‘The Cult of the Individual and the Idolatry of Greed’

Michael Bird is a very conservative evangelical theology professor. He's theologically conservative in the tradition of evangelical orthodoxy and, like many evangelicals, he's very politically conservative on social issues, opposing, he says, "same-sex marriage, euthanasia, and abortion, etc." But Michael Bird is not an American. He teaches in Australia and formerly lived in the UK. And since Bird is not an American, he hasn't absorbed the peculiarly American form of evangelical tribalism … [Read more...]

Why liars for Jesus can’t be believed when they say they’re anti-abortion

If you denounce the Affordable Care Act because it's "the biggest expansion of abortion and abortion funding since Roe v. Wade" or because it requires that "Americans buy health insurance plans that pay for contraceptives and abortion" or "because it makes American taxpayers complicit in the deaths of countless unborn children," this doesn't make you pro-life. It just makes you a liar. Opposing an imaginary "expansion of abortion" that exists only in your own fevered brain is not the same … [Read more...]

Evangelical = anti-abortion, anti-gay white Protestant?

"Is a 'black evangelical' a contradiction in terms?" Molly Worthen asks at NYTimes.com: In recent years, conservative white Protestants have made a special effort to reach out to black believers who share their views on theology and social mores. … Black Protestants often agree with white evangelicals on the importance of religious faith and the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. They are no great supporters of abortion rights. They ought to be natural allies in the fight to 'defend the … [Read more...]

The evangelical mind must obey the moneyed enforcers of the tribe

Peter Enns offers a powerful one-two punch on the subject of what Mark Noll called The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. First up was a post by Enns himself, titled, "'If They Only Knew What I Thought': The Sad Cycle of Evangelical Biblical Scholarship." He discusses both the frustration of students at evangelical institutions, who often feel, he writes, "they have been lied to by their teachers." And he discusses the flip-side of that same problem, the overbearing pressure on those … [Read more...]

Tribalism and the cruelly weird idea of zero-sum human rights

Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera said this recently on a conservative radio show: All of a sudden Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have turned the United States into a pro-homosexual regime and it's just despicable. That's as clear an expression as you'll find of the zero-sum notion of human rights that underlies so much of the anti-gay religious right. The United States is supposed to be a "pro-homosexual" regime. Millions of us Americans are LGBT people and our nation is supposed to have … [Read more...]

The battle against the culture wars II

More smart people saying more smart things about the "culture wars" and the culture warriors who fight them. Chris Clarke: "An open letter to the right wing in the wake of the passage of Amendment One in N.C." We are people who would really rather be left alone to live our lives. And we would rather leave other people alone to live theirs. That’s why you’ve been able to push things this far. We’ve kind of been hoping that you’d wake up one morning, look at the things you’d written … [Read more...]

The battle against the culture wars

Three smart people saying smart things about the "culture wars." John Aravosis: "Mr. Cantor, your culture war is my life" Brad Dayspring, the former spokesman for the number two Republican in the US House, Eric Cantor, had the following to say about President Obama's support for same-sex marriage: "With the economy in stagnation and crippling amounts of debt, the President seeks to further divide America by launching in a culture war." Your culture war is my life. And isn't that the … [Read more...]

Will the majority allow minority rights in N.C.?

The citizens of North Carolina vote today on Amendment One, a ridiculous exercise in "Scissors for Hitler" silliness that makes the Tarheel State look just as foolish as if they were voting on a ban against left-handedness or an amendment decreeing that people with blue eyes can't be licensed to drive. It's ugly, stupid and deeply immoral. It's supported by liars, by racists, by Neo-Nazis and by the Catholic bishops -- none of which is the sort of authority that decent people can turn to for … [Read more...]


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