Maybe God is trying to tell you something

Your fingers too short to box with God.

I’d advise Trump to stick to some nice, safe evangelical church this week — somewhere that doesn’t use the lectionary shared by most of the world’s Christians. I’m sure he can get his new fundie friends to recommend some local church that would be better-suited for him. Someplace more hospitable to Trump’s central campaign theme of inhospitality.
Some nice, safe white evangelical church, in other words, where Trump won’t have to worry about encountering a God who might be trying to tell him something. [Read more...]

Let’s give top evangelical leaders fancy titles, robes and mitres


I’m starting to think that what white evangelicalism needs these days is more fancy titles, elaborate finery, symbolic vestments, regalia and all the appurtenances of church leadership. I’m talking mitres, staffs (staves?), rings, bling, embroidered cassocks, the whole nine yards. Why would I, as a determinedly anti-hierarchical Baptist, endorse such a thing? [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (1.21)

Ursula K. LeGuin reminds her local paper that public land belongs to the public. Maria Konnikova on why we fall for con games. Woody Guthrie on that racist New York slumlord Old Man Trump. And Carol Howard Merritt on the wage gap in the church. [Read more...]

By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Worvan …


RIP Alan Rickman. Now I will never get my wish that he would one day be hired by Apple as the new voice of Siri. Also: Laws about “natural-born” citizenship seem at least racist-adjacent; the velocity of Republican Bircherization; and a video re-enactment of the proceedings of the Anglican Communion.
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‘Ed Dobson loved homosexuals’

Ed Dobson

Ed Dobson was a lieutenant in Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and helped to create the religious right. The Michigan pastor also worked with ACT UP to find ways that his fundamentalist mega-church could help people suffering from AIDS. [Read more...]

How popular worship songs help fund an abuser


Bob Smietana’s exposé of a spiritually, financially, physically and sexually abusive “prosperity gospel” cult in Nashville is a fascinating, devastating and disturbing read. But it’s the link between that cult and one of the most popular “worship song” writers in white evangelicalism that gives this story broader importance. [Read more...]

Scarecrows dressed in the latest styles


I think it’s not so much the question of “what is this place for?” as the question of “who is this place for?” We don’t see any people in all those gorgeous photographs of this dazzling place. And it’s hard to imagine populating those photos with anyone other than the populace of “the so-called Gold Coast of Fairfield County, which … ranks sixth in the US in per-capita income.” [Read more...]

‘If X is not wrong, then nothing is wrong’


Throughout all those years of refusing to admit that we had been wrong, and were still wrong — and of compounding that wrongness by failing to explore how and why we could have been so thoroughly, utterly, and monstrously wrong — white evangelical Christians sometimes tried to distract ourselves and others by changing the subject. We did this by borrowing Lincoln’s formula: “If X is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.” If we could find some other value for X — anything other than the enduring disgrace of our wrongness about slavery — then we could hope to reclaim some measure of moral credibility. [Read more...]