Smart people saying smart things (8.11)

Yolanda Pierce on the “cauldron of proslavery ideology” that shaped American theology. LBJ on the Voting Rights Act, 50 years before John Roberts killed it. John Oliver on sex education. Robert Chao Romero on “Montesinos and the Birth of Brown Theology.” And Tina Dupuy on guns and people who want to be “pro-life.” [Read more…]

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Never gonna fall for modern love: A personal testimony in The New York Times

But the main thing in that youth group — the paramount, central thing — was sex. Sex, and the not having of it, was the essential defining characteristic of that youth group, and of the subculture and tribe that produced it. In practice, in the undeniable day-to-day experience of that youth group and that tribe, sex and the not having of it were the most important thing that was said and taught and experienced of God. Sex and the not having of it were conveyed as the essential meaning of the faith. [Read more…]

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The Duggar Family Scandal: A reader

Here’s a round-up of some insightful commentary and reflection in response to the Josh Duggar scandal. This is not the first time that prominent religious right figures have been exposed as sexual predators and hypocrites after making a career out of demonizing LGBT people while celebrating their own sexual “purity.” Nor will it be the last. [Read more…]

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Consent is a necessary prerequisite for any sexual ethic

To put this all another way, for social conservatives, marriage is necessary and sufficient for ethical sexual activity. When they hear folks like Libby Anne (or me) emphasizing the essential importance of consent, they therefore assume that we are, in turn, arguing that consent is necessary and sufficient for ethical sexual activity. But that’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying consent is necessary. Period. [Read more…]

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Happy cornbread anniversary

Franklin Graham rails against the X-Men as an “attempt to indoctrinate our young people” into greater acceptance of those who are different. That’s not wrong, it just doesn’t mean what he thinks it does. Plus: The history of a song that made history, a maister-wonk on R+L=J, the benefits of abstinence-only sex ed, and a top-notch addition to Patheos’ team. [Read more…]

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Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly … in bed

All the rest of what we think of as ethics shouldn’t stop at the bedroom door, replaced there by the separate sub-category of “sexual ethics.” Rather than risk segregating “sexual ethics” from the rest of our ethics, we might be better served by some variation of that silly game we play with fortune cookies. We should reaffirm what we already know or believe about ethics … “in bed.” [Read more…]

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Here’s that ‘Anything Goes’ rant about evangelical sexual ethics

The evangelical ethics guild seems to have fashioned this mandatory boilerplate in the 1960s or 1970s, back when John Updike was publishing his earliest novels. And like an early Updike novel, it seems both moralistic and dated — far removed from any conversation that’s going on now. [Read more…]

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Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry displays some sleazy ethics in his lecture on Christian ethics

Writing for The Week, Gobry’s “Why so many Christians won’t back down on gay marriage” is a steaming pile of passive-aggressive insinuation. His preferred method of argument appears to be to avoid lying by direct assertion, opting instead to lie by passing reference to assumed “facts” that are actually unsupportable fabrications containing nasty accusations. To save time, I’ll only highlight three such lies from the article. [Read more…]

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