Scholar clarifies, walks back his comments in Atlantic ISIS essay

Haykel’s comments were widely criticized because they were so familiar. It’s the same old language that religious fundamentalists always use to try to delegitimize the faith of non-fundies. It’s the same language that white evangelical Christians constantly use to try to discredit mainline Protestants. It’s the same language used in most of the hate-mail that I get as a non-fundie religious blogger. [Read more...]

The framework of fundamentalist propaganda distorts how we view every religion

Screen shot 2015-02-20 at 4.24.01 PM

I think of this as a Yeatsian framework because it privileges the supposedly “more authentic” forms of religion due to their passionate intensity, while disregarding the supposedly “less authentic” due to their imagined lack of all conviction. And because it admires the passionate intensity of what I consider the worst aspects of religion while dismissing what I consider the best of religion as nothing more than that lack of conviction. [Read more...]

When some faction says they, and they alone, are the Real, True Christians, you shouldn’t take their word for it

StupidJuice22015.

The compulsion to elevate oneself as the righteous remnant, and to draw boundaries between Real True Believers and everyone else, is the hallmark of a particular strain of fundamentalist religion. It is a mark of religion that, I think, has elevated the cardinal sin above the cardinal virtue — substituting pride for love. That pride drives the obsessive need to constantly make and enforce distinctions between Us, the righteous few, and Them, the apostate hordes falsely claiming the name of our religion as they trundle down the broad path toward destruction. [Read more...]

Remarks by the President at the National Prayer Breakfast

COLCOD

“Our job is not to ask that God respond to our notion of truth — our job is to be true to Him, His word, and His commandments. And we should assume humbly that we’re confused and don’t always know what we’re doing and we’re staggering and stumbling towards Him, and have some humility in that process. And that means we have to speak up against those who would misuse His name to justify oppression, or violence, or hatred with that fierce certainty. No God condones terror. No grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives, or the oppression of those who are weaker or fewer in number.” [Read more...]

‘Everybody Loves a Holy War’

MarkMark

‘Everybody loves a holy war
Draw the line and claim divine protection
Kill the ones who show the most objection
Everybody loves a holy war’ [Read more...]

The National Prayer Breakfast is bad for the nation, bad for prayer, and bad for breakfast

President Abraham Lincoln never once attended the National Prayer Breakfast. (Creative Commons photo by Jeff Kubina.)

I do not much care for the National Prayer Breakfast. This is an event at which people display their patriotism by showing their disdain for the Constitution. It’s an event at which people display their piety by contradicting the words of Jesus in the Gospels. That makes the National Prayer Breakfast bad for the nation and bad for prayer. [Read more...]

If our dreams fall like bombs from the blue

HickeyRevelation

Please join me in reading Buzzfeed’s profile of “men’s rights” champion Paul Elam. American conservatives do not like journalists and aid-workers. Why it’s dangerous to say “secular” when you actually mean “profane.” Plus more bad religious comic books, Captain Jack, and what “Caddyshack” can teach us about American history. [Read more...]

The Bible wasn’t written to provide source material for inspirational posters

MountUpBaby

Open a Bible at random and poke a finger arbitrarily at any verse and you’re just as likely to encounter something bizarre, bewildering or bloody as you are to find something sweet and soporific. The Bible is not a collection of harmless, uplifting platitudes. It is not an almanac of pleasant sayings suitable for cross-stitching. It is not an endless catalog of slogans to be screened onto T-shirts or recited by the local Chamber of Commerce for the purpose of civic pacification. [Read more...]


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