What it seems to be all about then


It’s a funny scene for what it is — a child’s childish fantasy of the swaggering hero he wishes/imagines he will be transformed into thanks to the purchase of a product (that product being, of course, an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock). But it’s not so funny when alleged adults — people of the legal age to be considered “grown-ups” — repeat this exact fantasy as the basis for public policy or the lack thereof. [Read more...]

Today’s American mass shooting …


NPR: “At least 14 people were killed and more than a dozen others wounded when up to three suspects armed with long guns entered a facility in San Bernardino, Calif., and opened fire, authorities said Wednesday.” [Read more...]

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...]

Everyone says love is a labor


Former Southern Baptist “ethics” spokesman Richard Land is still talking. Land is still utterly baffled by the concept of consent, and he can’t understand Kids These Days, with their unbiblical notions that sexual ethics should have anything to do with honesty and fidelity. Plus: A Republican governor attacks the police; another fun biblical-studies detective story; and a reminder of Sarah Palin’s old Secret Service nickname (it was not “McKinley”). [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (8.11)


Yolanda Pierce on the “cauldron of proslavery ideology” that shaped American theology. LBJ on the Voting Rights Act, 50 years before John Roberts killed it. John Oliver on sex education. Robert Chao Romero on “Montesinos and the Birth of Brown Theology.” And Tina Dupuy on guns and people who want to be “pro-life.” [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars (8.6)


“The commandments — ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”,’ and any other commandment — are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” [Read more...]

Flying blind and looking for any sign of light


No spoilers, you guys, because I’ve just started watching — but is Christian Slater’s character on “Mr. Robot” a hallucination? Also: Mike Huckabee adds to his list of things that are like Hitler; DeGarmo & Key warn of the dangers of the New Age; and Rick Perry has apparently invested all his money in Netflix. [Read more...]

Rusty Houser hated women. He learned that at church.


I’m talking about the more fundamental teaching of John Russell Houser’s Southern Baptist church — the paramount religious and ethical teaching of that denomination, which says that women cannot and must not be trusted. Rusty Houser was shaped by a faith tradition that does not abide any question or challenge to its official required stance of legal and political opposition to abortion. His church taught him that women are immoral and untrustworthy, and — like Paul Hill and Scott Roeder — he took that teaching to heart. [Read more...]