"Almighty, give attention to us who are suffering grievously from an impious and profane man, puffed up in his audacity and power. For you, the creator of all things and the governor of all, are a just ruler, and you judge those who have done anything in insolence and arrogance."
Left Behind is a fictional world, and as such its creators are free to invent a fictional president, a fictional Manhattan that's 50 miles long, and a fictional U.N. with fictional powers. They are even free to invent a fictional Bible full of fictional prophecies. This is exactly what LaHaye and Jenkins have done. Their problem -- and it's a big problem -- is that neither they nor most of their millions of devoted readers realize that this is what they have done.
President Donald Trump held a press conference today. It was bonkers. Plus: Elizabeth Drew provides an overview of the first three weeks of Trump's presidency; a Barton-ite Republican announces his candidacy; and Reverend Bruiser vs. Dr. Viper.
"It is a moral rather than an intellectual defect. ... Folly can be overcome, not by instruction, but only by an act of liberation; and so we have come to terms with the fact that in the great majority of cases inward liberation must be preceded by outward liberation, and that until that has taken place, we may as well abandon all attempts to convince the fool."
It's never a bad time to re-read George Washington's letter to the Hebrew congregation at Newport, but now seems like an especially good time. Plus: HIAS on religious liberty; David Blight on Frederick Douglass; and Austin Channing Brown on "identity politics."
The defining distinctive for Baptists isn't about how we baptize, but about why and when. Baptists get baptized when they choose to do so. Baptists get baptized because they choose to do so. And nobody else has any say in that choice. You're free to choose -- or not to choose -- for yourself. This is why -- as a matter of core identity and definition -- you cannot be a Baptist without defending religious liberty for everyone.
Some Friday-night gleanings from the week's news, including: The 'queen hunter' chasing down terrorists; Alabama Republican corruption manages to get even worse; Michael Flynn is a liar and/or a mole; FBI priorities; and a simple if ... then test for champions of "the unborn."
Faced with such astounding duplicity and hypocrisy, with Buck's fervent condemnation of the very thing he himself is flagrantly guilty of, the Antichrist has an epiphany: Buck would make a great press secretary. Buck, alas, declines the job offer. He's a busy man, after all. He's got people to see, stories to bury, international conspiracies to cover up. Frankly, he's swamped.
When we first learn about the hanging of witches in Salem or wherever else, we hear and absorb this story the same way we do the story of Cain and Abel. We're Abel. If that had been us, we'd have been Abel. Or, if we stretch a bit more, we can just barely imagine that we might be Cain, except that if we had been Cain, then we would not have killed Abel. And we do the same thing with every other story of injustice and the slaughtering of the prophets, every story about fascism or slavery or Jim Crow.