Postcards from the culture wars

"Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."

"Strom Thurmond is the original tea partier.""Welfare negroes, the United Nations, sexually devious lawyers, satan, a Chinese solar farm, microchips, secret-agent NPS, a Muslim-Kenyan president, hippies, illegals. Take your pick.""It seems that once Americans started trusting in God, they just couldn’t stop, converting every piece of political real estate into a testament of faith that defined our cultural religion against the atheism of the Communist World.""Who can resist the de … [Read more...]

‘You don’t get to pick and choose’

The only argument Jesus ever lost. ("Christ and the Canaanite Woman," by Jean Germain Drouais, 1984.)

People keep telling me this: "You don't get to pick and choose."I keep saying, "Amen! Yes, exactly."But then it turns out we still disagree. It turns out they don't mean the same thing I mean when I say "You don't get to pick and choose." I'm talking about people. They're talking about texts.Our disagreement and mutual confusion is exacerbated by the fact that my claim -- "You don't get to pick and choose people" -- is itself based on texts. Not on a handful of clobber texts or proof … [Read more...]

Religious gatekeepers would not like Philip the evangelist

A dangerous man.

Philip the evangelist is one of my favorite "minor" characters in the New Testament.Philip was an affirmative-action hire by the early church in Jerusalem -- before that word "church" had even begun to be used. The early Christians shared all their possessions -- "everything they owned was held in common" and "there was not a needy person among them." Part of what that meant was a kind of Meals on Wheels program that took care of widows. But the community was growing fast and, "the … [Read more...]

The white evangelical army of hate is hurting people and redefining ‘Christianity’

That's a cross, the symbol of Christianity, so these folks must be Christians, right? I mean, that's what they say, so that must be what "Christian" means, right?

Let's start with how this affects real people.Here's Ben Moberg, writing about what it's like to be the favorite punching bag for "the likes of the Gospel Coalition, Franklin Graham, John Piper, and Russell Moore." This was written before those bullies forced World Vision to reverse itself and offer a groveling apology -- to the bullies, "When Evangelicals Turn Against Children to Spite Me": I am tired, friends, so tired of being hit. I am tired of being the most galvanizing symbol for … [Read more...]

Franklin Graham’s hateful lies and opportunism winning Huzzahs from white evangelicals

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Franklin Hophni Phineas Graham continues his personal crusade to destroy every decent remnant of his father's legacy:"Gays and lesbians cannot have children," Graham says, "biologically it's impossible."Let that slide. Franklin Graham is the product of an evangelical education, so it would be unfair to expect him to understand reproductive biology. But he follows that misstatement with a nasty lie that he knows is a nasty lie, and he visibly delights in the nastiness of it."They … [Read more...]

Same old story, same old act: A song for World Vision, and for Jesus Jerks everywhere

Southern Baptist leaders Al Mohler and Russell Moore responded favorably to World Vision's reversal.

We’ve given each other some hard lessons lately But we ain’t learnin’ We’re the same sad story that’s a fact One step up and two steps backRNS: "World Vision reverses decision on same-sex marriage, ‘a mistake’" Christian relief organization World Vision has reversed its decision after announcing this week that it will no longer define marriage as between a man and a woman in its employee conduct manual.The earlier decision was a groundbreaking change for the Christian institution th … [Read more...]

The Gospel Coalition is very upset with those who refuse to participate in their lie

The lie works fine, just as long as everyone participates.

World Vision was founded in 1950. So LGBT Christians have been working for World Vision since, oh, about 1951.This is not a New Thing nor is it unusual, and it is certainly not unique to World Vision. Gay Christians have been working for almost all Christian organizations for as long as Christians have had organizations. This has been true even of some of the most vehemently anti-gay Christian organizations. You want names? We can name names: Mel White was a ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell and … [Read more...]

If the comment section of Christianity Today reflects the state of Christianity today, then we need to burn the whole thing to the ground and start over

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I had intended today to write about World Vision's recent clarification of its employment policy. The evangelical Christian relief and development agency has long had a policy that its employees must abstain from sex outside of marriage and remain sexually faithful within marriage. That remains the agency's policy, but it has now clarified that this policy applies to same-sex married couples just as it always has to opposite-sex married couples and to all single people … [Read more...]