Advent Calendar, Day Whatever


What should you do when some offense-addicted hegemon sneers a weaponized “Merry Christmas” at you, their fingers twitching over the holster of their quick-draw culture-war six-shooter as they evaluate your response to this tribal shibboleth?

You should say, “Thanks! You too!” And give ‘em a big smile. [Read more...]

Wheaton College suspends its own credibility


It’s impossible to see Wheaton College’s abrupt suspension of Prof. Hawkins as anything other than an obsequious, groveling attempt to appease Rich White Donors. And as a not-so-subtle threat to the rest of the faculty, staff and students to get in line and settle down. Or else. This is a sin. And a total dick move. [Read more...]

NAE: Our politicized white theology has nothing to do with politics or race

Even White Jesus must bow down to the "highest authority" of the White Bible.

The National Association of Evangelicals invites you to bow down and worship the “highest authority.” No, not God, silly. The Bible — the “highest authority” before which even White Jesus must kneel in submission. [Read more...]

Liberation vs. tribalism


“In order to maintain a voice within the evangelical world and make progress on a single issue,” Deborah Jian Lee writes, “one must toe the conservative line on every other issue.” That’s from her new book, “Rescuing Jesus,” which has been reviewed by Dr. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott — someone whose history makes her an expert on exactly what Lee is describing there. [Read more...]

I’m glad Westboro Baptist is protesting meteorology


Our imagined “biblical stance” on meteorology changed in exactly the way that, for many American Christians, our “biblical stance” on biology never did. We Christians easily, almost imperceptibly, changed the way we understood all those Bible passages about the weather. But for many American Christians, doing the very same thing with all those Bible passages about the origins of life is portrayed as a grave and dangerous sin. [Read more...]

White evangelical voters, Donald Trump, and the evolution of the religious right

"There's a bear in the woods," Ronald Reagan reminded voters in 1984. That bear was not abortion or gays. It was Russia (and black people).

This isn’t really about Donald Trump. It’s about white evangelical voters and their support (later revoked) for Jimmy Carter and their support (later regretted) for George W. Bush. And it’s about why it’s misleading and anachronistic to imagine that the religious right of 1980 was anything at all like the religious right of 1988 or of 2004 or of 2015. [Read more...]

Tribal gatekeepers are not in the best interest of baseball


Smith’s payoff secured a change in his behavior. Jones’ payoff ensured that his behavior will not change. We might argue that Jones has more integrity because he never strays from his original ideology, but this is faint praise — like arguing that Pete Rose had more integrity than the Chicago Black Sox because he was betting on his team to win instead of deliberately throwing the game. [Read more...]

Kick a gay, keep your platform: Tribal gatekeepers of white evangelicalism demand their tribute be paid

Why revisit this post now? Because the original post was a lamentation over my old friend Ron Sider’s 2009 endorsement of the pompous and ridiculous “Manhattan Declaration,” and Sider is now doubling down — adding his endorsement to the equally fatuous 2015 statement, “Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage.” And also because today we learn that J.R. Daniel Kirk is getting the heave-ho from Fuller Theological Seminary. [Read more...]