• Satanic baby-killers. That’s where this is always headed and where it always winds up.
• Good point here from Nancy LeTourneau: “President Obama Was Right and Justice Alito Was Wrong.”
Back in 2010, just a few months after the ruling in the Citizens United case was released, President Obama took the unprecedented step of criticizing a Supreme Court decision during his state of the union speech. By saying, “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by…foreign entities.” …
Obama’s statement triggered the now-famous head shake from Justice Samuel Alito. Looking back, we can now determine who was right and who was wrong about all of that.
That’s true. We should remember, though, that there were three layers of disagreement there between the constitutional-law-professor president and the FedSoc-corporate-lackey justice. Obama and Alito weren’t just disagreeing on the constitutionality of Citizens United, but on the factual question of what the effect of the law would be. Obama warned that it would encourage foreign entities to bankroll and otherwise interfere in American elections. Alito disagreed. Alito was, as a matter of demonstrable fact, very wrong.
Beyond that, though, Obama and Alito also disagreed about the ethics and morality of such dark money foreign interference in American elections. Obama — like the Founding Fathers — believes that such foreign interference is wrong, that it is immoral, corrosive, and incompatible with democracy. Alito disagrees on that point too.
It’s not going to be easy to preserve our democracy with a guy like Sam Alito on the Supreme Court. And we’ve now got five guys like Sam Alito on the Supreme Court. Because of imaginary Satanic baby-killers.
• Quizzes like this one are among the more pernicious forms of clickbait.
Maybe you’re not tempted to see whether or not you’ll believe what this child star looks like today. You’re too smart for that — smarter than the rubes we entice to click on dubious celebrity gossip or other National Enquirer-style nonsense. You should congratulate yourself for being so much smarter than those suckers. Savor that notion. Prove it to yourself and to everyone else by showing us that you can ace this “basic biblical quiz” that “most Christians can’t pass.” Or by going 10-for-10 naming state capitals that most Americans don’t know.
The clickbait there is an appeal to vanity, to smugness, to the boastful pride of life. And the quiz is designed to feed that vanity — to further inflate your ego by encouraging you to indulge in thinking you’re smarter or better or more devoted than “most Christians.”
In a very real sense, then, the only way for Christians to pass this basic biblical quiz is not to take it.
Nobody else should take it, either, because clickbait spam is ruining the Web.
• “Which Bible are we talking about?” Philip Jenkins asks, offering an entertaining rundown of the rather large differences in the biblical canon among Christians today. (If the entire canon is too big to tackle like this, how about just asking “Which Book of Esther are we talking about?“)
• Ruth Graham dives into the story behind the story of Charisma magazine’s piece on “Christian comedian” John Crist: “A Christian Comedian’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct Prompts a Reckoning in the Evangelical Press.”
“Charisma is not a publication known for its investigative reporting,” Graham notes:
The magazine and its website typically focus on spiritual self-improvement and positive coverage of conservative Christians in the news. … Charisma’s critical reporting on a beloved evangelical celebrity was likely surprising to many of its readers. Many conservative Christians are skeptical of journalists in general, wary of the #MeToo movement, and — like everyone — protective of figures they see as one of their own.
It will be interesting to see how Charisma’s readers respond to its story, and how it responds to that response. I’m not as optimistic about that as Graham seems to be, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Charisma’s associate editor, Taylor Berglund, “described himself … as ‘a big supporter of the #MeToo movement and an advocate for women in general.'” I want to believe him, but it’s hard to do when we know that Berglund’s reference to “women in general” excludes the millions of women his magazine regularly condemns as evil, untrustworthy Jezebel’s who must be stopped before they kill babies for Satan.