Walmart.indricotherium May 30, 2015

Greenland’s legislature just voted for marriage equality. Granted, the icy island — which has an autonomous government that’s kinda sorta part of Denmark — has a population of only 57,000. But its huge land-mass looks really impressive on one of those color-coded maps tracking the progress of marriage equality around the world. (And, as we’ve learned from red-state Republican campaign managers and, more recently, from ISIS/Daesh — coloring in vast, unpopulated areas on a map and claiming them as territory for your side seems to impress people for some reason.)

J.R. Daniel Kirk reflects on this observation by Martin Buber: “To the Jew the Christian is the incomprehensibly daring person, who affirms in an unredeemed world that its redemption has been accomplished.”

The credibility of Christianity depends, I think, on the extent to which Christians make this daring claim seem more or less comprehensible.

• Chris Baraniuk, “The story of rhinos and how they conquered the world.” Well, their ancestors conquered the world around 50 million years ago. Since then they’ve kind of tapired off.


Pat Robertson, unsurprisingly, disagrees with me about the “Charlie Charlie Challenge.” He seems to think that Charlie the Pencil-Pushing Mexican Demon is real — just like Bloody Mary and the Candyman.

• Speaking of Pat Robertson … Sarah Pulliam Bailey offers the latest version of the perennial election-season article exploring “Why [white] evangelicals are having trouble finding a unified voice in Washington.”

That’s an unhelpful question because it’s the wrong question. It’s like asking why Coke and Pepsi don’t co-operate more. Yes, the various fundraising/lobbying organizations that make up the religious right have a shared agenda, just like Coke and Pepsi have a shared agenda of promoting the ingestion of fizzy sugar water. But they’re mainly competitors, fighting against one-another for market share. The total market of credulous and fearful white Christians who will send a check in response to a direct-mail fundraiser telling them the sky is falling is, like the total market for fizzy sugar water, quite large, but still finite. And the bottom line is that the Family Research Council is competing against NOM and Franklin Graham and the American Family Association and all the rest for a larger slice of that limited market.

Yes, Coke and Pepsi will sometimes work together to defeat soda taxes, or to rig the game to keep RC or some other upstart from competing with the big boys in your local supermarket, but they’re still competitors more than allies. The same is true for the various groups that make up the religious right. They won’t ever “find a unified voice in Washington” because they’re not looking for one. That isn’t their business model.

• These “coffee Venn diagrams” from James McGrath are a good excuse to revisit one of my favorite karaoke songs. Everybody on the chorus, OK? (“Black … [beat, beat] … coffee in bed. Black, black … [beat] … coffee in bed. Black, black, black, coffee in bed …”)

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