It purports to be a fan fiction written by a mother who wanted to make a "family friendly" version of the Harry Potter books
... That is to say, one that will not lead to your children "turning into witches". There is currently a lively debate
as to whether it is an intentional joke or exactly what it claims to be. Whether it's real or satire, iThe Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles is certainly an entertaining read: "Voldemort doesn't care," Hermione remarked sadly; and she shook her head. "And he is gaining power. The freedom of Christians to practice our faith is disappearing by the day. Soon, it will be like it was in Rome." Lovely, ladylike tears began to roll down her delicate, terrified face. "And I don't like lions!"
A small but significant number of theologians, psychologists, and other conservative Christians are beginning to develop moral arguments that it’s possible to affirm same-sex relationships not in spite of orthodox theology, but within it. In books, academic journals, magazines, blog posts, speeches, conferences, and campus clubs, they are steadily building a case that there is a place in the traditional evangelical church for sexually active gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. They argue that the Bible, read properly, doesn't condemn such relationships at all—and neither should committed Christians.
Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples? Here Matthew Vines speaks to each of the 'clobber' passages used to attack homosexuality in engaging detail and describes his vision for the role of gay Christians in the church. (1:07:18) [more inside]
Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard
." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview
" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf)
that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
The waning influence of evangelical Christianity
can be seen through the story of Orange County's Crystal Cathedral.
across the country run "hell houses"
on Halloween. These attractions show how "sinful" activities
can ruin young lives
. Some churches are trying to be more positive
in their messaging. For those who are interested, you can now buy your own "hell house" outreach kit
. [more inside]
"Here’s what was off-limits, according to many of the people I grew up with: books about witchcraft, the writings of Anton LaVey, Ouija boards, New Age crystals, pentagrams, albums with backward masking, and the music of most heavy-metal bands. ... Yet here’s what was okay to enjoy, according to those same chums and acquaintances: The Omen. The Amityville Horror. Rosemary’s Baby. The Exorcist
. These movies passed muster because they didn’t encourage people to dabble in the dark arts; they warned
people." The Exorcist And The South's Love Of Devil Movies.
Gospel of Intolerance
- Excerpts of "God Loves Uganda"
, a feature documentary directed and produced by filmmaker Roger Ross Williams
is having its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film explains how money donated by American evangelicals directly finances the violent antigay movement
How I Lost Faith In The Pro-Life Movement
: "What I want to share here is how I came to this realization. And if you, reader, are one of those who opposes abortion because you believe it is murder and you want to save the lives of unborn babies, well, I hope to persuade you that the pro-life movement is not actually your ally in this, that you have been misled, and that you would be more effective in decreasing the number of abortions that occur if you were to side with pro-choice progressives. If this is you, please hear me out before shaking your head." [more inside]
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader.
Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working
to help others
who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
Kevin Roose's The Unlikely Disciple
, in which Brown attends Jerry Falwell's evangelical Liberty University for a semester (excerpt
), has been featured on MetaFilter previously
, but it deserves to be looked at in more detail. What distinguishes the book is Roose's determination to look at the people behind the belief rather than just lampooning the belief itself; he writes about interviewing Falwell
(and he was in fact the last person to interview Falwell before his death), and about his uneasiness about finding the likable, human elements that went alongside the fanaticism. After publication, Liberty University allowed the book in its bookstore, but inserted a three-paragraph disclaimer warning readers of inaccuracies and telling them to be skeptical; Roose rebuts the disclaimer. An English professor at Liberty University offers an interesting perspective. Meanwhile, Roose runs a blog series called Meet Jerry's Kids, in which he interviews LU students, and The Jonah Project, where he encourages people who disagree politically or religiously to have reasoned, yelling-free discussions about the novel.
Fred Clark, previously in the blue for his excellent deconstruction of the Left Behind series
and much more
, has written a short history lesson on the Evangelical movement's surprisingly recent about-face
on the subject of conception, abortion and the human soul. As he notes, "At some point between 1968 and 2012, the Bible began to say something different. That’s interesting.
Inside the creepy and controling world of Seattle's Mars Hill Church
, home of "real marriage"
With Few Jobs, an Unmarried Pastor Points to Bias “Prejudice against single pastors abounds,” Mr. Almlie wrote in articles
, Part 2
) he posted on a popular Christian blog site in January and February, setting off a wide-ranging debate online on a topic that many said has been largely ignored.
