Church and state and erecting convenient boundaries


Out in the Hamptons, explicit discrimination poses as a defense of religious liberty as the privileged majority says permitting Orthodox Jews to travel to their Sabbath services would violate the First Amendment. Hmmm, imposing limits on the freedom of minorities in the name of “religious liberty” — where have we heard that before? [Read more...]

Do white evangelicals have a delusional persecution complex? Barna says yes, and provides quantifiable proof


A great many white evangelicals have a delusional persecution complex. That delusion is an expression of a desire to dominate others. Thanks to Barna’s survey, we know that’s not just a theory or just an argument, it’s a fact. [Read more...]

66 books and all that: Texas schools teaching ‘memorable’ Bible lessons


The separation of church and state is necessary to protect the state and to protect the church. The “Bible” classes in Texas public schools seem to be doing grave harm to both. [Read more...]

‘It means not having to think about any of this, ever’

“What does it mean to be privileged?” Jamelle Bouie asks, “It means not having to think about any of this, ever.” And the rabbi says “Amen.”
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Outsourcing theocracy to Uganda: This is what bad fruit looks like


Uganda is 85-percent Christian. The U.S. is 70-percent Christian. This is not about missions or missionaries or the gospel, this is about outsourcing theocracy. And what these purported Christians are promoting in Uganda is evil. This is a tree bearing bad fruit. [Read more...]

Roe v. Wade backlash myth clouds real history of state’s rights and segregated schools


White evangelicals in the 1970s were upset with the U.S. Supreme Court, but that anger wasn’t about Roe v. Wade or about abortion at all. That anger was about — to borrow Ronald Reagan’s preferred euphemism — “state’s rights.” It was about the belief that “that we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment.” [Read more...]

Who should pray at the inauguration? How about nobody?


We do not need prayers at inaugurations. We need to not have prayers at inaugurations. Those sentences are true whether the “we” refers to we Americans as a nation or to “we” Christians or “we” religious people. Mingling of church and state is not good for either church or state. [Read more...]

How President Obama reminds me of Ron Sider (and why that’s both good and bad)


Ron Sider’s response to personal attacks was to reach out, to invite his critics to meet with him. Even when his critics were clearly acting in bad faith, his response would be to reach out to them in the hopes that he could convince them to act in good faith. That is something I have always admired about him. It is also one of the greatest sources of frustration for anyone who has ever worked with him. [Read more...]