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).


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.


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

Womb to Tomb: Imagining a Completely Pro-Life Politics


While remaining committed to these goals, I’ve been disturbed by a fundamental inconsistency in much of the pro-life movement. People who are passionate about combating abortion often seem unconcerned about other ways that human lives are destroyed. Why, I wondered, did many pro-life leaders fail to support programs designed to reduce starvation among the world’s children? Why did others oppose government funding for research into a cure for AIDS? Why did an important pro-life senator fight to save unborn babies only to defend government subsidies for tobacco products, which cause six million deaths around the globe each year? When Congressman Barney Frank quipped that pro-lifers believe that “life begins at conception and ends at birth,” he was not being entirely unfair.

Ronald J. Sider

Thank You Donald Trump. Seriously. Thank You.


But a growing number of Americans have had their eyes opened to the reality of American politics. That’s the one positive legacy Trump is likely to leave. After what we’ve been through during this election it’s hard to believe that the mainstream media and the people who turn to them for news will quickly forget how close a call we had. 

Our democracy needs fixing. And that means addressing the problem with low information voters I set out to draw attention to eight years ago. That’s why I’m grateful to Donald Trump. 

History News Network

Trump the fascist


In 1980, the Republicans won the game: they were able to start dismantling liberalism, tearing apart the New Deal, destroying unions, sending the good jobs overseas, and sending all the economic gains to the rich rather than to the whole population. So it’s a bit provoking when conservative pundits offer this story that the Democrats abandoned the working class.

It’s true that Trump has appealed to economic anxiety— among other things. But his very framing of the issue shows that he doesn’t understand the issues or have any notion on how to solve them. He talks as if the problem is foreigners— either Mexicans coming to this country to steal jobs, or Chinese somehow taking advantage of us by selling us cheap things. He isn’t running for President of Mexico or China, so he can’t actually do anything about either problem, nor would building walls (whether made of bricks or tariffs) actually re-create manufacturing jobs.

Zompist’s E-Z rant page

An IT insider’s mistake


So why do I bring all that up? I believe we need consumer personal data protection rights. Almost like credit reporting. The big three (AGM) personal data aggregators and Facebook and LinkedIn collect a lot of personal data about each of us. We should have the right to know what they keep about us, and to possibly correct that record, like we do with the credit bureaus. We should be able to get a free digital copy of our personal data at least annually. The personal data aggregators should also have to report who they share that information with, and in what form. Do they pass along our phone contact information, or email accounts to 3 rd party providers or license that to other companies to help them do their business? The Europeans are ahead of America in protecting privacy rights on the internet, with the right to be forgotten, and the right to correct data. We should not be left behind in making our lives safer from invasion of our privacy and loss of personal security.


Eric Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer Delusions


WHAT MIGHT BONHOEFFER make of his “Moment” in American politics? Born in 1906 into a prodigiously humanist family, Dietrich Bonhoeffer had rarely discussed politics in his university years; when he had, it was mostly in response to his brothers, who, radicalized by the Great War, never missed an opportunity to butt heads concerning the finer points of the Weimar government or the morality of its democratic reforms. A university friend complained of Bonhoeffer’s inclination to escape into ethereal regions of “comprehensive” ideas and thus “avoid the murk and mists of boiling-hot politics.” Indeed, during Bonhoeffer’s postdoctoral year at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, there is not even mention in his notes or letters of what was the lead item in the Times on the day of his arrival: “Fascists Make Big Gains in Germany.

”This changed during that transformative year in America. Between August 1930 in May 1931 Bonhoeffer would journey into new regions of experience: into the tenement buildings of New York, into the Harlem Renaissance, into the Deep South weeks after the Scottsboro Boys went to trial, into a six-month immersion in the black church in Abyssinian Baptist in Harlem. He spent time with the National Women’s Trade Union League and the Workers Education Bureau of America; he wrote notes on the labor movement, poverty, homelessness, crime, and the social mission of the churches. He met with officials from the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s premier defender of civil liberties, which after its founding in 1920 had focused heavily on the rights of conscientious objectors and on the protection of resident aliens from deportation. After returning to Berlin, he told his older brother that Germany needed an ACLU of its own. And in the spring of 1931, Bonhoeffer took a road trip through the heart of the Jim Crow South, after which he wrote that he had heard the Gospel preached in “the church of the outcasts of America.” In these unfamiliar regions, among a nearly forgotten generation of American radicals and reformers, Bonhoeffer found the courage to reexamine every aspect of his vocation as theologian and pastor and to embark upon what he would call “the turning from the phraseological to the real.” No other thinker in the modern era crosses quite so many boundaries while yet remaining exuberantly—and one must always add—generously Christian. This is why his story has attracted both liberals and evangelicals, Catholics and Protestants, Christians and Jews, church-goers and secularists alike, people of all faiths. What all admire is Bonhoeffer’s indisputably authentic witness to the dignity of life.

In the end, Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer resembles no one so much as Metaxas.

Religion & Politics