This is what abortion politics is for

Failing the clearest moral test of your time and culture is only a problem so long as that moral test is what people are talking about and thinking about. So talk about something else. If you’ve made yourself a moral pariah because you’ve spent the past three decades fighting a rear-guard battle in defense of systemic, violent, oppressive injustice, then you need to find some other subject on which you can cast yourself as the Good Guy — as the heroic champion of morality. [Read more…]

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Satanic baby-killers.

C.S. Lewis said that a determination to cling to the idea that our enemies are as bad as possible is “the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils.” That process always leads, inexorably, to pretending, then wishing, then enslaving ourselves to, the lie that our enemies are the worst-possible thing we can imagine: Satanic baby-killers. [Read more…]

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Does my sassiness upset you?

This is just all over the place. There’s stuff in here about Donald Trump, the Antichrist, the unwieldy New Hampshire legislature, True Scotsman evangelicals, terrorist groups, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Maya Angelou, and New Jersey governors both beloved and despised. [Read more…]

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Life is a maze and love is a riddle

OK, I finally figured out what song that creepy “Always Submit to the Church Administration” ditty reminds me of, and it’s not Frente! after all. Plus: The need for a new Twain; an honest discussion of witch hunts; and the true story of the Lone Ranger. [Read more…]

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Smart people saying smart things (2.12)

Kali Holloway on “How Delusional Nostalgia Is Killing the White Working Class” (i.e., why Trump is winning). Walter Brueggeman sides with the Gospel against the Bible. Margo Kaplan asks and answers a question about how we treat IVF clinics. And Daniel José Camacho on how multicultural churches can wind up reinforcing racism. [Read more…]

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There were voices down the corridor

Ah yes, the “Hotel California” urban legend, widely embraced by white evangelicals eager to believe that the Eagles’ hit song was a detailed allegory about the Church of Satan. This applied the interpretive approach evangelicals had taught themselves for reading Genesis, Revelation, and the Sermon on the Mount — read the metaphors literally and the literal statements as metaphors. Thus a song about selling one’s soul to the music industry turns into a song about musicians actually selling their souls. [Read more…]

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Run, Franklin, run.

“In denouncing the Republican Party this week, Graham made a pitch for the prayer rallies he will hold in every state next year, starting in Iowa in January shortly before the crucial first presidential primary.” That almost sounds like Franklin Graham is organizing for an independent run for president. [Read more…]

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‘If X is not wrong, then nothing is wrong’

Throughout all those years of refusing to admit that we had been wrong, and were still wrong — and of compounding that wrongness by failing to explore how and why we could have been so thoroughly, utterly, and monstrously wrong — white evangelical Christians sometimes tried to distract ourselves and others by changing the subject. We did this by borrowing Lincoln’s formula: “If X is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.” If we could find some other value for X — anything other than the enduring disgrace of our wrongness about slavery — then we could hope to reclaim some measure of moral credibility. [Read more…]

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