Postcards from the culture wars (1.3)


“The one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments … are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” [Read more...]

‘Gets colder day by day’


It’s still Christmas time, so here’s another halfway-out-of-the-dark Christmas song, plus an update of the marriage map. some things that made me laugh or think or mourn or marvel or all of the above. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (1.2)

The ethics and economics of Baileyism; John Cleese on stupidity; Alan Bean on pro-torture Christians; James Baldwin on the price we’re still paying for refusing to see; and Bethany Suckrow on “pro-lifers” who bully children into suicide. [Read more...]

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 14: ‘Concorde calling’

This parrot isn't dead. It's just been "Raptured."

The first attempt to describe the full scale of the Rapture in “Left Behind” comes to readers third-hand. We’re told about the description of the global chaos as described by a passing pilot who is relaying the description he received from someone in the control tower at Paris Orly Airport. Here, as always in these books, Jerry Jenkins’ insistence on Tell, Don’t Show blunts the immediacy and the impact of what he’s hoping to convey. Even stranger, it paints Paris as a hotbed of fundamentalist Christianity. And we learn that the oppressed minority of real, true, Bible-believing Christians makes up 50 percent of the global elite flying aboard the Concorde. [Read more...]

I have the road in my blood

Screen shot 2015-01-01 at 4.39.24 PM

RIP Oscar Grant; 3.1 million of your customers just got a raise; weird Florida and weird Bible stories; another oldster takes his turn pretending to be the first to lament “slacktivism;” and this one neat trick to keep you from circling the pump in a rental car. [Read more...]

Happy New Year, etc.


It’s the first of the month, rent is due. Here’s some holiday links, including: That werewolf story wasn’t actually about werewolves; RIP Edward Herrmann; the petulance of New York’s Whiniest; Season 6 of ‘The Wire,’ again; and Hurray for the Riff Raff (the band, that is, but also as a general principle). [Read more...]


Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara as Quasimodo and Esmeralda in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939).

Are sacred spaces recognized as refuges because they are sacred? Or are they sacred because they are recognized as places of refuge? Are they able to stand against the Powers That Be because they are holy? Or are they holy because they stand against the Powers That Be? [Read more...]

I’m a little too young to introspect


Monday Night Linkage, including: Republican House leader says he didn’t realize white-supremacist group was a white-supremacist group when he accepted their invitation; “spiritual” as a Christian euphemism for unserious and non-binding; keeping out the outsiders still not an effective strategy for church growth; Werewolves of Buenos Aires; plus a few of my favorite things. [Read more...]

The Bible is clearly ambiguous, but not that kind of ambiguous


The problem is not that the Bible is lacking in clear, definitive, categorical statements. The problem is that the Bible offers too many of them and they do not all agree. [Read more...]

January 1, 2015 — Email Jubilee


Matt Inman in right — Email is a Monster. And lately the monster has been winning. I need a reset, a fresh start, a blank slate. I need an empty inbox. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. What I need — what many of us need, I’m guessing — is a Jubilee. We need a new start for the new year. [Read more...]