Dobson, and Evangelicals.” Ronald Osborn on misreading Genesis and mistreating animals. Matthew Frost on the Bible on its own terms. And the Associated Press finds that “Your seafood might come from slaves.” [Read more...]

James Dobson cannot really believe what he says about legal abortion and the Holocaust

If you're living under the Third Reich, your first moral obligation might not be to make a fortune peddling books about how to spank your children.

James Dobson isn’t alone in making this claim. The legal-abortion-is-worse-than-the-Holocaust line is so frequently repeated by anti-abortion white evangelicals that Dobson’s remark is really just a bit of “pro-life” boilerplate. But repetition hasn’t made this claim any less outrageous or any more credible as something anyone could possibly say in good faith. If you try — really try — to imagine the implications of someone saying such a thing whole-heartedly and in good faith, you’ll be forced to conclude that can’t be what Dobson is doing. [Read more...]