Billy Graham and the rise of the religious right

Syndicate theology brings together some leading religious historians to discuss Billy Graham’s legacy in a thoughtful, collegial exchange. Samantha Bee helpfully covers some of the same territory, albeit with a few more jokes about butt stuff. [Read more…]

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NRA: Buck’s clever plan

Buck hopes that his lying to Verna and preventing her from speaking to the greatest evangelist in the world will lead to her accepting Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. That would make life so much easier for Buck and the rest of the Tribulation Force. If Verna only converted like they had, then maybe she’d at last agree to help keep all their secrets secret. And maybe she’d start wearing some heels once in a while. [Read more…]

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Love > tolerance; but (love – tolerance – subsidiarity) < love

Take away all indirect responsibility and all of our more direct, more proximate responsibilities become enormously more challenging. If we begin to treat those direct responsibilities as exclusive — as precluding all of the indirect responsibilities — then we’re soon going to find that it’s impossible to manage them. Without the network of mutuality, we’re on our own for everything — which is to say, we’re screwed. [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” [Read more…]

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The Fall of the House of Graham (ongoing)

The transition from Billy Graham to his son Franklin Graham is a microcosm of the past 40 years of white evangelical Christianity in America. For Billy, the primary thing was always proclamation evangelism. That was the core of his identity. For Franklin, the primary thing is always the culture wars — anti-feminism, white supremacy, and the lucrative demonizing of the Other. That is the core of his identity. [Read more…]

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Calling out in transit

The male leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are now mumbling about maybe, some day, ending the late-developing innovation of a ban on women deacons. We can’t talk about that without talking about Paul’s first-century letter to the church in Rome, which was carried by a woman deacon and greets, by name, a long list of women leaders in the church. Also: Londoners get to vote; all change is incremental; a sexual predator is also a financial predator; and I am really old. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 81: ‘What’s on second’

want us to read Billings’ surprisingly inaccurate predictions as unerringly accurate. The sense one gets from this passage is that the LaHaye and Jenkins are using Billings’ video message to rewrite the account of the previous 200 pages, to fill in or even change the details of events we’ve already read about. It’s a bit like listening to someone botch the telling of a long joke, when they realize halfway through that they’ve left out essential details and they start backtracking and correcting themselves. [Read more…]

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Whatever happened to ‘pro-life Democrats’? Go see ‘Spotlight’

The once mostly Catholic phenomenon of congressional “pro-life Democrats” ended due to the horror of the clergy abuse scandal. Thus nowadays, most “pro-life Democrats” are really blue dogs — “social conservatives” who have found other, more effective, ways of signaling that social conservatism and all that it entails. [Read more…]

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Some days you’re the pearlfish, some days you’re the sea cucumber

Character actor William Schallert found something he loved to do, he got good at it, and he never retired, even after nearly 70 years. May you be so blessed. Also: Nature is really strange; a searchable database of the sleazy rich; and Bartolo’s shot heard ’round the world. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (5.11)

Elias Chacour, Barack Obama, Liz Plank, Rebecca Solnit and 111 United Methodist clergy and candidates discuss friends and enemies, truth and fiction, hope and cynicism. There may be a theme here. [Read more…]

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