Sunshine don’t hold up to dark

Sunshine don’t hold up to dark August 5, 2015

• “Speak English!” Racist white woman at IHOP doesn’t seem to realize what the ‘I’ in IHOP stands for.

• A few weeks ago we looked at Tubal-cain in our Sunday WTF? lectionary. Tubal-cain, Genesis 4 says, “made all kinds of bronze and iron tools.”

That passage is helpful when establishing when this part of Genesis was written. The writer had seen bronze and iron tools, and was accustomed enough to them that they assumed such things had been around for all of time. (The early Iron Age didn’t have a lot of museums one could visit to learn about the very long history of the Bronze Age, so the writer couldn’t have known that bronze and iron tools weren’t developed at the same time or invented by the same guy.)

Attributing the invention of “all kinds of bronze and iron tools” to one person seven generations after Adam also creates a problem for the selective “literalism” of young-Earth creationists like Ken Ham and Al Mohler. It means they have to argue that the Stone Age was only a few short centuries long.

“For my house shall be called a house of pancakes for all peoples.” (Isaiah 56:7)

Joel Duff of Naturalis Historia has pointed out that the vast numbers of Stone Age artifacts we’ve found creates a pretty huge problem for such young-earthers. Terry Mortenson of Answers in Genesis attempted a response to this point. It didn’t go well. Jonathan Baker of Age of Rocks and Adam Benton of EvoAnth took the time to shred Mortenson’s reply.

• “I’m not a violent person.” Not personally. David Daleiden positions himself as the Gerry Adams of Operation Rescue.

Alan Bean offers a long, fascinating reflection on the divergent paths of evangelist Billy Graham and his former mentor, the apostate evangelist Chuck Templeton. (Well, it’s fascinating to me, anyway, although admittedly not everyone is fascinated by the history of mid-20th-century white evangelicalism.) Here’s the crux of it: “In the end, neither Billy nor Chuck could believe that Jesus redefines the nature of God.”

• Ruth Moon writes about how a Seattle CEO’s “$70,000 Minimum Wage Brings Bible Parable to Life (Unfortunately)” noting the clear parallels between this real-world story of crabs-in-a-bucket resentment and anti-solidarity and Jesus’ story of the workers in the vineyard.

Atrios’ one-word summary of that story from Seattle is more to the point. That one word is probably also the most accurate exegesis of Jesus’ parable I’ve ever read.

Hemant Mehta shares the news that one Alabama sheriff’s office is now painting their vehicles with Bible verses. He argues, rightly, that this is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

It’s also dishonest. The cars bear the phrase “Blessed are the peacemakers” and the Bible reference “Matthew 5:9.” This is the wrong Beatitude for Alabama law enforcement. Their motto should be Matthew 5:11: “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely.” That’s how police do things in Alabama:

A police officer in Alabama proposed murdering a black resident and creating bogus evidence to suggest the killing was in self-defense, the Guardian has learned.

Officer Troy Middlebrooks kept his job and continues to patrol Alexander City after authorities there paid the man $35,000 to avoid being publicly sued over the incident. Middlebrooks, a veteran of the US Marines, said the man “needs a god damn bullet” …

“And before the police got here, I’d fucking put marks all over my shit and make it look like he was trying to fucking kill me. I god damn guarantee you,” Middlebrooks said. “What would it look like? Self fucking defense. Fuck that piece of shit.”

Years ago I tried (and failed) to post one of my Favoritest Things — a video of Kurt Vonnegut performing his lecture/comedy skit on the shape of stories. Open Culture informs me that this is, happily, at last available on YouTube, and here it is:

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