You better get yourself together

The job of POTUS is an odd one. Sometimes it involves listening to country singers cover John Lennon songs while you're wearing a tuxedo and sitting in between your mother and your wife and realizing that your every reaction is being recorded, broadcast and scrutinized. A very odd job is all I'm saying.

Lots o’ links: On Rick Perry’s “Christian warriors;” dubious clinical studies; Christian lies emergency contraception and loving fathers; why evangelicalism is “a subculture striving to be a counterculture;” and one anti-gay pastor’s reflections on the strange inner stirrings he feels whenever he sees two men together. [Read more...]

‘The Right Club’ and what offends God


A local church goes tribal in reaction to an atheist billboard. Here’s what their failed attempt at a snappy comeback tells us about the difference between serving God and scoring points for Team God. And that verse — “Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God’” — really needs to be read in the context of the whole chapter, because Psalm 14 isn’t about God being offended by atheist billboards. [Read more...]

Sunday favorites

Nehemiah 5:9-11: So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God, to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies? Moreover, I and my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us stop this taking of interest. Restore to them, this very day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive orchards, and their houses, and the interest on money, grain, wine, and oil that you have been exacting from them.” [Read more...]

More smart people saying smart things

Ezra Klein on why poor people are more responsible than the wealthy; Leah Libresco on Jen McCreight and women bloggers; Sarah Moon on why Mark Driscoll doesn’t like Esther; and Craig M. Watts on how the religious right gets covetousness backwards. [Read more...]

More scenes from the class war

Fox News viewers may have trouble driving from Oklahoma to Mississippi.

“Middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.” “The census data that just came out show that the median household income — the amount at the 50th percentile — was about $50K last year.” “Blessed are those who, in moments of moral integrity, defy this cynical list of political beatitudes and act from a sense [Read More...]

Giving names to the animals


Here’s a delightfully odd Bob Dylan song: I’ve been thinking about that one lately as I’ve tried to give names to all the animals who dwell in or visit my little patch of Chester County — such as the pickerel frogs like the one pictured here. That photo is by Wayne Fidler, from the Pennsylvania [Read More...]

NRA: Joshua Judges Rayford


Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 63-65 Nicolae Carpathia is flying from Dallas to San Francisco, casually giving orders for the nuclear destruction of dozens of cities and the death of millions of people. And neither Rayford nor Amanda Steele bothers trying to stop him. I blame Bruce Barnes for that. For more than a [Read More...]

The other side of ‘Summer’


Today is the last full day of summer. Autumn officially begins tomorrow morning at 10:49 a.m. And don’t get me wrong, dear, in general I’m doing quite fine  … “The Boys of Summer,” Don Henley “Dog Days Are Over,” Florence + The Machine “Endless Summer,” Daniel Amos “The Other Side of Summer,” Elvis Costello “Rain [Read More...]

Regarding the first rule and the First Amendment

This Austin, Texas, homeowner is, and should be, protected by the First Amendment. But no force on earth can protect him from the consequences of violating Rule No. 1.

Try not to be an asshole. That’s always the first rule. That’s Rule No. 1. No matter what the topic, no matter how specific or how general, Rule No. 1 is always Rule No. 1. It comes first not because it’s the most important, necessarily, but because unless we hear and heed Rule No. 1, [Read More...]

What would it mean if Jesus had been married?


One of the odder stories this week involves a small scrap of Coptic papyrus and what it says about Jesus. The fragment is old, but not Jesus-old. It’s more like Constantine-old — 4th-century probably. I’ll let James McGrath summarize: Karen King, a scholar well known for her work on the phenomenon usually referred to as [Read More...]