Learning to walk without gravity


Some late-Friday stuff, including: How "love for Israel" can be a kind of anti-Semitism; worshipping the bronze serpent; bearing false witness against our neighbors; updating that infamous Lee Atwater quote; and the dangers of holistic medicine.• Apparently, in Glendora, California, you can be fined $500 if your lawn grass turns brown. This is in a water-scarce region, during a drought.Stupidity like this is often defended as a way of protecting "property values." Nonsense. You know what … [Read more...]

Javert Syndrome, Texas justice, and Satanic baby-killers


Charles Kuffner shares some news of justice long-delayed in Texas. This is from Pamela Colloff's report in Texas Monthly, "Anthony Graves' Prosecutor Finally Has to Answer for His Actions": It’s been eight years since the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the DA who prosecuted Anthony Graves for capital murder had done something unconscionable: withheld favorable evidence and used false testimony to secure a conviction — a conviction that sent Graves to death row.Since that federal r … [Read more...]

Seeking ‘religious liberty’ just like Elijah at Kishon

Executing prisoners is a vital expression of religious liberty, Kishon style.

Robert Knight is kind of a journeyman utility infielder of the religious right. I forget which team he's with these days -- might be the Family Research Council, might be Concerned Women of America or one of the others. It's one of those groups that insists that good Christians must have no fellowship with unrighteousness and no communion with darkness.Except for the Unification Church, because the Moonies' newspaper is a reliable source of right-wing partisan hackery and that's what's most … [Read more...]

Testifying to the truth: Real life vs. ‘pro-life’ lies

My plea to my fellow evangelical Christians is simple: Stop lying. Stop telling and spreading and pretending to believe lies just because they allow us to pretend we're "pro-life" while others are, therefore, anti-life.Bearing false witness against our neighbors is something we were told not to do. It shouldn't be the heart and soul and center of our identity as "Christians."In contrast to that bearing of false witness, here are two women bearing witness and speaking truth. Ears to hear … [Read more...]

I guess it could have been a dream


• The great state of Kentucky -- home of the Creation Museum, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Big Bone Lick and marriage equality.• Another Florida election goes wrong: Just a week after her coronation, the winner of the 2014 Miss Florida pageant was dethroned on Friday when organizers said they had crowned the wrong woman after a vote-count error. ... The ballot counter didn’t see that one of the five judges had changed his mind, writing a new line up on the left-hand side of … [Read more...]

John Courtney Murray is still dead

And buried.

In the past couple of posts we've discussed, among other things, the potential hazards when courts are asked to rule about either the factual validity or the sincerity of religious beliefs. Here's Carmen Green on the very real hazard of the courts failing to consider those factors when a case requires them to: The majority says that the birth control mandate does place a “substantial burden” on Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs. And this sentence is crucial: “The owners of the businesses have reli … [Read more...]

Participating in deception: ‘Narrative can become fact’


Joseph Laycock offers a fascinating and insightful take on the two 12-year-old children charged with attempted murder in Wisconsin: "'Slender Man' Murder Attempt Wasn't Media or Madness." I submit that Geyser and Weier were engaged in a form of play that extended the Slender Man legend complex through performance. Then, in a moment of lowered inhibitions, irrevocable consequences occurred, making the play world real. In 1983, folklorists Linda Degh and Andrew Vazonyi described how legends are t … [Read more...]

The need to believe in something awful


Many times on this blog I have recommended Mike Hertenstein & Jon Trott's fascinating, gentle, and thorough exposé of "evangelist" and "comedian" Mike Warnke, Selling Satan: The Evangelical Media and the Mike Warnke Scandal.Kliph Nesteroff wrote a good summary of Warnke's rise to stardom for WFMU's blog. Warnke sold more than a million comedy records for Christian labels before being crushed by the weight of his lies. His act was based on his extraordinary personal testimony, the story … [Read more...]