I can chew like a cannibal, I can yell like a cat

I don’t really know what a professional ethicist going into private practice would look like, specifically, but I still wish that were a thing. Also: ME is a heartbreaking disease that merits research funding; more fake news about Antichrist cakes and fetus McNuggets; and a bit of news from the Big Box. [Read more…]

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Satanic baby-killers are putting dead babies in Pepsi!

You can learn a lot on the Internet. Today, for example, I learned that Pepsi cola is made with “flavor enhancers” manufactured from the kidney cells of aborted fetuses. That Scary Story was thoroughly debunked several years ago, but it resurfaced this week thanks to a more recent Scary Story based on the latest “secret video” produced by a friend of disgraced activist James O’Keefe. [Read more…]

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It’s not gullibility; it’s malice. (C.S. Lewis is right and Ed Stetzer is wrong.)

Gullibility is a kind of innocence — an honest mistake. But gullibility is not the problem. Gullible people are relieved and happy to learn that some fake-news Scary Story isn’t actually true. But when those spreading such stories are disappointed, or defensive, or angry to learn they aren’t true, then we know that gullibility had nothing to do with it. [Read more…]

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Kick a gay, keep your platform: Tribal gatekeepers of white evangelicalism demand their tribute be paid

Why revisit this post now? Because the original post was a lamentation over my old friend Ron Sider’s 2009 endorsement of the pompous and ridiculous “Manhattan Declaration,” and Sider is now doubling down — adding his endorsement to the equally fatuous 2015 statement, “Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage.” And also because today we learn that J.R. Daniel Kirk is getting the heave-ho from Fuller Theological Seminary. [Read more…]

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Evil liberal media continues to persecute righteous white Christians by nitpicking about the sexual abuse of children

The Duggar scandal has reinforced support for Mike Huckabee among his chosen niche of white Southern Christian voters. He’s spun Josh Duggar’s creepy criminality into the self-aggrandizing narrative of “Christian persecution” by the nasty liberal media conspiracy. Huckabee’s defiant defense of a confessed child molester thus becomes evidence of his Christian virtue. Now we’ll see if Mike Huckabee can perform this same trick a second time. [Read more…]

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‘We must be careful about what we pretend to be’: How tribal cheerleading creates new tribal dogma and changes the tribe to conform to it

Over time, these kinds of tribal-cheerleading responses to pollsters and other catechists eventually become required responses. And thus, over time, the things that people pretend to believe as a “way of showing that they’re members in good standing” of their political faction become the things that members of that faction actually believe. The fluff becomes substance — becomes dogma. And the tribe is transformed to conform to this new dogma. [Read more…]

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When fantasy role-playing replaces faith (cont’d.)

Sustaining the kind of fantasy Linda Wall invites her readers to indulge in takes an enormous amount of imagination. It requires the collaborative effort of a community of fantasists who agree to cooperate by reinforcing one another’s fantasies. And it requires a willingness to reinterpret every mundane detail of the world around you into something fraught with all the drama of the pageant you’re creating in your head. [Read more…]

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When fantasy role-playing replaces faith

The culture warrior faith of the religious right is sometimes criticized for being overly negative. That’s a misconception. All the things it seems obsessively negative about are really of no consequence to them. Their message is actually overwhelmingly positive. It is a steady stream of hyperbolic, unwavering, unquestioning praise and celebration. All of it directed toward themselves and their own pious righteousness. [Read more…]

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