Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken

Some Monday links now that I’ve finally got our Christmas lights up and working: A classroom video from 1946 gains disturbing relevance today; David Barton pretends that the American Southwest does not exist; white evangelical pastors say horribly cruel things about miscarriages for the same reason their politics is horribly cruel (and vice versa). [Read more…]

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Postcards from the culture wars (11.22)

“Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” [Read more…]

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Donald Trump, dungeon master

Donald Trump s less a candidate for president than he is the dungeon master of a national fantasy role-playing game. That’s the appeal of Breitbart and Alex Jones for their readers and listeners. All the conspiracy theories and falsehoods he promotes aren’t lies intended to deceive the enthusiastic players of Trump’s base. They’re just part of the game. [Read more…]

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The danger of ‘radically different’

Read the comments on any article reporting on such horrors and you’ll find a weirdly contentious unanimity. Everyone is upset. Everyone is appalled. But everyone also seems strangely convinced that their being upset and appalled sets them apart — and that these imagined others who are not upset and appalled also need to be admonished and corrected and punished. The comments quickly go from everyone saying “That’s wrong!” to everyone saying “I can’t believe that anyone would say that’s not wrong!” Even though literally no one is saying that. [Read more…]

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Baptizing Breitbart: Eric Metaxas, George Barna among evangelicals promoting conspiracy theories about international Jewish financiers

This is what we talk about when we talk about George Soros: The idea of a vast, secretive Jewish conspiracy of secretive Jews conspiring secretly to control the whole world through their cunning international finance. If you think his name is self-evidently scary and that any alleged connection to him is somehow damning, it’s because you believe in that anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. [Read more…]

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The more important point about “-lover” suffix insults

I wish I could say that these “insults” were directed at me because I had distinguished myself with an exceptional track record of demonstrating the love such terms accuse me of. All I can do is strive to better live up to such “accusations.” So to all who have called me a “_______-lover,” let me say thank you for the reminder and the challenge to meet such lofty aspirations — the highest calling to which any of us can aspire. [Read more…]

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No, ‘SJW’ is not used to deflate pompous Comstockian moralists. That’s not how it’s used at all.

The Internet is open to the public. We can Google, search on Facebook and Twitter, or browse through the comments at YouTube and the local newspaper site. We can see how and when the insult “SJW” is used. And in the vast majority of cases, that has nothing to do with some imagined meaning about ridiculing self-righteous moral crusaders. In the vast majority of actual usage, the epithet is directed at someone who criticized racism or sexism as unjust and undesirable. That’s how the word is used. That’s what it means. [Read more…]

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The suffix ‘-lover’ isn’t useful for constructing insults

Before we get into the appalling specific applications of that suffix, though, just consider what meaning it brings to the conversation. It says you are defined by your love. It says that love is the whole of your identity. That’s usually a reliable move when the goal is to insult another person. Select a single trait and reduce that other person to nothing but that trait. Define them with and confine them to that single thing and you deny them the dignity of being fully human. Usually. But that doesn’t work with love. [Read more…]

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