Smart people saying smart things (1.19.17)

David Dark on James Lawson, being awesome. Willie James Jennings on the “tormented deployment” of a deformed idea of “reconciliation.” Nikole Hannah-Jones on segregationism in 21st-century America. Kristin Du Mez on “Donald Trump and Militant Evangelical Masculinity.” [Read more…]

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And certainly misused

It’s beyond creepy to learn that one of the biggest names in evangelical philanthropy is one tiny step removed from the biggest name in paramilitary profiteering and mercenary massacres. And why is this family of right-wing billionaires so obsessed with shooting bears? Also: The very, very bad inaugural poem that gives Scots one more reason to hate Donald Trump; mercy seasons justice; and a closer look at American Nazis’ conflicted views on Israel. [Read more…]

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Go and learn what this means — the bad-faith ‘biblical’ defense of injustice (part 3)

The problem for those attempting to argue that Douglass’ rhetoric was anti-Bible is that his supposedly anti-Bible rhetoric is taken directly from the Bible. It is — in both style and substance — explicitly and utterly biblical. He is imitating, emulating and directly quoting from the Bible itself. [Read more…]

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Go and learn what this means — the bad-faith ‘biblical’ defense of injustice (part 2)

“This horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity. For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! welcome atheism! welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by those Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny, and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke, put together, have done!” [Read more…]

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Go and learn what this means — the bad-faith ‘biblical’ defense of injustice (part 1)

The faction defending the status quo is — correctly — portrayed as the “conservative” side. They’re fighting to prevent change. They embody the definition of conservatism by standing athwart history and yelling “Stop!” And thus, because they are in that sense conservative, they also tend to portray themselves and to be portrayed by others as being religiously conservative. Thus positioned as the representatives of religious conservatism, they are therefore also perceived as the defenders of true religion against the liberals and the anti-religious. Everyone else therefore has “a religion problem.” Everyone except them. [Read more…]

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Jesus never read ‘The Bible’

“How can we know the way?” Thomas asks.

“Read the Bible,” says the evangelical preacher down the block from me.

“Read the Bible as absolutely true and authoritative, in every word,” says Tim Keller.

But that’s not what Jesus said. Not at all. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (12.26)

Charles Dickens on the poor of London; Kelly J. Baker on “nice, decent folks;” Katherine Franke on the default assumptions of default identity politics; Ijeoma Oluo on the least we can do; and President Barack Obama being as Niebuhrian as the Serenity Prayer. [Read more…]

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The clarity of a dead end

Here we are. The wrong road that white evangelicalism has stubbornly been following has led us here, to 2016, and the election of Donald J. Trump thanks, largely, to the overwhelming support of white evangelicals. This is not an aberration, but a culmination. This is where that road takes you. It’s where you’re bound to end up if you drive long enough using only the segregationists and the wealthy donors as your GPS. [Read more…]

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