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


The Warrens’ shtick is a Gothic Catholic variation of the same con Mike Warnke and Bob Larson have long used to fleece evangelical Protestants with a propensity for “spiritual warfare” ideology. This racket is contemptible at just the basic level of any con that preys on gullibility and fear to separate vulnerable people from their money. But it’s also far worse than that, because it reinforces the very worst impulses of its audience, fueling a hate-filled, self-righteous crusader mentality. [Read more...]

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

"The Amityville Horror: A True Story" is not 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 be relieved. [Read more...]

Bryan Fischer is very brave when confronting imaginary monsters


“Fears might also grow out of children’s struggles with their own angry feelings,” Mister Rogers said. “They sometimes project those angry feelings onto some outside thing … and then they fear that the very angry thing may just destroy them.” And that, I think, explains all you need to know about religious right spokesman Bryan Fischer. [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture wars


A long due apology from an ex-ex-gay; still waiting for a non-sectarian argument against equality; “you need to work on your marriage;” a forceful endorsement of amnesty for immigrants; wearing pants as an expression of “hostility;” doctors favor more access to health care — even for women; “Nazism, Communism, Marxism and all the ‘isms.’” [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. [Read more...]

Postcards from the culture war

resolver (1)

Praying that someone shoots the Satanic baby-killers; policies “marked by a deep mistrust of the people they target;” They Are Coming for Your Birth Control; marriage equality and antifeminism; “I can change my sexual preference tonight if I want to;” Richard Land falls upwards; “another generation of Tony Perkinses;” “JESUS + Mary;” and a sampling of recent ethnic/gender slurs from GOP officials. [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. [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...]