American Exceptionalism: A simple test of national character


Here is a video showing how Norwegian people respond when they encounter a child who has been separated from his parents:Here is a video showing how Americans respond when they encounter children who have been separated from their parents:Any questions? … [Read more...]

Liars for Jesus are the dungeon masters of the fantasy role-playing game of white evangelicalism


When I talk about Liars For Jesus like David Barton functioning as Dungeon Masters for the fantasy role-playing game of American evangelicalism, what I mean is things like this: "Disgraced Former Liberty Dean Ergun Caner Gets New Job, Seeks to Silence Critics."Ergun Caner got canned by Liberty University, where he was dean of the seminary, when it turned out that his claim to fame -- being a former Jihadi zealot and an expert on Islam -- wasn't true.But while Caner was a bad liar, he was … [Read more...]

Mark Driscoll cannot escape the shame of his willingness to associate with Janet Mefferd

Hates Muslims. Hates gays. Tells lies about them. None of that is good.

"Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love." Here's the other piece of the Mark Driscoll plagiarism saga that's not getting nearly enough attention: This all blew up after he appeared on Janet Mefferd's radio show.He did that. He agreed to appear as a guest on Janet Mefferd's radio show. He did that voluntarily.There's only one reason an honest Christian leader should ever agree to appear on Janet Mefferd's radio show, and it's not to plug their book (whether or not that … [Read more...]

Neo-Bircher apocalyptic politics harms the people who embrace it


Got distracted and derailed a bit this week, so I won't have a chance to check in with Buck Williams and his thrilling rescue of Tsion from Zion. (In other words, no Left Behind Friday this week.)Here, instead, is a news item from yesterday that underscores the sad influence of the Left Behind novels and their whole silly form of fright-peddling: "Texas to Tea Party: No, the Alamo Won't Fall Under U.N. Control."The Alamo will not fall under United Nations control if it is named a UNESCO … [Read more...]

50 years later, the ‘Fright-peddlers’ are still peddling fright


Before reading this post from karoli, I had never heard of Sen. Thomas Kuchel's 1963 "Fright Peddlers" speech. (I don't think I'd even heard of Sen. Kuchel, actually.)Maybe this is already familiar territory for you, something you read in school. It certainly seems like something I ought to have read in school, because it's not just a remarkable artifact of American politics 50 years ago, it's a vibrant description of American politics now.Kuchel is remembered as a "moderate" California … [Read more...]

Red Dawn delusions and an unmet longing for real community


I'm not sure whether Glenn Beck's subject here is marriage equality or renewable energy or affordable health insurance for working people. Or maybe it's about the fight to keep a 35-percent marginal tax rate on upper incomes from becoming a 37-percent marginal tax rate. In any case, here is what right-wing TV and radio loon Glenn Beck had to say: I want my children and my grandchildren to be able to air this episode. I stood. I gave it my all. I did everything I could. Against all odds, I … [Read more...]

Rep. Paul Wieland of Missouri is lying

There's a difference between a person of conscience and a person who will do and say anything to pretend to be a person of conscience.

If you're really scared of the bogeyman, then by definition, you must be interested in the evidence for whether or not the bogeyman exists.You cannot be, simultaneously, scared of and incurious about the bogeyman.When a little kid can't sleep because he's afraid the bogeyman is hiding in his closet, a good parent turns the lights on, takes the kid by the hand, and shows them that the closet is empty. The kid goes along with this because the kid wants to see -- he wants to know.That … [Read more...]

When you meet someone who’s been told they don’t matter, give them a chance to matter


I've been thinking about this post from Richard Beck since he posted it on Friday.Beck is a professor of psychology, and he starts off with an unremarkable psychological observation: "We all want to matter. To be the focus of respect, esteem and interest."True enough, but not exactly revelatory. But Beck, as he often does, explores what this means and teases out pastoral and prophetic implications.He doesn't use those words -- "pastoral" and "prophetic." That's seminary-speak for the … [Read more...]