We laid ourselves the best of plans

In theater, you never use a prop gun that’s capable of shooting live ammo, you never allow live ammo anywhere near your prop gun, and you never stage a scene so that even a prop gun loaded with blanks is pointing directly at any actor or audience member. An Arizona troupe just got all three of those things wrong. Plus: Reading the Bible as it is; young-Earth creationism and pool filters; and my state’s awkward practice of electing its Supreme Court justices. [Read more…]

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Sunshine don’t hold up to dark

“After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages … eating delicious pancakes.” Remembering the I in IHOP. Plus: The Stone Age lasted longer than a few generations; Alabama police should choose a more honest Beatitude; and say hello to the Gerry Adams of Operation Rescue. [Read more…]

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We dig our heels in and wonder who’s gonna win

“He was anti-abortion. … Rusty had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything.” Or, in other words, the pattern continues. Also: Still calling bal tashhit on an illegal occupation; Operation Rescue liars make up quotes from RBG; and a fossil from the Garden of Eden. [Read more…]

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Should the dragons on ‘Game of Thrones’ have feathers?

Back in 1993, scientists hadn’t yet learned what they know today about feathered dinosaurs. So the filmmakers of “Jurassic World” had a choice. They could incorporate this new information and change the look of the dinosaurs from that of the first film, or they could opt for continuity in the sequel even though that means sticking with the misrepresentation of the velociraptors from the original “Jurassic Park.” They’re not the only storytellers struggling with this new scientific information. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (5.12)

Candida Moss on the pedagogy of Hell. Libby Anne on “Orgies, Bisexuality, James Dobson, and Evangelicals.” Ronald Osborn on misreading Genesis and mistreating animals. Matthew Frost on the Bible on its own terms. And the Associated Press finds that “Your seafood might come from slaves.” [Read more…]

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Keep it loose, keep it tight

I have this Amos Lee song stuck in my head, so now I’m trying to get it stuck in yours. Plus: The specific wrongness of John Hagee; Scott Walker’s Cheese Shop Sketch; Intelligent Falling; and the fear that unites KJV-only fundies with their “inerrantist” cousins. [Read more…]

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For some it’s a con, for some it’s a game, and for some it’s a gnostic cult. And sometimes it’s all three at once.

I used to think that the audience supporting any given conspiracy theory was made up of three distinct kinds of people: Cynics, true believers, and hobbyists. That’s in the past tense because I no longer quite believe that. What I’m starting to believe, instead, is that any individual supporter of any given conspiracy is made up of all three of those things. [Read more…]

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The earth spins on and on and so much news is bad

Something the size of a mustard seed can produce a nasty invasive weed … or a hilariously inept piece of graphic design. Also: Residency incentives; civilian courts prove capable; “5 Christian Books I WIsh I’d Never Read;” and the archetype the gatekeepers require us to describe as a historical person. [Read more…]

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