Rep. Paul Wieland of Missouri is lying

There's a difference between a person of conscience and a person who will do and say anything to pretend to be a person of conscience.

If you're really scared of the bogeyman, then by definition, you must be interested in the evidence for whether or not the bogeyman exists. You cannot be, simultaneously, scared of and incurious about the bogeyman. When a little kid can't sleep because he's afraid the bogeyman is hiding in his closet, a good parent turns the lights on, takes the kid by the hand, and shows them that the closet is empty. The kid goes along with this because the kid wants to see -- he wants to know. That … [Read more...]

2. ‘The Conjuring’ reminds us that the only way to stop Satanic baby-killers is to punish women


"Can a horror film lead people to God?" asks the Religion News Service article responding to Warner Bros. aggressive bid to lure evangelical and Catholic audiences to see The Conjuring. Filmmaker brothers Chad and Carey Hayes say their film isn’t your typical “Christian” movie fare, but it nonetheless carries a strong religious message that can appeal to faith-minded audiences. It is, they say, a “wholesome horror film.” The Conjuring centers around the real-life Ed and Lorraine … [Read more...]

1. ‘The Amityville Horror’ is not based on a true story

"The Amityville Horror: A True Story" is not a true story.

The Amityville Horror was not based on a true story. I'm sorry if that disappoints anyone, but we're not free to change what is or is not true based only on what we find to be disappointing. It's also a bit odd that anyone would be disappointed to learn that a "horror" is not real. That's like having a horrifying nightmare and then waking up disappointed to realize it was only a dream. You're not supposed to be disappointed when you wake from a nightmare, you're supposed to … [Read more...]

Bryan Fischer is very brave when confronting imaginary monsters


Like many small children, when I was a little kid I was worried that there might be ... something in my bedroom closet -- something that lurked there, hidden, waiting until after dark to creep out and do me harm. My dad was pretty terrific about that. I don't remember many things from when I was that young, but I remember when he came in with a flashlight and we searched all through the closet to see that nothing was there. And all the while he was telling me about when he was a little kid … [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars


"That's the really revolutionary act – to dare to believe that people can change their hearts and minds." "I don't hate myself nearly as much as you wish I did." "I am so sorry for the loss of your wife, Rev. Garlow, but I what I grieve for more is your loss of a sense of humanity." "From the bottom of my heart I wish I could take back my words and actions that caused anger, depression, guilt and hopelessness." "The middle spot is unsustainable on this issue. Gravity will win … [Read more...]

The evangelical habit of bearing false witness against mainline Protestants

Liar Liar

Brian McLaren shares a confession, and a personal testimony, about the pernicious and pervasive temptation to bear false witness against one's neighbors. Specifically, he addresses the widespread convention among white evangelicals -- so widespread it's an expectation, almost a requirement -- that says it is somehow acceptable, and not vicious, to bear false witness against mainline Protestants: I agree with Tony [Jones] that there's a common rhetorical strategy among Evangelicals that I … [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture war

resolver (1)

"It will be a blessing to the babies." "He stated his intent was to damage the building because they '”kill'• and '”murder'• babies." "Do we want to make the pill illegal? Yes. Do we want to make the IUD illegal? Yes. The morning after pill? Yes. The patch? Yes. Anything that's a human pesticide, they all have to be made illegal. A woman has to go to jail if she kills her baby." "Most importantly, both are marked by a deep mistrust of the people they target, by the belief that, if … [Read more...]

Remembering the lessons of 7/27

Eric Rudolph. Demonizing and self-aggrandizing language can be emotionally satisfying, but if others take your words at face value, they may resort to violence.

World-class athletes from all over the globe had gathered in a great American city for a storied competition steeped in tradition, harmony and international good will. And then a madman set off a bomb, killing two people and injuring more than a hundred others. That was in 1996. It's worth remembering the Centennial Olympic Park bombing this week, as the parallels between that attack and the horror Monday in Boston may help to provide some perspective as we once again experience the … [Read more...]