‘Weaponized’ religious exemptions, in turn, weaponize religion (part 1)

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This weaponized use of religious exemptions has changed the context of the entire conversation that previously shaped our legal and neighborly accommodation of such exemptions. It is no longer about the classic examples of exemptions that are fundamentally defensive in character. This is an effort to use religious exemptions as an offensive weapon for political purposes that have nothing to do with the religious beliefs supposedly in question. [Read more...]

Artificial lemons

TrueLemon

The Indiana governor just signed into law something called a “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” But the law itself is nothing like its 1993 namesake. It’s an artificial Lemon. Indiana’s new law is not an attempt to hold statutes restricting religious liberty to strict scrutiny. It is, rather, a reaffirmation and expansion of the obnoxious logic of the Oregon v. Smith ruling that the real RFRA was written to correct. And it goes beyond that, to grant this power to discriminate not just to the state itself, but to private businesses and business owners. [Read more...]

How the ‘Hobby Lobby’ court invites religious hucksterism

Colbert

By refusing to acknowledge or accept that part of their job, the courts are routinely screwing over local officials who don’t have the option of retreating to some lofty, abstract, above-the-fray perch. Those local officials are required — by laws upheld by the courts — to render judgments about the legitimacy and sincerity of religious claims. And that’s true whether or not the courts ever deign to provide them any guidance for doing so. [Read more...]

Religious liberty and naked beach parties

SpringBreakers

I’m inclined to agree with the police chief’s conclusion: “That isn’t a church.” This certainly appears to be what he and other local officials have concluded — an attempt to exploit the tax-status of a church while operating as a club geared to attract partying spring breakers. But it’s also possible that Bishop has founded a new church that embraces ecstatic forms of worship including — and requiring — body paint, lingerie parties, “and a little twerkin’.” [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (3.20)

Conor Williams dissects David Brooks. Robin DiAngelo on white fragility. Kevin Kruse on the corporate creation of “Christian America.” And Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess on the simplicity of consent. Plus, Christian leaders from across America come together to acknowledge that Franklin Graham is awful. [Read more...]

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...]


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