Local News 1: A pastor in prison

This is an existential problem. It gnaws at our identity, our sense of who we are. And it gets harder and harder to deal with every time our communities or our subculture is wracked with the kind of scandal that put that local pastor behind bars. [Read more…]

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‘You don’t count the dead when God’s on your side’

Today’s protest anthem and Monday morning open thread comes courtesy of Nobel Literature laureate Bob Dylan. This song should be read alongside Lincoln’s Second Inaugural. Same idea — right down to the parallel meditations on Judas Iscariot. [Read more…]

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Sunday favorites

Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the Civil Rights Movement of Martin come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” [Read more…]

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Mulder, it’s me

Please note that monkey-wrenching a despicably white nationalist Trump initiative with phone calls is not the paramount duty of patriots and neighbors at this time. We shouldn’t be making calls like that until after we’ve called our senators and representatives and flooded those phone-lines with sincere, passionately civil statements to hold those members of Congress accountable for holding Trump accountable. But this particular monkey wrench is available, and the machine needs to be stopped. [Read more…]

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LBCF(T), No. 132: ‘The sticking-place’

Rayford Steele gets a thrill from the idea that he is living in “the most cataclysmic period in the history of the world.” That thrill — which plays a big role in the allure of Rapture-mania Christianity — comes from the idea that this makes him special, that it makes his life more meaningful than it might otherwise seem. That attitude only makes sense from an extremely self-centered perspective: Sure, the apocalypse means widespread suffering and death, but it makes MY life more significant, so on balance that’s a plus. [Read more…]

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Trump requests extension for tax reform plan

The Trump administration today released a slap-dash, vague, one-page document on the subject of “Tax Reform.” It offers little in the way of details, just a series of somewhat-connected bullet-points relating to this general theme. This is not a plan or a proposal, but a wish-list of the various — and often contradictory — ingredients that Trump’s various advisers might want to see should such a plan or proposal ever get written. But, hey, if a loosely related series of bullet points is good enough for the White House, then it’s good enough for me. [Read more…]

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I can’t forget the glamour

Today is the centennial of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, and thus a day worth celebrating. Also: The Temple of Knowledge; the trash-can-as-trash problem; literal navel-gazing with creationists; and Orrin Hatch refers to Native Americans as “far-left special interests.” [Read more…]

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Anxious, overbearing parents glad for return of ‘Brio’

Brio is back. Focus on the Family is resurrecting its magazine targeting the teenage girls of white evangelicalism, because if anyone has his finger on the pulse of what’s hip and cool for teenagers, it’s long-time religious-right patriarch, spanking enthusiast, and proven false prophet James Dobson. Those who remember reading Brio back in the ’90s fall [Read More…]

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Sunday favorites

“Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.” [Read more…]

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‘Im at the preacher’s door’

Today’s protest anthem and Saturday open thread comes courtesy of Kendrick Lamar: We gon’ be alright. (“What do you mean ‘we,’ Kemosabe?”) [Read more…]

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