Chapter and verse

But when I read a story like this, I want to know more. When a member of Congress is leaning on “a passage from the Bible denouncing homosexuality” as the primary basis for his legislative decisions, thereby disgusting his GOP colleagues with his ignorant rejection of the First Amendment, I also want to know which passage from the Bible, specifically, this guy is quoting. [Read more…]

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Clobber-texting isn’t a principled hermeneutic: A horrifying case study

You have heard it said that if a man meets a virgin who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her, she shall become his wife; but I say unto you, screw that. Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Get that rapist behind bars and keep him as far away from his victim as possible. Love is the fulfillment of the law. [Read more…]

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The sins of the fathers

“Few people had more influence on Billy Graham than Bell,” reads the Wikipedia entry for Nelson Bell, Billy’s father-in-law. And the more you know about Nelson Bell and the journal he founded to promote and defend segregation, the more disturbing that sentence becomes. [Read more…]

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The Fall of the House of Graham (ongoing)

The transition from Billy Graham to his son Franklin Graham is a microcosm of the past 40 years of white evangelical Christianity in America. For Billy, the primary thing was always proclamation evangelism. That was the core of his identity. For Franklin, the primary thing is always the culture wars — anti-feminism, white supremacy, and the lucrative demonizing of the Other. That is the core of his identity. [Read more…]

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Calling out in transit

The male leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are now mumbling about maybe, some day, ending the late-developing innovation of a ban on women deacons. We can’t talk about that without talking about Paul’s first-century letter to the church in Rome, which was carried by a woman deacon and greets, by name, a long list of women leaders in the church. Also: Londoners get to vote; all change is incremental; a sexual predator is also a financial predator; and I am really old. [Read more…]

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Whatever happened to ‘pro-life Democrats’? Go see ‘Spotlight’

The once mostly Catholic phenomenon of congressional “pro-life Democrats” ended due to the horror of the clergy abuse scandal. Thus nowadays, most “pro-life Democrats” are really blue dogs — “social conservatives” who have found other, more effective, ways of signaling that social conservatism and all that it entails. [Read more…]

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The Rod D. Horror Picture Show

Rod Dreher’s story never happened. The Bad Jackie of the tough Texas suburbs — if any such person really exists — is making stuff up. And she’s so focused on making her story shocking that she forgot to make any of it plausible. But the question isn’t whether Dreher is deliberately lying or just credulously bearing false witness against his neighbors. The question is WHY Rod Dreher so desperately wishes that fantasies like this story were true. [Read more…]

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Postcards from the culture wars (5.6)

“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” [Read more…]

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