Pope Benedict XVI has announced
the establishment of a new Vatican department
dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,
) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture,"
secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [more inside]
, former evangelical missionary, and “Rent-a-meanie” the Twisted Monk: "I guess is some ways, I’m finally fulfilling the calling I had when I was a kid and being that evangelist, changing the world one bedroom at a time.
[most links contain no nudity but might be NSFW anyway] [more inside]
The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria's 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.
Slacktivist has been discussed on the blue before
. His epic deconstruction
, and at times even translation
of the Left Behind
book series started in October of 2003
. Today, it has come to an end
. In between, Slacktivist has explored the impact of the Left Behind series and the fundamentalist worldview
and the media
, and even gone on to inspire Left Behind fanfic
. Fred Clark, the Slacktivist himself, intends to continue
his five year project with the Left Behind movie
, followed by the second book
, Tribulation Force
Ted Haggard returns
--with a cash for heaven offer to support him while he helps "broken people". Unfortunately, the procedure outlined is illegal, and the charity (Families With a Mission) is unregistered and run by a convicted sex offender.
Meanwhile, Mike Jones, Haggard's favorite whore, pops up at a dirty bar trivia night
(questions about Haggard and him, maybe nsfw, textwise)
Tammy Faye Messner Bids Her Fans Goodbye.
Down to 65 pounds and unable to continue treatment
for cancer, Tammy Faye Messner, one of the most colorful figures in
religious broadcasting, has posted a goodbye letter to fans on her Web
God's Next Army
a british documentation
about the Patrick Henry College
. It's only goal: to train more soldiers for God and the evangelical agenda in US politics
. Shouldn't there be a separation of education and ruthless fundamentalist indoctrination
Philo-Semitism: Just another form of Anti-Semitism?
Interesting Wash Post article on Evangelicals turning away from supersessionism -- the centuries-old belief that with the coming of Jesus, God ended his covenant with the Jews and transferred it to the Christian church,
and the concerns it is raising. ..."That hope is felt and expressed by Christians as a kind, benevolent hope," ... "But believing that someday Jews will stop being Jews and become Christians is still a form of hoping that someday there will be no more Jews." ...
Is it that philosemitism is just as dehumanizing as antisemitism and, because it masquerades as its opposite, more insidious,
or just the most recent manifestation of the longstanding appropriation of us Jews as symbols, whether it helps or hurts us?
Stealth Evangelism? on the National Mall in DC
--sponsored by Pepsi, too. People attending The DC Festival
will not see any clue -- not even a simple cross -- to suggest the real nature of the gathering: broadcasting the message of Jesus Christ.
Bio of the organizer, Luis Palau, here
, including this: “We began to realize that the traditional ‘crusade’ model - uniformed choir, the suits on the platform, and old, traditional hymns - wasn’t the way to go for us,” Palau says. “We want to attract the un-churched, and we want them to encounter God, and bring them all to Christ and to understand and to connect.”
The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience
This is the question this article from Christianity Today
asks. It shows some scary stats for anyone involved in the Protestant church, that the lifestyles of Evangelical Christians is not really all that different from the rest of society.
It's unOFFICIAL! yet again!
Bush wins re-election!
And Nader nowhere to shoulder blame.
The deciding demographic? The Evangelical vote.
(Interestingly, look how the vote went
for Carter, born-again Southern Baptist, in the '76 election.)
So who's to blame? Personally, I point the finger at the PR. Because everyone should damn-well accept the fact that it's not about the issues.
Let the recount and litigation begin!
Hello, my name is Tamara!
As you can probably tell, I'm a Christian who loves Jesus and cares for all humans, even the wicked. What you probably don't know is that I'm hot.
How the left's fear of a right-wing Christian conspiracy gets George W. Bush -- and today's evangelical Christians -- all wrong. Alan Jacobs
(more from him here
) suggests that the idea that President Bush's evangelical Christianity has an impact on his politics is really a misunderstanding of Bush, fundamentalists, and evangelicals.
Plans Under Way for Christianizing the Enemy.
"Two leading evangelical Christian missionary organizations said Tuesday that they have teams of workers poised to enter Iraq to address the physical and spiritual needs of a large Muslim population."
God please save me from your followers!