Revisiting the immorality of the religious right’s ‘moral high ground’


The religious right’s assertion that it represented the moral high ground was widely accepted for many years. But once they were challenged to defend that assertion, it proved to be indefensible. That’s why anti-gay ballot initiatives in the United States lost in 2012, and it’s why Irish voters overwhelmingly endorsed marriage equality in 2015. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (6.9)

Charles C. Mann and David Roberts on the future of our species. Dianna E. Anderson on a Mohlerette’s attempt to make Jesus a right-winger. Alana Massey on white Protestantism and American racism. And Redditt Hudson, “I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing.” [Read more...]

The triple crown of the American Pharaoh


I thought it was a newly discovered manuscript by Walter Wink, but it turns out it was a horse-racing result. Also: Obama has only 592 days left to ban all guns and put white people in FEMA camps; The Rock is not Jack Burton — but he could be George Nada; and a single-take long tracking shot that’s even better than the one from “Touch of Evil.” [Read more...]

Sex and marriage and sin (part 1)


let’s start here, with this: “Sin is when you treat people as things.” And let’s consider what this suggests about sex and marriage and the relationship between those two things. I would guess at this point that some of my friends who advocate/enforce a traditional, authoritative set of rules for sexual morality are getting nervous and perhaps a bit defensive. They’re probably worried that I heading toward a discussion in which I will question the rule that says sex can only be moral within the context of traditional marriage. But I’m afraid it’s worse than that. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?

“When a woman has a discharge of blood that is her regular discharge from her body, she shall be in her impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. Everything upon which she lies during her impurity shall be unclean; everything also upon which she sits shall be unclean.” [Read more...]



Shouldn’t the defenders of “persecuted” American Christians be upset when a Connecticut pastor gets gunned down in front of his church? Or isn’t the freedom not to get shot part of what they mean by “religious liberty”? Also: Synchronized swirling science; spooky expense accounts; a peek behind the reality TV curtain; and the exorcists who don’t seem interested in claiming their prize money. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 36: ‘Get in line’


Our hero journalist does not behave like either a hero or a journalist. Instead, a bit absurdly, he sets out to charter a private plane by getting into the very long line at the counter of an airline that does not provide such a service. [Read more...]

‘They made me feel welcome’

Screenshot from Dennis Gilman's "Anti-Islam Protest Attracts Phoenix's Best & Worst" video for the Phoenix New Times. (Click pic for link to full video.)

So just imagine this happens to you, at your church. You arrive for the Sunday morning service and you’re greeted by 250 or so protesters. They’re shouting and angry and they carry guns — lots and lots of guns. And just so there’s no mistaking the focus of their aggressive threats and anger, most of them are wearing T-shirts that say things like “F–k Christianity.” [Read more...]

Never gonna fall for modern love: A personal testimony in The New York Times


But the main thing in that youth group — the paramount, central thing — was sex. Sex, and the not having of it, was the essential defining characteristic of that youth group, and of the subculture and tribe that produced it. In practice, in the undeniable day-to-day experience of that youth group and that tribe, sex and the not having of it were the most important thing that was said and taught and experienced of God. Sex and the not having of it were conveyed as the essential meaning of the faith. [Read more...]

Nothing is secret that will not become known

Martin Landau in "Crimes and Misdemeanors."

The astonishing thing to me about the Dennis Hastert story — the part I can’t manage to wrap my mind around — is that knowing this about himself, knowing his own secret history, he still chose to run for office and to place himself in the public eye. [Read more...]