He’s got the biggest King James you’ve ever seen

“Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” That’s how I know that Zacchaeus was “born again.” Plus: What spiritual maturity isn’t; giant sinkholes in Siberia; an astonishing inside look at private prisons; and some other links to distract from the absence of a “Nicolae” post. [Read more…]

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James Dobson is reliably untrustworthy

It seems that some of the same right-wing hacks who have for years suggested that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim now want us to believe that Donald Trump is a secret born-again Christian. Asked to defend his claim of Trump’s secret conversion, James Dobson instead pointed out that, to him, defeating Hillary Clinton was more important than whether or not he’s telling the truth. [Read more…]

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‘Religious outreach’

While Donald Trump’s evangelical outreach continues to flail — “We’ve gotta spiritize this country!” — another election year brings about the quadrennial ritual of articles fretting about the need for “religious outreach” by Democrats. Remember, though, that Hillary Clinton’s long history with her United Methodist Church and her involvement with its women’s groups doesn’t count, because mainline Protestantism doesn’t count. “Religious outreach by Democrats” only counts if it involves obsequious overtures to white evangelicals. [Read more…]

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Ralph Reed’s history with casino moguls

“Ralph Reed worked for team Abramoff by mobilizing Christians opposed to gambling to shutter casinos. The only hitch: Reed was usually paid by other casinos who had a financial interest in eliminating their competitors. … He was engaged in a kind of spiritual fraud: telling his supporters that he was opposed to gambling when, in fact, gambling was making him rich.” [Read more…]

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Donald Trump’s B-list ‘evangelical advisory board’

Donald Trump’s list of names is interesting both for who it includes and who it doesn’t. I’m not talking about the conservative white evangelicals who have, commendably, been fierce critics of Trump, but about the absence of the names of some prominent white evangelical Trump-supporters and GOP-before-GOD culture-warriors. Why did those folks duck this list? [Read more…]

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The crops are all in and the peaches are rott’ning

What if we rewrote “The Da Vinci Code” as an extended episode of “Leverage”? That’s what you’ll find in Ariel Sabar’s amazing attempt to determine the provenance of the allegedly ancient papyrus fragment known as the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. Also: “Hating Hillary” ca. 1996; baby steps for the SBC and a Catholic bishop; and another reminder that Eric Metaxas is a silly, silly man. [Read more…]

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48

That one time Muhammad Ali met with Billy Graham demonstrates, yet again, the huge change in white evangelicalism as it shifted from Billy Graham mode into Franklin Graham mode. And it reminds us of how disastrously awful that change has been. Plus: Franklin loses a fight with Bella Abzug; Elihu as proto-Calvinist; and a literal re-enactment of Matthew 12:11. [Read more…]

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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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