Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 96: ‘Humbert Steele’



My guess is that, as ever in Left Behind, the real unreliable narrators here are Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. They want to show us that their hero is fallible, and that his new faith requires him to face the consequences of the bad choices he made earlier. They also -- unintentionally, accidentally and unawares -- give us a portrait of Rayford as vain, selfish, misogynist and controlling. And often the least flattering aspects of Rayford's character are revealed when the author's seem to be trying to show us something they think is admirable about their character. It's like reading Nabokov, but with the added twist of the authors sharing in the narrator's solipsism and self-delusion.

Now we get moose and squirrel



Yes, it's a picture of Donald Trump with Boris and Natasha, because we shouldn't forget Trump's scandalous links to Russian oligarchs and Ukrainian despots, even if those aren't among the top 10 or top 20 worst things about Donald Trump. Plus some other stuff, including: Clinton Foundation, under a microscope, looks clean; EpiPen and Insulin makers gouging consumers (and insurers); Mat Staver, law professor; and religious liberty in white America.

‘You’re better than this’ vs. ‘You should be ashamed of yourself’



So you're sitting there across from the kid who's just done something dumb. Your role here is scriptural -- not in the sense that it's according to the scriptures, but in the sense that you're needing to say something that will be "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." You're concerned, in other words, not just with what this kid did, but with what this kid is becoming -- with the different kinds of person this kid could potentially become.

Here’s what you do when an erratic bigot hijacks your party nomination



From Honolulu Civil Beat: “I want it understood by the general public and the media that the recent inflammatory comments made by candidate for Congress (CD2) Angela Kaaihue do not represent the views, values, or the sentiments of our Party and its members,” Fritz Rohlfing said in a statement issued late Friday. “Her vulgar, racially-bigoted, and religiously-intolerant descriptions of Democratic Party candidates are offensive, shameful, and unacceptable in public discourse.”

Trust me, I’ve tried all the other religions. All of them.



This is a thing that a lot of evangelical Christians do and that we really need to stop doing. It's an attempt to tell your story in a way that discounts and dismisses every other story. That's always a bad look and it comes from a bad place. It's the impulse that is unable to celebrate anything without simultaneously disparaging everything else that is not that thing. And it's an attempt to bolster what you're saying about what you do know by claiming to also be an expert about everything else.

Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 95: ‘Faith vs. Reason’



Chloe's "intellectual" objections are never explained or described. The authors cannot imagine what the substance of such objections might be. Nor do they care. If those objections are intellectual, then they are anti-faith, and that is all that they or their readers need to know.

That time when a terrorist attack struck the Olympic Games



Both Ryan Lochte's clumsy cover story and the media's initial credulous acceptance of it reveal our willingness to assume the worst about South America as opposed to our more civilized society here in the "real" America. That's ironic when we remember what happened when the Olympic Games were hosted here in America, in Atlanta, in 1996. A bomb planted by a right-wing, anti-abortion terrorist killed one spectator and injured 111 others.

Guys like us, we had it made …



If you ask those of us who are 18-53 years old for our opinions about what life was like before we either existed or have any memory, we'll give you an answer. And that speculative, possibly even informed, opinion may mean something or other in the aggregate. Maybe it tells us something fuzzy about general optimism or pessimism. Or maybe something about the dismal state of history, social studies, civics and science education.