‘Religious outreach’

While Donald Trump’s evangelical outreach continues to flail — “We’ve gotta spiritize this country!” — another election year brings about the quadrennial ritual of articles fretting about the need for “religious outreach” by Democrats. Remember, though, that Hillary Clinton’s long history with her United Methodist Church and her involvement with its women’s groups doesn’t count, because mainline Protestantism doesn’t count. “Religious outreach by Democrats” only counts if it involves obsequious overtures to white evangelicals. [Read more…]

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The crops are all in and the peaches are rott’ning

What if we rewrote “The Da Vinci Code” as an extended episode of “Leverage”? That’s what you’ll find in Ariel Sabar’s amazing attempt to determine the provenance of the allegedly ancient papyrus fragment known as the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. Also: “Hating Hillary” ca. 1996; baby steps for the SBC and a Catholic bishop; and another reminder that Eric Metaxas is a silly, silly man. [Read more…]

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We’ve gotten better at mourning. That’s a sick form of ‘progress’

The enormous change in public response might be more encouraging if the unit of measurement weren’t so horrifying. It is, undeniably, evidence of progress that our communities, our media, our politicians and churches have gotten better at publicly mourning the mass-slaughter of gay men. It is damnably indefensible that violence against LGBT people remains such a constant that it can serve as such a measurement of cultural attitudes over time. [Read more…]

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Chapter and verse

But when I read a story like this, I want to know more. When a member of Congress is leaning on “a passage from the Bible denouncing homosexuality” as the primary basis for his legislative decisions, thereby disgusting his GOP colleagues with his ignorant rejection of the First Amendment, I also want to know which passage from the Bible, specifically, this guy is quoting. [Read more…]

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The Fall of the House of Graham (ongoing)

The transition from Billy Graham to his son Franklin Graham is a microcosm of the past 40 years of white evangelical Christianity in America. For Billy, the primary thing was always proclamation evangelism. That was the core of his identity. For Franklin, the primary thing is always the culture wars — anti-feminism, white supremacy, and the lucrative demonizing of the Other. That is the core of his identity. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (5.11)

Elias Chacour, Barack Obama, Liz Plank, Rebecca Solnit and 111 United Methodist clergy and candidates discuss friends and enemies, truth and fiction, hope and cynicism. There may be a theme here. [Read more…]

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The Rod D. Horror Picture Show

Rod Dreher’s story never happened. The Bad Jackie of the tough Texas suburbs — if any such person really exists — is making stuff up. And she’s so focused on making her story shocking that she forgot to make any of it plausible. But the question isn’t whether Dreher is deliberately lying or just credulously bearing false witness against his neighbors. The question is WHY Rod Dreher so desperately wishes that fantasies like this story were true. [Read more…]

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Postcards from the culture wars (5.6)

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” [Read more…]

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