Scenes from the class war (9.8)


“You have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?” [Read more...]

Choosing to panic: Moral ‘panics’ require volunteers


Academic studies of moral panics emphasize the function of demagogues, “moral entrepreneurs,” and credulous media accounts. Those all play a role, but they all play largely the same role — that of recruiting volunteers. Without a critical mass of such volunteers volunteering — choosing, deciding — to play along, then would-be demagogues and moral entrepreneurs can never be anything more than cranks. [Read more...]

Sunday WTF?


“Aliens residing among you shall ascend above you higher and higher, while you shall descend lower and lower. They shall lend to you but you shall not lend to them; they shall be the head and you shall be the tail.” [Read more...]

Baptism is always a political act


Believer’s Baptism requires the separation of church and state. More than that: Believer’s Baptism defiantly asserts the separation of church and state. It declares and demands and demonstrates the separation of church and state. [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars (9.4)


“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” [Read more...]

‘Can the Evangelical Left Rise Again?’ No. But thanks for asking.


I appreciate the recent wave of attention being paid to my former tribe, but there’s a reason that articles like this all sound like the presenter giving out a Lifetime Achievement Award to some emeritus trustee at some local nonprofit’s annual dinner, or like someone dedicating the historical marker to honor some worthy, but largely forgotten, event from the past. That tone — fond, but past-tense, a bit like an obituary — is entirely appropriate. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 49: ‘Explicit content’


The conversion scenes in Left Behind, like all pornography, require the reader to overcome an instinctive reaction to look away when stumbling across such intimate scenes, choosing instead the trespassive thrill of voyeurism. These scenes have something else in common with pornography: They take an event that is — or ought to be — primarily about love and portray it as something from which love is absent or irrelevant. [Read more...]

‘Purity culture’ isn’t just a sex thing. It’s a do-nothing thing.

Keep yourself from being polluted by the world.

What then, is a good Christian to do in such a world? As little as possible. Faith is a blank page that must be kept blank. It is a spotless, pure and undefiled white sheet that must be hidden away from anything and everything that might stain its pure whiteness. [Read more...]

Everyone says love is a labor


Former Southern Baptist “ethics” spokesman Richard Land is still talking. Land is still utterly baffled by the concept of consent, and he can’t understand Kids These Days, with their unbiblical notions that sexual ethics should have anything to do with honesty and fidelity. Plus: A Republican governor attacks the police; another fun biblical-studies detective story; and a reminder of Sarah Palin’s old Secret Service nickname (it was not “McKinley”). [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (9.3)

Jon Corvino on why renegade Kentucky clerk is not a conscientious objector. Julie Ingersoll on David Barton and Reconstructionism/dominionism. Elias Isquith on Trump and white male anxiety. Derek Penwell on fundamentalism. And T. Christian Miller’s long, depressing investigation on why nobody’s using ViCAP. [Read more...]