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. [Read more...]

Manhattan Declaration Direct-Mail Fundraising Inc.


The half-a-million signatories of the Manhattan Declaration provide quite a mailing list. More importantly, it’s a mailing list of reflexively fearful white Christians who have already proven they can be easily manipulated by scary stories about the Big Gay Menace, the Satanic baby-killers, and the evil secularists threatening Christian America. A list like this is a money-making machine. That was the whole point. [Read more...]

Imaginary Satanic baby-killers, real people still in prison

Frances Keller was not part of a secret conspiracy of Satanic cults. Yet she remains in prison, sent there by people who want to believe such lurid fantasies are real. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

“A roster of leading psychologists and related experts from around the world last week signed on to a pair of letters in support of an appeal filed on behalf of Frances Keller, who was convicted of sexual assault and who has spent the last two decades behind bars for a crime that almost certainly never happened.” [Read more...]

Matthew 16:6


She flipped through the bulletin to find the church calendar for the week. The Prayer Warriors sidewalk vigil was scheduled for Wednesday, so she could call first thing tomorrow and schedule an appointment for Tuesday. Inconvenient to make the same trip two days in a row, but safer than risking running into anyone the day of her visit. [Read more...]

Michele Bachmann, Rick Warren telling lies for Jesus that hurt poor women


The congregation of Saddleback Church includes hundreds of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for health care they cannot afford to get elsewhere. But if punching down at the less-wealthy women in his congregation is the price of indulging in smug self-congratulation, that’s a price that “pastor” Rick Warren is happy to pay. [Read more...]

A delusional fantasy … on fire!

I’ve sometimes characterized much of the “Teavangelical” right-wing of America as people caught up in a delusional fantasy — and elaborate make-believe role-playing game in which they pretend to be heroic champions battling against Satanic baby-killers, Satanazis, and other imaginary monsters. Some have suggested I’m exaggerating, but I’m not the one who made this video. [Read more...]

Satanic baby-killers: What the Devil happened in Arkansas?


Beginning in the 1980s, a feverish hysteria swept across America. It was centered in one demographic — the white evangelical subculture — but it wasn’t confined to that group, and it came to reshape the wider culture, the agenda of elected officials, and the political landscape of the country in fundamental ways, placing a fear of imaginary monsters at the core of our national identity. [Read more...]

Pseudo-Satanism and Satanic baby-killers


Tabloid newspapers are reporting on supposed “Satanism” that sounds precisely like what Jeffrey Victor describes as “pseudo-Satanism” — a pose being struck in order to appear, and to feel, transgressive and rebellious. It’s the sort of stuff a lazy production designer might come up with for a “Satanic cult” film, a hodge-podge of pop-culture symbolism concocted from the news, from folklore, from the movies, and from religious instruction unwittingly based on all of the above. [Read more...]