When fantasy role-playing replaces faith you still need a decent DM

Strachan’s fawning flattery is directed at an audience of conservative white Christians who love to sing “Dare to be a Daniel / Dare to stand alone!” This is a white evangelical subculture that replaced faith with fantasy decades ago. For them, discipleship means leveling up in a fantasy role-playing game in which they pretend to be heroic warriors battling against Satanic baby-killers, relativists, evolutionists, postmodernists, New Agers, the Gay Lifestyle, and a whole Monster Manual of other imaginary horrors. Strachan invites them to play this game, and they love this game. [Read more…]

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She’s working double shifts to keep us fed

Vatican Guy No. 1: “How should we advertise our all-male conference on women?” Vatican Guy No. 2: “How about with a sculpture of a nude headless woman whose breasts and genitals are bound with golden rope?” VG No. 1: “Perfect.” (Plus some other Wednesday evening linkage.) [Read more…]

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Christian-brand publisher admits blatant scam book was a blatant scam

So, yeah, the book’s descriptions of Heaven and angels and the afterlife were all just made up. No kidding. Death remains “The undiscovered country, from whose bourn / No traveller returns,” and it puzzles the will that anyone believed — or was willing to publish — a tall-tale claiming otherwise. [Read more…]

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The Magic School Bus and the Satanic Panic that ate Christianity

The hallmark of white evangelical discipleship is feigned outrage. Evangelicalism in America takes its cue from the Catholic rite of baptism: “Do you renounce Satan and all his works?” We do. We just have no idea what all Satan’s works might look like. So we make stuff up and then renounce that. [Read more…]

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The Anti-Kitten-Burning Coalition (again)

Opposition to the burning of kittens is not what sets the members of the AKBC apart from everyone else. What sets them apart is their strange belief that they are a special, beleaguered minority. What sets them apart is their refusal and/or inability to recognize that opposition to the burning of kittens is a unanimous, universally shared opinion. Apart from the AKBC, most people don’t feel a need to imagine or to pretend that there exists somewhere a vast Pro-Kitten-Burning Coalition that they must denounce as a demonstration of their moral superiority. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (12.17)

Kathryn Schulz on the Mann Gulph wildfire and so very much more; Ezra Klein on the torture report; W. Caleb McDaniel on the history of Eric Garner’s “enough;” Stephen Prothero on the culture wars as conservative performance pieces; and Andrea Powell on the American habit of locking up victims. [Read more…]

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Felicia Day summarizes what I’m trying to say to right-wing white evangelicals

“I know it feels good to belong to a group, to feel righteous in belonging to a cause, but causing fear and pushing people away from gaming is not the way to go about doing it. Think through the repercussions of your actions and the people you are aligning yourself with.” [Read more…]

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The case of the missing letter and the poisoning of the well

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is not pleased with my forthright translation of his column at The Week. That’s understandable. After all, if he had wanted to be forthright, to own his words and his implications, and to make his nasty accusations directly and honestly, he would have done so himself. [Read more…]

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