A delusional fantasy … on fire!

I’ve sometimes characterized much of the “Teavangelical” right-wing of America as people caught up in a delusional fantasy — and elaborate make-believe role-playing game in which they pretend to be heroic champions battling against Satanic baby-killers, Satanazis, and other imaginary monsters. Some have suggested I’m exaggerating, but I’m not the one who made this video. [Read more…]

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So, how are we going to replace Google Reader?

Google is “retiring” Google Reader on July 1. We have until then to transfer our RSS subscriptions “to another product.” But part of the reason I’ve been relying so much on Reader is that I haven’t found another product that does what I’ve come to depend on Reader doing. So what’s next? [Read more…]

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‘Don’t touch that dial’

Some vintage Clash and some Wednesday morning links, including: most people are deviant; getting it right; the bad theology of Christian Mingle; the parable of the dogmatic young theologian; why quoting Leviticus may not be terribly persuasive; Keep it simple, Whitney; and a Victorian novel involving the exploits of Messrs. Bunk and McNulty of Scotland Yard. [Read more…]

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10 years ago: It begins

March 20, 2003: “CNN is appalling. Wolf Blitzer is making his ‘O face.’ He’s covering this war like it’s Bobby Thompson’s home run. He’s wound up like a little kid on Christmas morning.” [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things

William deBuys says Phoenix “stands squarely in the crosshairs of climate change;” Rachel Barenblatt and Chauncey DeVega discuss slavery — as seen from Passover and as seen from CPAC; Dan Wetzel on Steubenville and the arrogance of rape culture; and Joan Chittister on the weariness of waiting for a better pope. [Read more…]

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Praise for Melissa Rogers as choice to head White House faith-based office

Melissa Rogers is Baptist in the Roger Williams sense of the word, and I agree with the Baptist Joint Committee, the ACLU, the Interfaith Alliance, Americans United, the American Humanist Association, the Anti-Defamation League, Mark Silk, John Fea, Hemant Mehta, Joel Hunter and David Saperstein that Rogers is an excellent choice to direct the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. [Read more…]

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Don’t treat people as symbols for a tribal loyalty quiz

Worse than that, though, is what these tribal trustees are doing when it comes to LGBT people. They’re not treated as people at all — just as short-hand symbols who provide a convenient test. For the tribal gatekeepers, LGBT people do not matter as people. They do not even exist as people, but only as a useful gauge of any given defendant’s beliefs about the “authority of the Bible.” [Read more…]

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Culture-war diaries

Rob Bell and Hillary Clinton take sides; reinventing Promise Keepers; biblical special effects; a new Salem witch hunt; someone really said “This is a government institution, not a secular institution;” Lindsey Graham mistakes “Birth of a Nation” for CNN; and CPAC activists want to see more Republican outreach to white people. [Read more…]

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6 years ago: Worst-case scenarios

That was precisely the plan. The phrases “cakewalk” and “greeted as liberators” were actually spoken, and $1.7 billion was the precise figure cited by the Bush administration. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that America’s military involvement, “Could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” That was Plan A and there was no Plan B. [Read more…]

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Regarding Francis

Just as I anticipated that Francis — or whoever else the new pope turned out to be — would be unsurprisingly disappointing for not being a Baptist, so too I expected any new pope would disappoint when it came to a host of other vitally important issues on which anyone likely to become pope was almost certain to be, well, wrong. The patriarchy and hierarchy of the Catholic church is wrong. The church’s treatment of LGBT people is wrong. The church’s insistence on a nominally/officially celibate priesthood is wrong. These are serious problems and serious mistakes, but I couldn’t seriously expect any new pope not to continue repeating them. [Read more…]

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