Each night I wait to get caught

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Speaker of the House John Boehner is stepping down and resigning from Congress next month to take what surely has to be a better job. Any job would be a better job than trying to lead a governing party that hates the idea of governing. Plus: Theology in Chicago, style guides for the apocalypse, and NASA’s live-stream above the clouds. [Read more...]

She leaves her fingerprints everywhere


Some good news from Lancaster County — or, if you’re Republican candidate Ben Carson, evidence of insidious “political correctness” in Amish country. Plus: A nickname for the ages; farewell to Rick Perry; Cardinal Burke and Homeland Security; Countee Cullen; and how a theologian gets more interesting when he stops needing to satisfy people who can never be satisfied. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (9.14)

Duncan Black and Juan Cole on humanitarian bombs and the refugees they create. Shaun King on his daily encounters with Christians. Imani Gandy on the racist lies about Margaret Sanger told by those trying to convince themselves they’re being anti-racist. And the amazing Dr. Hawa Abdi, in her own voice. [Read more...]

Protecting ‘our Christian values’


“You’re doing a lot to help the refugees,” one woman asked. “What are you doing to protect our Christian values?” That is an amazing question — almost eloquent in its obtuse blasphemy. Over here, in one distinct category, is this matter of helping refugees. And then, way over here, is a wholly separate and distinct category of “our Christian values.” [Read more...]

Eric Metaxas says ‘Amen’ to Ann Coulter’s anti-immigrant racism


Ann Coulter’s anti-immigrant campaign is based on an argument that is indistinguishable from the racist manifesto of alleged killer Dylann Roof. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” And supposedly respectable “mainstream” white evangelicals like Eric Metaxas are enthusiastically saying “Amen!” [Read more...]

The Council of Women for Home Missions this ain’t

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There’s a lot to criticize in the early-20th-century “Americanization” efforts of the various Protestant home mission societies, but there’s also a lot to admire. A hundred years later, a new council of prominent spokespeople for America’s Christian Values wants to revive all of the worst aspects of those efforts, while rejecting all that was good about them. [Read more...]

Campus ghost stories and real American history


I’m happy to read about the Penn Ghost Project. I do not believe in ghosts, but I do believe in ghost stories. Searching for ghosts is bound to be a fruitless waste of time. But searching for ghost stories can be important and meaningful. [Read more...]

Republicans divided on germ theory of disease and the monstrous legacy of Dr. Jonas Salk

History's Greatest Monster. (Photo of Dr. Jonas Salk by Yousuf Karsh, 1956)

President Obama urged parents to vaccinate their children. As a result, for the past two days we’ve seen a steady parade of ambitious Republican officials denouncing the evils of vaccination and attacking the germ theory of disease, followed by another group of Republican officials trying to control the damage by arguing that #NotALLRepublicans think that preventing disease is a Bad Thing. [Read more...]