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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LifeWay Research gets it backwards on abortion

“Women Distrust Church on Abortion” reads the headline from the Southern Baptist LifeWay Research, announcing the results of a recent survey. This is precisely backwards. The truth is that LifeWay’s church distrusts women. They distrust women when it comes to abortion, and when it comes to almost everything else. [Read more…]

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The awkward ritual of having to condemn violence by people who believe your own rhetoric about Satanic baby-killers

Every once in a while, some disturbed person absorbs the language and logic of white evangelicalism’s Satanic baby-killer fantasies and, not realizing it’s all a disingenuous game, acts on it. “Pro-life” evangelicals are then forced to condemn that person’s actions in an awkward dance that forces them to admit, at least implicitly, that they do not take their own words and arguments seriously. [Read more…]

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My sweet embraceable you

“As Blanche rattled off song titles, LaVey doodled away on two or three of his keyboards at once: ‘Somebody Loves Me,’ ‘Embraceable You,’ even ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’ … He finished his medley with a great flourish and looked up. ‘Gershwin was a good Satanist,’ he said.” [Read more…]

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