Smart people saying smart things


Rachel Held Evans on the strange exemption of Jesus’ teaching from “literal” interpretation. Dahlia Lithwick and William Lindsey on the Supreme Court’s decision that religious majorities should enjoy the majority of religious rights. Jane Mayer on “Ronald Reagan’s Benghazi.” And Kathryn Joyce on the pattern of sexual abuse in authoritarian, unaccountable Protestantism. [Read more...]

My expectancies become my fantasies


I checked — Tim Challies’ “False Teachers” series is not actually a parody mocking the self-importance of self-appointed tribal gatekeepers. … Lots of new places to be legally shot at in Georgia. … Coprolites! … Charisma magazine is not big on understanding irony. … “No spacemen up above, and we’re still far from love …” [Read more...]

The establishment gets religion: It’s the National Day of Prayer


In 1952, Congress passed a law establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual religious observance. Quick: give me another sentence that uses the words “Congress,” “law,” “establish” and “religion.” [Read more...]

We won’t come back from Dead Man’s Curve

President Richard Nixon on "Laugh In."

Imagine a world in which the stuff Pat Robertson says was actually true. Galifianakisgate. The religious liberty to beat infants with wooden spoons. Religious right groups claim that Thin Mints, Do-si-dos are abortifacients. Mike Huckabee briefly stops slut-shaming in order to praise himself for being chivalrous. [Read more...]

Pope Francis says maybe to civil unions

In the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, this couple is in a civil union. Bruce and Patty have been legally married for more than 22 years, but because Mr. Springsteen's previous marriage ended in divorce, the church does not recognize this marriage as legitimate. (Getty Images photo by Jon Raedle.)

Roman Catholic Church is not lobbying to make it illegal under secular law for anyone to obtain a civil divorce. Nor is it attempting to prevent divorced people from access to legal, civil remarriage. Divorce and remarriage are, in the eyes of the Catholic church, sins. But the church acknowledges that they are also a legal right that it would be unjust and immoral (i.e., sinful) to deny others. There’s no reason — no Catholic reason — that Pope Francis and his church could not take the same approach to same-sex marriage. [Read more...]

There’s buzzing, there’s static, someone’s on the line


A good source for tracking events in Ukraine. Sousveillance and small-town Texas police. Michael Walzer on the hatred of imaginary Jews. Flipping the script on “religious liberty” as religious privilege. “Do not be alarmed if your Bird Bible has a faint egg smell.” My favorite moment from the Academy Awards. [Read more...]

A wolf in wolf’s clothing: Reviving the ‘religious liberty’ to hang Quakers in Boston Common


The attempt to redefine “religious liberty” as a license to discriminate isn’t really a “wolf in sheep’s clothing that masks discrimination under a veneer of piety.” It’s a wolf in wolf’s clothing, with a veneer of piety that has never fooled anyone. It is the same impious impulse that led good Christian people to hang Mary Dyer on the Boston Common. [Read more...]

‘An excellent job at de-evangelization’


If you set out deliberately to destroy the church and pervert the gospel, you probably still couldn’t come up with anything as diabolically effective as the teavangelical nonsense of the angry white religious right. Here is some good commentary on Arizona from William Lindsey, E.J. Dionne and Rachel Held Evans. [Read more...]