There’s been no shortage of sex abuse scandals in the Christian Church in recent years. By now the Catholic Church scandals are old news, but Protestants have rushed to get in on the action in the last year or three as well, with allegations against dozens of institutions coming to light. Bill Gothard of the respected (by some) Institute for Biblical Life Principles recently resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, and numerous damning exposés have been written on the entrenched rape culture — where victims are blamed and perpetrators walk free — at universities like Bob Jones and Patrick Henry.
I recently found myself, at the recommendation of my pastor, reading a collection of short stories by Robert Shearman entitled Remember Why You Fear Me. It was a collection of all things weird and macabre, sort of like what you might expect from a contemporary British Poe, albeit with a bit of a mildly blasphemous streak.
Toward the end of the ebook version (not the print version) is a short story entitled Tiny Deaths, which opens with Jesus’ death on the cross. In this interpretation, he hears the Father’s voice from heaven while he’s hanging there, asking him if he’s sure he wants to go through with the plan. He assents one last time, and breathes his final breath. This is followed by a resurrection…of sorts: Continue reading
Hey, remember when everyone’s head exploded on the Internet over the Hobby Lobby ruling? That was fun, right?
I’m not here to take sides in the debate, but I will go ahead and say that every argument I’ve seen and heard about it has been really, really stupid. I don’t feel like I have much to add to the debate, so I’m not going to harp on it any more. (My original thoughts can be found here; the TLDR version is that I think the debate is a terrible question that gives birth to many terrible answers, but if I had to pick a side in the idiocy, I’d probably agree with the Court, since I don’t think the mandate clearly satisfies the standard set by the RFRA.)
What I do want to talk about is this concept of “rights” we’re all throwing around. It occurs to me that when America’s “conservatives” (who are actually not conservatives at all, but in fact classical liberals, but whatever, fine, words mean nothing, call yourselves conservatives if you want) talk about “rights,” they mean something very different than “liberals” (who are actually…y’know, I’m not really sure, but “progressives” is probably a better word) do. This may not be news to anyone, necessarily, but it certainly explains the head-slapping stupidity that results from arguments over whether corporations have the “right” to freedom of religion and whether women have the “right” to free birth control [of any sort]. Continue reading
It occurs to me that I’m in possession of a really, really unpopular opinion. And there’s nothing the blogosphere loves more than unpopular opinions. So here goes:
I’m not that big a fan of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
(Please don’t hurt me!)
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not much of a trekkie. It’s my wife who loves the Trek, and since she refuses to give Star Wars a chance, I find myself watching all them star tracks over and over again. And they’re mostly good. I’m not saying they’re bad.
I just don’t see how Khan is the best one, even though everybody says it is. There are something like half a dozen Trek movies that hold up better.
That’s all I’m saying.
Do you want to see my personal ranking of all 12 films? Would that help?
You do? It would?
Oh, thank you! You’re so good to me, imaginary reader I’m talking to! Here’s how it breaks down for me: Continue reading
The other day was the second anniversary of my foray into blogging, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. I haven’t proven to be the most consistent blogger on the Web, or the one with the biggest following, or the smartest, or the funniest, or the most talented, or the best-loved, but I’m certainly…one of them?
But one thing I am sure of is that starting this blog was a good call. Some of the things that have happened since I began it:
- I’ve been published by Cracked a couple of times;
- My work has appeared in Reader’s Digest;
- I’ve scored a book deal;
- I’ve been made a weekly columnist at Christ and Pop Culture;
- I’ve almost finished a novel (which is more of a distraction from blogging than anything, but whatever).
I thought that for this august occasion (which, ironically, is a June occasion), it might be fun to run down my blog’s top 10 posts, along with some of my commentary on them. Unless it’s not fun, in which case, I’m sorry. Continue reading
I have a new piece up over at Christ and Pop Culture today. It’s a discussion of the meme Feminist Frank and the question of whether Christians ought to be feminists. Check it out now, funk soul brothers.
*[pointlessly obscure reference explained here.]
A week before I proposed to my now-wife, I was sitting on the roof of a ship, talking to her on someone else’s cellphone. I may have also been a little drunk.
We were talking about our dreams for the future, and how neither one of us really had any. “I’ve been thinking a lot about it,” I slurred, Captain Morgan running down my chin, “and it turns out that all I really want out of life is to be a housewife.” Continue reading
So…here’s the embarrassing post where I admit that I actually kind of liked God’s Not Dead.
Yes, it was full of terrible acting and hackneyed apologetics.
Yes, it was full of offensive stereotypes of Muslims and atheists.
Yes, for a movie supposedly about a philosophy class, it didn’t seem to have a clue what philosophy is.
And yet, taken on its own terms, it still kind of worked.
Will it convert anyone? Not with its beyond-tenuous grasp of teleology, biology and cosmology. Will it make Jesus cool again? Of course it won’t — Jesus was never cool. (Sorry, Jesus.)
But if you’re judging it on those terms, you’ve profoundly missed the point of God’s Not Dead — and of evangelical films in general. Continue reading
Just thought I’d let you know that I have a couple new pieces going up around the web today.
There’s this, my latest ‘LOL Interwebz’ column for Christ and Pop Culture. It’s about buttcracks and Magic: The Gathering.
Then there’s this, a contrarian piece I wrote for The Erstwhile Philistine. It’s about The Lego Movie and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and why EVERY CHILDREN’S MOVIE YOU LOVE IS A LIE.
By the way, since I have your attention: Christ and Pop Culture has a podcast, and it’s phenomenal. I’m not shilling; it’s seriously my absolute favorite podcast and I listen to it all the time. And incidentally, I’ve had the pleasure of starring in three of its episodes:
- This one (Cash, Cobain, Bush);
- This one (April Fools, #CancelColbert, The Pope’s Confession);
- And this one (Participation Trophies, A Church’s Fake Persecution Stunt, “Average Barbie”).
It’s been a blast. But every single episode is great, and you should listen to them all.
Till next time!