Ignorant Christians need to STFU about ‘the poor you will always have with you’ until they can be bothered to understand what Jesus actually said

I took this picture in Bethany in 1990, not far from Martha and Mary's house. (Or, at least, not far from where Constantine's mom thought Martha and Mary lived.)

“Do not show ill will toward the needy and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.” Rick Perry didn’t mean to quote that passage from the Jubilee laws in Deuteronomy, but like far too many ignorant Christians, that’s just what he did. [Read more...]

Commies and papists and whiskey, but not civil rights


John Fea plucks an odd nugget of history out of Molly Worthen’s Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism: The Resolutions of the National Association of Evangelicals’ Commission on Evangelical Action, organized early in the NAE’s history, give some measure of what “social action” meant to mainstream evangelical leaders in the early 1960s. [Read More...]

A really big wheel of cheese, Southern Baptists, the Bible, and slavery


In 1802, John Leland created the 1,234-pound Cheshire Mammoth Cheese and personally transported it 500 miles, by sleigh. But a few years earlier, in 1789, Leland attempted something even more audacious — he prompted the Baptists of Virginia to consider Jubilee, immediate emancipation, and a declaration that slavery was “contrary to the word of God.” [Read more...]

NRA: Rebuilding the post-Rapture church

The Arch of Titus in Rome commemorates the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. (Creative Commons photo by Dnalor 01)

This puts the Antichrist on a very tight schedule. He has a strict list of prophecies that are going to need fulfilling and that timeline is non-negotiable. Within three and a half years of the Rapture, the Antichrist is going to need to be persecuting a global church and he’s going to need to be desecrating a Temple in Jerusalem. And there, on Day One of the Great Tribulation, the morning after the Rapture, neither a global church nor a Temple will exist. [Read more...]

Sen. John McCain on the failure and disgrace of American torture


“But in the end, torture’s failure to serve its intended purpose isn’t the main reason to oppose its use. I have often said, and will always maintain, that this question isn’t about our enemies; it’s about us. It’s about who we were, who we are and who we aspire to be. It’s about how we represent ourselves to the world.” [Read more...]

White evangelicals, Southern Baptists, and #BlackLivesMatter

Dozens of heavily armed police in Oakland line up to contain the threat posed by a citizen bearing a dangerous message. (Reuters photo by Elijah Nouvelage)

Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore’s response to the killing of Eric Garner is a remarkable change from the odious statements his predecessor, Richard Land, made in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Land was worried about not being perceived as racist. Moore, on the other hand, sounds like a man who has decided he doesn’t want to be a racist. It will be interesting to see if he’s allowed to continue talking like this. [Read more...]

Where do you go when you finish broken-hearted?


Monday Night Linkball, including: Atheist displays in Rayford Steele’s backyard; the prophets were not fortune-tellers; gas prices dropping; the “private sector” in Atlantic City isn’t very private; why you should say “No, thank you” to police searches; and the Astaire/Rogers/Taylor mash-up you didn’t realize you were waiting for. [Read more...]

‘It’s the Apocalypse, Stupid’: Matthew Sutton on how ‘Bible prophecy’ and Rapture mania deform American politics


“My argument in a nutshell is that the apocalyptic theology that developed in the 1880s and 1890s led radical evangelicals to the conclusion that all nations are going to concede their power in the End Times to a totalitarian political leader who is going to be the Antichrist. If you believe you’re living in the last days and you believe you’re moving towards that event, you’re going to be very suspicious and skeptical of anything … that is going to give more power to the state.” [Read more...]

Sunday favorites

“We wait for new heavens and a new earth, where justice is at home.” [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 10: ‘The Hypothetical Bus’


Don’t put off re-reading this 2003 post on how “Left Behind” substitutes old-fashioned hellfire & brimstone evangelism for a tribal triumphalism that’s even worse. Sure, you could set it aside to read later … but then you might just walk out that door and get hit by a bus. And then what good would your plans to read it later do you? [Read more...]