Trump and his followers share a common psychology


Think about it. The GOP has lost the popular vote in all but one presidential election in the last quarter century. The elders of the party know they have a problem with their overwhelmingly white voter base and its hostility to the emerging demographic changes in the country, and they know the party’s ideology has to be updated to accommodate the modern world. Their laissez-faire economic policies failed and their small-government philosophy is inadequate to greet such global challenges as climate change and mass migration. But their voters don’t want to hear it.


Jack Chick dressed hatred in theology


Jack Chick’s work was hate literature, with a theological overlay.

He had a rather long enemies list. He hated the Roman Catholic Church, Mormons, gays and lesbians, New Age religion, Dungeons and Dragons, Muslims, Freemasons. Any biblical translation that was not the King James Version was a heretical work, allied with the Devil.

Think of Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” in printed form, and you get Jack Chick’s work.

And, yes — Jack Chick hated Jews — or, more precisely, Judaism. His booklet “Where’s Rabbi Waxman?” portrays a particularly righteous ultra-Orthodox rabbi who dies, but because he died “in his sin,” he went to hell.

This is raw, unabated, Jew-hatred.

Religion News Service

Why We Should Give Every American Baby Seed Capital to Take Part in the Capitalist System


Baby Bonds, in Hamilton’s formulation, would be funded directly out of Treasury and held in an account by the federal government, similar to Social Security. The amount a child receives would depend on the wealth position into which she is born. If she’s the offspring of Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates, she might get $500, but upwards of $50,000 if she is born at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder. The average amount for a child would be around $20,000. Accounts would be guaranteed a nominal one and a half rate of return, and the payout would not take place until the child becomes an adult. At that time, you get to spend the money — but not just on anything. The funds would have to be used for a “clearly defined asset enhancing activity,” like financing a debt-free education, purchasing a business, or buying a home. (The program would need to be coupled with financial reform and regulation to mitigate predatory effects, including extraordinary tuition increases aimed at exploiting better-resourced young adult baby bond recipients).


Easter 3A


The idea that Christ brings with him the key to the Old Testament can be found throughout the Gospels, not only in the interpretations Jesus offers but also, significantly, in a number of scenes that occur after the Resurrection and are already (so it seems to me) dominated by the outpouring of truth — in other words, by the power of interpretation that is bestowed on humankind by the Passion of Christ. In the Christian world, it is always a question of re-reading not from the end but from beyond this end; in the light of this beyond, former perspectives are shown to be false. Western culture as a whole, whether Christian or post-Christian, is under the illusion that it is moving further and further away from Christ, like the Emmaus disciples, while it retains a false, sacrificial conception of him. It is struggling to rid itself of Christ for good. But at the very point when it is under the impression of moving in quite a different direction, Christ is to be found beside it, as he has been for a long time, “opening the Scriptures.”

Rene Girard

Is Jesus Gay?


Was or is Jesus gay in terms of sexual orientation or behavior? I don’t believe so—but it certainly doesn’t matter. For being gay is about so much more than mere sexual orientation or gender identification. It’s about being a beautifully created soul adorned with eternal extravagance imaged in the splendor of the Creator, who no less bears the arduous task of navigating their unique, human experience through the minefields of a brutally inhumane world that would quickly ransack those who break religious molds, clawing to strip them of their divine value, identity, purpose and worth. Beyond the gravity of sexuality and orientation, this is the deeper, ultimate essence of the plight intrinsic to being gay—to be fully human and fully alive while sweating beads of blood in determination to find one’s way and hold onto one’s inherent dignity and God-delighting in a spiritually nefarious, different-condemning, and different-killing world. In this way, Jesus was surely gay.

Chris Kratzer

Moltmann Monday: Unfinished Worlds 


In wrapping up this section, Moltmann said we have three options in relation to swords. One, we turn the swords into Christian swords. That is what the empire did. Two, we ignore the swords, which is in large part what the Anabaptists did. Or three, we beat the swords into plowshares. Moltmann advocated for the third choice, saying it’s not enough to be a peace church. We are also called to be a peacemaking church.

Danielle Shroyer

An All-American Slaughter: The Youthful Carnage of America’s Gun Culture


Every day, on average, seven kids and teens are shot dead in America. Election 2016 will undoubtedly prove consequential in many ways, but lowering that death count won’t be one of them. To grapple with fatalities on that scale — 2,500 dead children annually — a candidate would need a thoroughgoing plan for dealing with America’s gun culture that goes well beyond background checks.

When the Genius Men of Silicon Valley Suddenly Don’t Seem So Smart


What possible justification is there, critics are asking, for Y Combinator to retain as a partner a person who not only served as a delegate and Republic National Convention speaker for a presidential candidate associated with white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, and fascism, but who is willing to donate over a million bucks to that candidate at his nadir? What kind of message does that send to, say, the women and racial minorities who are already so often ignored in Silicon Valley? Why not replace Thiel

Donald Trump Is the First Demagogue of the Anthropocene


Spend enough time with some of the worst-case climate scenarios, and you may start to assume, as I did, that a major demagogue would contest the presidency in the next century. I figured that the catastrophic consequences of planetary warming would all but ensure the necessary conditions for such a leader, and I imagined their support coming from a movement motivated by ethnonationalism, economic stagnation, and hatred of immigrants and refugees. I pictured, in other words, something not so far from Trump 2016.

I just assumed it wouldn’t pop up until 2040.

The Atlantic

America’s Voting Machines Are a Disaster in the Making


Almost from the start, however, the digital machines proved to be both vulnerable and unreliable. Many were built on 1990s-era software, making them easy targets for anyone who knew their way around computers. To demonstrate the potential for vote tampering, a group of computer scientists at Princeton hacked the machines in their lab, reprogramming one model to play Pac-Man. After voting machine manufacturers dismissed their findings, saying would-be hackers could never gain access to voting machines in the real world, one of the Princeton researchers took photographs of unguarded machines at local voting halls and posted them to his blog—a tradition he has maintained in every subsequent election. “When I go to vote, I realize that the people who most recently installed the software in that machine get to decide if it’s cheating or not,” says Andrew Appel, another of the Princeton researchers. “And the results may or may not have any relation to what the voters voted.”

New Republic