Religious pluralism is a fact (not a belief system)

This Anemone rivularis will be a guest at next month's Civil League Luncheon, where it will be debating the doctrine of heliotropism with a Helianthus maximiliani.

“Religious pluralism [is] the idea that all religions are basically the same.” That statement is so precisely wrong that it can provide a kind of service. It is wrong in a way — or, rather, in several ways — that can help us to better understand a great deal of the world around us. The misapprehending and misapprehension distilled in that single statement can give us new insight and understanding into many things. [Read more...]

‘Card-playing and wine-drinking’ still ‘weigh infinitely more’ for Christians than the weightier matters of the law

"I beseech thee, O Lord, to guide my slave-snatching kidnappers as they seek to restore Oney and her children to bondage ..."

The definitive word on the faith and morality of George Washington belongs to someone who knew him more intimately than any of them — and who saw him far more clearly than any contemporary historian: Oney Judge Staines. [Read more...]

‘You don’t have any Baptist ministers going on jihad’


Santorum’s invocation of “Baptist ministers” above shows that he doesn’t understand that history. And it shows that he doesn’t understand what Baptists are or where they came from. [Read more...]

Memphis in the meantime baby


Action News — and the Jay-walking embarrassments they find to contribute to their ignoramus-on-the-street interviews — only imagine this is news because of the unspoken, and false, assumption that governs this “report.” That assumption is that there is no such thing as a non-Christian, only an anti-Christian. And, therefore, anything that is not an enthusiastic endorsement must be a vicious attack. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (9.25)


Lt. Col. William J. Astore (USAF, ret.) on the American cult of bombing; James Woods (not that one) responds to an anti-abortion survey; Amy-Jill Levine on the parable of the son who refused to be taken in; Josh Marshall reminds us that the Reformation was a bloody mess; and Rachel Held Evans on the big sins crippling the white evangelical church. [Read more...]

Religion and justice: Two corruptions

Every religion worth anything addresses this dilemma in two ways. First by requiring that its adherents practice both charity and justice here in this life. And second by extending the hope that such unfairness will ultimately be rectified, if not in this world, then in the next. When religion goes awry or becomes corrupt, it often results from or results in an emphasis on one of those two aspects to the neglect of the other. [Read more...]

Slightly different construct, same function


Both of those scripts — the “Muslim-on-Muslim violence” narrative that mirrors our American “black-on-black violence” narrative, and the fearful “Clash of civilizations” narrative that projects inherent menace a la “Birth of a Nation” — require us to view Muslims as Other, and as essentially inferior. [Read more...]

Feel our souls wear out and our laces break


Some Monday morning links, including: Joseph and the Appalling Totalitarian Despot revisited; our credit overlords tweak their formula; maternal mules; tearing the corporate veil; and grinning in the presence of mine enemies. [Read more...]