John Courtney Murray is still dead

And buried.

In the past couple of posts we've discussed, among other things, the potential hazards when courts are asked to rule about either the factual validity or the sincerity of religious beliefs. Here's Carmen Green on the very real hazard of the courts failing to consider those factors when a case requires them to: The majority says that the birth control mandate does place a “substantial burden” on Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs. And this sentence is crucial: “The owners of the businesses … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (6.17)


Dr. Jen Gunter, "An OB/GYN writes to George Will about college rape" There is no woman who I have ever met personally or as an OB/GYN who thinks that surviving a rape confers some sort of privilege. I am genuinely curious if you interviewed a few young women hoping to earn their college rape badge or is that just a conclusion you reached looking at the issue of sexual assault through the myopic lens of misogyny? Come spend a day in my clinic Mr. Will. Come see how the scars of rape linger … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (5.30)


Julian of Norwich (1342-1416), in Revelations of Divine Love For it is the property in God which doeth good against evil. Thus Jesus Christ that doeth good against evil is our Very Mother: we have our Being of Him, — where the Ground of Motherhood beginneth, — with all the sweet Keeping of Love that endlessly followeth. As verily as God is our Father, so verily God is our Mother; and that shewed He in all, and especially in these sweet words where He saith: I it am. That is to say, I it … [Read more...]

Anti-abortion activist says Obama’s presidential library will be just like Heaven


Michael Bresciani is not a major influential voice within the teavangelical right, let alone within America as a whole. But this back-bench blogger for The Christian Post recently stumbled onto a statement that I think explains far more than he intended about the imaginary world inhabited by folks like him and the millions of other angry white evangelicals he's trying to reach. "Michael Bresciani Says the 'Ghosts of Millions of Aborted Children' Will Haunt Obama's Presidential Library," Brian … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (5.25)


The Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, "African Homophobes Are Politicians, Not Lunatics, Writer Says" To think that the Africans are doing something that has never been heard of — it’s not fair. Don’t just see these things as happening out there. People are saying crazy things about gay people in your own country. The difference between [Ugandan anti-LGBT pastor] Martin Ssempa and [Americans] like Lou Engle or even Focus on the Family, is that here, you can counter their messages. You’re able to … [Read more...]

My expectancies become my fantasies


• The teen abortion rate in America was higher before Roe v. Wade than it is today. • The False Teachers: Tim Challies' series, by that name, reads like a poe or a parody written by someone like me in an attempt to mock the arrogance and epistemic closure of the self-appointed professional gatekeepers of white evangelicalism. Challies, of course, does not appear to everyone to be a self-aggrandizing, self-important buffoon. Other self-aggrandizing, self-important buffoons consider him a … [Read more...]

GOP Rep. Stacey Campfield, Obamacare, and the Israeli health system


It is foolish, offensive nonsense for politicians like Tennessee Republican state Rep. Stacey Campfield to compare the Affordable Care Act to the Holocaust. The former has provided access to affordable health insurance for millions of people. The latter murdered millions of people. This is not a small distinction. Campfield was reprimanded by his own party, but he's doubling-down, not backing down. Campfield is compounding his offensiveness with a further display of ignorance. "I think … [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars

"Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."

"Strom Thurmond is the original tea partier." "Welfare negroes, the United Nations, sexually devious lawyers, satan, a Chinese solar farm, microchips, secret-agent NPS, a Muslim-Kenyan president, hippies, illegals. Take your pick." "It seems that once Americans started trusting in God, they just couldn’t stop, converting every piece of political real estate into a testament of faith that defined our cultural religion against the atheism of the Communist World." "Who can resist the … [Read more...]