Do white evangelicals have a delusional persecution complex? Barna says yes, and provides quantifiable proof


After discussing the limits of the survey research and data supplied by the Barna Group, let's turn to the merits of it, and what such research can tell us.Barna surveys may not always help to tell us about how behavior actually corresponds to attitudes or perceptions, but they can be quite helpful in telling us how widespread particular attitudes or perceptions actually are.For example, a friend of mine dislikes Brussels sprouts and says, "No one likes Brussels sprouts." That's quite a … [Read more...]

Taylor Branch on how George Wallace invented our current political discourse

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This is pretty terrific, James Fallows has posted a video of his interview with historian Taylor Branch at the Aspen Institute.The excuse for the hour-long conversation is the publication of Branch's latest book, The King Years, which is a distillation or concentration of his massive, and massively important, trilogy on the Civil Rights era: Parting the Waters, Pillar of Fire, and At Canaan's Edge.Fallows asks Branch about the series of important 50-year anniversary milestones we will … [Read more...]

White evangelicals, Republicans and wanting to ‘take our country back’


Linda Harvey of the "Christian radio" program Mission America chimes in with her own version of Michael L. Brown's awful "why have black people betrayed Christianity?" riff following the 2012 election. Harvey says: Ninety-three percent of African Americans voted for Obama in this election. Where are the Christians? Where are those who choose candidates based on the content of his or her character?Harvey can't imagine any reason that black Christians would vote for President Barack Obama … [Read more...]

Fighting the beast: How can Clifford Russell be saved?


Meet Clifford Russell: "What's killing us is all these entitlements, we've got to get rid of all of them. All this welfare, food stamps, Medicare, and then big government health care on top of it, it's all just too much! When do we say enough is enough?”What do you mean, exactly, I ask him. You say people are suffering under Obama, don't they need some help?“No. No more help, enough is enough. People have to pick themselves up, take some responsibility. Why should we be paying for peo … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

Chris Heard: "Interpreting Genesis 1 'literally'" This is, rather, a plea that we follow Augustine and divest ourselves of the notion that interpreting a text literally means taking it as an historically accurate account of things that happened in time and space. If the text isn’t an historical narrative, then treating it as an historical narrative is not properly a literal interpretation. Now, I realize that discerning an author’s intention in this regard can be tricky — but not as tricky as yo … [Read more...]

The oldest image of Jesus Christ is a crude, mocking caricature


Blasphemy is an indispensable human right. Without the right to engage in blasphemy, there can be no freedom of inquiry, expression, conscience or religion. -- Hussein IbishWe can have laws against blasphemy or we can have religious freedom. We can never have both.We have every right to take offense and to give offense. But we should not seek to take offense. And we should not seek to give offense.Since blasphemy is a theme today across much of the Web, let me quote again some wise … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

David Brin, interview with Wired magazine The notion of self-righteous indignation being a drug high seems to develop naturally out of recent scientific results that show that addiction is actually the most natural of human processes. You’ve heard the phrase “addicted to love.” Well, you can deliberately enter less salubrious mental states. You can deliberately go to Las Vegas, and the slot machines are now tuned to track the pattern of your behavior at the slot machine and change their rewards … [Read more...]

If you believe the logo’s Man on the Moon

Darrell at Stuff Fundies Like writes: A fundamentalist can survive without many things such as the friendship of those in his community or the pleasures of his current culture but no fundamentalist can go very long without A Cause to champion. For the wiles of the devil infect every corner of our universe and we must spare no effort to fight him wherever we spot his hand at work. No personal cost is to great, even if it means going to the effort of switching shampoo brands to avoid giving money … [Read more...]