1. William Lindsey is not pleased with Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s misleading report for Religion News Service. The RNS headline for Bailey’s piece is double-wrong, “Gay Rights vs. Christian Rights.” That headline could only be true in a world in which: A) No LGBT people are Christians and no Christians are LGBT; and B) all Christians are unanimously and universally opposed to gay rights. False and false.
It’s not easy to get two lies into a single headline while simultaneously slandering LGBT Christians and misrepresenting the church, but RNS pulled it off.
Bonus boneheadedness: Bailey’s RNS article the previous day was this: “NALT alliance says Not All (Christians are) Like That on homosexuality.” So, at best, RNS’ headline writer on Friday didn’t read Bailey’s piece on Thursday. Either that or the Friday headline writer was intent on refuting not just Thursday’s headline, but the witness of every Christian in Thursday’s report.
2. They’re using goats to control poison ivy, kudzu and other weeds at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. And O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is using goats and llamas to keep the grass cut. That seems strange until you think about it, after which it starts to seem strange that we’re not doing this everywhere.
3. The Pieter Zant Christian schools in the Netherlands printed up 3,000 special diaries for students to use. Then they destroyed all 3,000 of them because one picture included showed a student wearing a T-shirt with a peace sign on it. According to the Pieter Zant Christian schools, the peace sign is a Satanic symbol. “School board chairman Johan van Puten” says he discovered this by doing research on Google.
Dutch News notes that, “The peace sign was actually designed for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958 by an English designer named Gerald Holtom.”
Replacing the diaries cost the schools about 15,000 euros, but van Puten says that cost was “the lesser of two evils.” Devout believers like van Puten think 15,000 euros is a small price to pay for avoiding a symbol they can pretend is associated with imaginary Satanists.
4. I’m sure that, like me, you are shocked — shocked! — to learn that upstanding citizen George Zimmerman is yet again in potential legal trouble for violent behavior with a gun.
5. I’ve got a maple syrup connection — a guy who can get me the good stuff from the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. (He’s also my sister’s father-in-law, my brother-in-law’s dad.) I try not to get embroiled in the hurly-burly politics of Caledonia County, but that syrup is so good that in this case I’m making an exception and backing a local candidate up there. Her name is “Angel,” and she’s a faithful farm cat on that same farm that’s my source for the Grade A sweet stuff. Angel is a finalist for the Kingdom Animal Shelter’s 2014 cat calendar contest, with online voting continuing throughout September.
I can’t say I know much about the other 43 candidates — many of whom seem adorable enough — but I can vouch for Angel. It would probably be unethical somehow for me to use this blog as a platform to encourage you to freep the vote in favor of Angel — Photo No. 10 on this page, the page for casting votes — so I’ll refrain from doing that. I won’t tell you to click that link and vote for Angel, Photo No. 10. It’s not my place to tell others how to cast their votes. So I’ll just let you know that I’ve cast mine for Angel (Photo No. 10, here) and I’ll leave it at that.
6. Kendra Weddle Irons on “the problem with Eve”:
Judging from the responses Rachel received to her blog post where she addresses the real theological problem embedded in much of evangelical Christianity, her encouragement of critical thinking is not met kindly by many. On the other hand, if a young woman — especially a prominent one like Sadie Robertson — decides to focus on her attire and encourage other young women to do the same all in the name of purity, masses will be lined up to offer her praise. And why not? In this case as so often before, women are circumscribed to a particular category: the source of evil. And, as long as they embrace this assumption, they will be celebrated and held up as a paragon of virtue, helping all those other women learn their place.
7. New video from Arcade Fire (via). Looks like winning that Grammy has given them all big heads: