uno itinere non potest perveniri ad tam grande secretum -- Q. Aurelius Symmachus, 384 C.E.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Classic Apologetic: In Trying to Allay My Fears, Billy Graham's PR Guy Does Anything But

A. Larry Ross
I suppose to "balance" a previous piece by Michelle Goldberg on Christian dominionism, The Daily Beast today published a response by A. Larry Ross, the  spokesperson for Billy Graham for three decades. If you are looking for a classic piece of Christian political apology, this is it.

In trying to set us straight about how mythical dominionism is, no matter what Goldberg or other religion journalists like Sarah Posner say, Ross regurgitates a host of truisms by the Right on why we have nothing to fear from the coupling of their religious convictions with a political activism that seeks to enact those convictions in public policy.

He offers 10 examples of "things the media get wrong about evangelicals and politics ... general areas of disconnect between the press and the pews," and in so doing, offers up a litany of talking points I myself used to make back when I was a good, young, conservative evangelical (and that was almost 20 years ago).

Friday, August 19, 2011

FRC's New Low: Perkins Reduced to Adolescent, Quote-Mark Rant

The Family Research Council doesn't just want to exclude gay and lesbian adults from the full rights and privileges of marriage equality. They also really want gay and lesbian kids to feel horrible about themselves.

That's the message in the hateful organization's latest fundraising letter taking aim at President Obama's participation in the "It Gets Better" campaign. In a latter sent to donors, Tony Perkins, head of the organization, frets openly about a president telling young children that they are OK and shouldn't contemplate things like suicide, a real problem for LGBT youth.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anoka-Hennepin's LGBT Problem: Neutrality and Objectivity Are Not the Same Thing

Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent Dennis Carlson has a response this morning to a Star-Tribune editorial calling his school district's policy on homosexuality "gutless," because it embraces a "neutrality" standpoint that some have connected with the dismal record it has on LGBT bullying and suicides. Six students have taken their own lives, and another two are filing suit against the district, alleging the bullying they experienced went unabated by the staff there, which even, according to the latest suit, punished the bullied student instead of the perpetrators.

Carlson laments the Star-Tribune editorial for a number of perceived sins, including confusing the school's bullying policy -- which supposedly bans bullying based on sexual orientation -- and the school's bizarre curriculum policy, clearly intended to placate religious conservatives.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Non-Political "Christian Unity"?

It now appears certain that Rick Perry, the secession-inclined governor of Texas, will run for president, with an announcement perhaps coming on Saturday. Of course, to many observers, this was made obvious when he announced his prayer event, "The Response," which captivated the blogosphere over the weekend, not only for the political theater sure to ensue, but also for the theological doublespeak that recurred throughout the event and the chatter leading up to it.

Indeed, Perry repeatedly said "The Response," despite being hosted by the American Family Association, was "not political," remarking at one point that
"(God’s) agenda is not a political agenda, His agenda is a salvation agenda." Yet he also remarked during prayer that "as a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us."

Which of course raises the question, "how?" How indeed has our nation "forgotten who made us" or "who blesses us"? What policies has the country pursued against the will of God?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Don't Like Something? Just Call It 'Liberal'

My wife and I have a fun and recurring banter that we do. It goes like this: when we have a disagreement about something, and one of us is proven to be right via incontrovertible evidence (usually her), the other of us, pretending to ignore said evidence, merely shrugs and muses, "Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree."

A case in point: during a rare trip together to the grocery store recently, she arrived at the checkout aisle where I was already loading items on the conveyor belt, and set down a bag of flour she had asked me repeatedly to get at the store (I usually do the shopping), but which I had repeatedly told her was not there (I should point out that she uses the flour to make homemade, from-scratch bread, an activity otherwise known as The Best Day Of The Week).

"That's the flour I asked for," she said triumphantly. "You said they didn't have it."

"And I stand by that," I said, looking straight at the plainly marked bag.

Knowing, of course, the game we were playing, she reasserted: "But honey, it's right there."

"Yes, well, I don't accept that."

I'm quite sure we crack ourselves up more than anyone else who happens to hear us, but as silly as it sounds, this line of reasoning -- outright rejection of any piece of evidence that contradicts one's point of view -- is becoming rampantly entrenched in our increasingly ideological society.