• “Gin a body meet a body, comin thro’ the rye …” Robert Burns wrote that down in 1782, but it’s likely a folk song dating back long before then. So everybody should know what anybody can see from that: A body shouldn’t think this is something new.
• Why is it that every judge hailed by anti-abortion white evangelical voters as a godly champion of godly values winds up supporting things like Shelby County (the execrably reasoned decision gutting the Voting Rights Act) and, now, Jennings v. Rodriguez?
Jennings — decided by the very same “pro-life” and “pro-family” five-justice majority that gave us Shelby County — means that immigrants can be indefinitely detained without trial. This includes legal immigrants, green card holders, refugees, asylum-seekers — heck, possibly even tourists. The court avoided a constitutional argument, but it seems that good, godly Justice Samuel Alito believes non-citizens do not have a constitutional right to due process because they are not “persons.”
And yet white evangelicals insist that the moral imperative to install justices like Alito or like Not Garland (Alito’s much younger, dumber, and meaner new colleague) is the paramount factor that should shape every Christian’s voting at every level of government because it is the Most Important Thing That God Wants.
White evangelicalism as a whole is complicit in Shelby County and it is complicit in Jennings. It does harm to its neighbor, and so it violates the second commandment and the first, which is like unto it. Pro-liferism is an ungodly force for evil in this world. It bears evil fruit. Cut it down and cast it on the fire.
• Related: Eric Metaxas is a very silly man. Part MCXVI. Unlike his closest comparison, Dinesh D’Souza, Metaxas has so far managed to avoid committing a felony, but he is equally ridiculous and obtuse.
• The composing/editing screen here in WordPress now includes Clippy-like pestering about every post’s “SEO.” This is weirdly archaic language — terminology that let’s us know not to pay attention to anyone still using it. There’s little point in chasing the fantasy of “search-engine optimization” for a blog post since search engines are no longer the gods “driving traffic” (i.e., the gods who must be propitiated lest they choke off traffic).
The only such god that matters now is Facebook, and no sacrifice or ceremony will put one in the good graces of the Facebook god unless you’re writing on Facebook. There is no such thing as Facebook optimization — no reliable way to harness Facebook to “drive traffic” to any non-Facebook site. The mistaken belief that some kind of FBO is possible is what led so much online media to spend the past year laying off writers in order to “pivot to video.” Those same outlets are now laying off their “social video” staff.
I don’t have a good solution to the new reality of Facebook gradually destroying every possibility of revenue for non-Facebook media (whether online or in print). But the good news for recently laid-off pivot-to-video workers is that it’s March 1 and the Big Box is hiring. That mulch ain’t gonna stack itself.
• Is Focus on the Family a “church”? Apparently, according to the organization’s lawyers and the IRS, yes it is. Focus on the Family has declared itself to be a “church, convention of churches or association of churches.” Weird.
Someone should ask James Dobson — um, I mean, His Holiness Pope James I — what this is all about.
• Digging the new song from Courtney Barnett, which we might dedicate here to all the trolls who won’t take “No” for an answer, thereby ensuring it’s the only answer they’ll ever hear.