It's been quite a while since I posted anything here, and I'm afraid that the reasons are a bit complex. There are a number of pieces I find myself wanting to put together, some of which even fit with the mission I scribbled down for the site when I started it. (A review of Franky Schaeffer's book, 'Crazy for God,' and an article exploring Francis Schaeffer's role in the birth and growth of the Christian Right are both on the table.
It probably comes as no shock that I collect Christian Kitsch Fiction. During the years I wrote my zine, I secured review copies of hundreds of books and chewed through them at an earnest, prodigious rate. While quite a few genres had their cliches (Historical Romances Featuring Heroines Of Faith! New Age Murder Mysteries! Teen Dramas About Almost Kissing!) there's no competition for King Of The Wacky. Rapture fiction -- apocalyptic novels that revolve around Biblical prophecy and literal interpretation of the book of Revelation -- will always reign supreme.
Ann Coulter is no stranger to controversy, and that seems to be the way she likes it. Many feel she's less a political pundit than a 'shock artist' -- something like the Andrew Dice Clay of the US political scene. Some of the things she says read like hyper-aggressive charicatures of Christian doctrine. Her throwaway comments about bombing Muslim nations and forcing their leaders to convert to Christianity are famous, for example. Few thoughtful Christians I know demonstrate anything but embarrassment when she's brought up -- her consistently spiteful attack-dog style often crosses lines of traditional Evangelical taboos, too. Yet she's still regarded as 'part of the team' by many conservative Christians.
We should not call ourselves "humanists," or "secular humanists," or "naturalists," or "skeptics," or "anti-theists," or "rationalists," or "freethinkers," or "brights." We should not call ourselves anything. We should go under the radar—for the rest of our lives. And while there, we should be decent, responsible people who destroy bad ideas wherever we find them.
Jeff Benson, one of the oldschool members of Growing Up Goddy, has posted an interesting question on his blog: Can we choose what we believe? It has wide-ranging implications for various schools of Christianity -- for almost any belief system, really. I know there's a strong argument to be made that humans respond far less to 'reason' than they do emotional cues, but we all want to think that we've arrived at our beliefs in a logical, enlightenment-friendly sort of way...
Twenty years ago this month, I was an enthusiastically odd kid with an Atari 800XL computer and a daisy-wheel printer. I decided that I wanted to publish a magazine. It's strange looking back on that decision, as it ended up becoming a major chunk of my life for almost seven years. It's how I decided I wanted to be involved in Christian media, how I got linked in to conservative politics, and how I ended up getting my first real tastes of freelance writing and graphic design. It's how I ended up co-hosting the 700 Club once, too...
I believe it's entirely meet and appropriate to post here and say "y'know what, life intervenes, sorry 'bout that." And it does. I won't get into my own excuses, but they're pretty good.
But if I'm going to toss an oar in, I'd better have something to chew on.
We were at an outlet mall in Gaffney, South Carolina, this past weekend - for reasons that involve a four-hour journey to fetch a car (see, I told you, pretty good excuses). The book store in the outlet mall was a wonderful treasure trove of old and new Christian books, almost exclusively Zondervan-published. And my wife, who knows me and loves me and understands my hardcore geekiness, dug a tome entitled Not Just Science out of the pile.
And, of course, my first response was: Egads, if I had known Zondervan was publishing textbooks...
I think I have a good excuse for my absence--moving to a different city and starting a new program at a new school--but I wanted to pop my head in and post a link.
This American Life is a radio show that I highly recommend. It never ceases to be entertaining and compelling, and it doesn't hurt that they use great music between segments.
For social conservatives dissatisfied with other GOP choices, the "Law & Order" actor and former Tennessee senator represents a Ronald Reagan-like figure, someone they hope will agree with them on issues and stands a chance of winning.
But Thompson's less-than-clear stance on a federal gay marriage amendment and his delay in entering the race are partly responsible for a sudden shyness among leading evangelicals.