Duck Dynasty’s loveless ethics and … the Aristocrats!


“Duck Dynasty” grandpappy Phil Robertson made an appalling confession, which he presented in the form of an accusation. Robertson revealed a horrific fantasy of his, wrapped up in a long story that was kind of like the old “Aristocrats!” joke, except he changed the punchline to “The Atheists!” What he was telling us, in sum, was that the only reason he doesn’t constantly torture, rape and murder is that he believes God would punish him for it. [Read more...]

Fingers that are picking turn to dust


Sen. Ted Cruz does not want to come on up for the Rising. Plus: The Badger and the cattywampus; J.I. Packer departs evangelicalism; the Big Box and the invisible hand; the “true measure of greatness;” and a reminder that Kermit is the anti-Prufrock. [Read more...]

How the ‘Hobby Lobby’ court invites religious hucksterism


By refusing to acknowledge or accept that part of their job, the courts are routinely screwing over local officials who don’t have the option of retreating to some lofty, abstract, above-the-fray perch. Those local officials are required — by laws upheld by the courts — to render judgments about the legitimacy and sincerity of religious claims. And that’s true whether or not the courts ever deign to provide them any guidance for doing so. [Read more...]

The Satanic baby-killers of London


Here’s how to do it. First, look at The Guardian’s headline for the story above: “Claims of Satanic cult and child sacrifices in London are baseless, judge rules.” That seems like good news, but it also doesn’t say anything about you. And that’s the key to this process — learning to make it all about you. All that requires is a simple tweaking of that headline: “Judge refuses to prosecute Satanic cult and child sacrifices in London.” [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?

“Go in to your father’s concubines, the ones he has left to look after the house; and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” [Read more...]

I’ve gotten down from my little throne

The WITCHES of Chicago. (Click for article.)

Let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the book sales. Plus, schism in the name of unity, the narrative of decline, an obvious Bill O’Reilly joke, unintentional inspiration from Ikea, and music selections from the ghost of Jerry Falwell. [Read more...]

Here, at last, is our 2016 campaign/’Too Many Cooks’ mashup


Back in January, I asked “Where is our 2016 GOP/Too Many Cooks mashup?” The Internet finally comes through thanks to — surprisingly — CNN. No, really CNN. Who knew they had it in them? (They left out George Pataki, and Snarf, but I’m not complaining.) [Read more...]

Religious liberty and naked beach parties


I’m inclined to agree with the police chief’s conclusion: “That isn’t a church.” This certainly appears to be what he and other local officials have concluded — an attempt to exploit the tax-status of a church while operating as a club geared to attract partying spring breakers. But it’s also possible that Bishop has founded a new church that embraces ecstatic forms of worship including — and requiring — body paint, lingerie parties, “and a little twerkin’.” [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (3.20)

Conor Williams dissects David Brooks. Robin DiAngelo on white fragility. Kevin Kruse on the corporate creation of “Christian America.” And Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess on the simplicity of consent. Plus, Christian leaders from across America come together to acknowledge that Franklin Graham is awful. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 25: ‘Yesterday’s news’


The preoccupation with pay phones seems anachronistic to us now because LaHaye and Jenkins failed to anticipate the cell-phone revolution. But the biggest reason that the beginning of “Left Behind” seems dated and unreal has nothing to do with technological change. [Read more...]