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Posted: Aug 10, 2020 - 11:00am

The Wrong Man: Why Falwell’s Paying for His Indiscretion But Trump Gets a Pass
This photo may strike some as a relatively tame reason for Falwell to be ushered from the stage, at least compared to his other, more controversial statements—including everything from calling the threat of Covid-19 an overblown political hoax to posting overtly racist photos on social media—but there’s an irony here that begs to be considered.

Since President Trump has an even more consistent history of doing such controversial things, and since many white evangelicals (including Falwell) still staunchly support him, it might seem odd that Falwell, of all people, ended up being the one to make evangelicals flinch to this degree. Was the issue really that he was a bad role model—that his clothing and mystery beverage were in violation of Liberty’s student code of conduct (as some students were quick to note)? Or was this just the final straw in an already-collapsing heap of negative attention?

As a scholar of religion and American culture, I would argue that these aren’t the most helpful sorts of questions to ask. Rather, if we want to understand what’s going on here, then we need to think of this photo as a moment exposing a contradiction that coexists somewhat uncomfortably within evangelical political circles about how to handle male indiscretions—particularly those of a sexual kind.

This contradiction involves telling two conflicting stories about manhood. One version of this story views men as natural leaders whose masculinity also makes them virile and sexual. In this telling of the story, male sexuality is understood as a natural, positive, god-given force, the simple outcome of “boys being boys.” It is this power that makes productive societies and productive (read: heterosexual) families.

But all men’s sexuality isn’t equally valued, of course, and so another explanation must be available. This second tale understands the male libido as a type of distraction or weakness, a force that moral discipline cannot harness. For those familiar with evangelical subcultures, these are described as normal desires contorted by sin; descriptions reserved, for instance, for gay men, for those who create unwed mothers and broken families (read: Black men), or for those who use porn.

Both sides of this story are necessary to sustain the political landscape; one can only claim the right to power if one can also claim to know the difference between its good and bad versions. The critical question, then, is which type of story the public wants to believe about Falwell and his legacy.

oldviolin

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Location: esse quam videri
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 7, 2020 - 3:00pm



 Red_Dragon wrote:


 BlueHeronDruid wrote:
Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, text that says 'jerryfalwelljr'
 

What would possess anyone to pose for - let alone post - this picture?
 

Soft targets?
Red_Dragon

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Posted: Aug 7, 2020 - 2:54pm



 BlueHeronDruid wrote:
Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, text that says 'jerryfalwelljr'
 

What would possess anyone to pose for - let alone post - this picture?
BlueHeronDruid

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Location: planting flowers


Posted: Aug 7, 2020 - 2:05pm

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, text that says 'jerryfalwelljr'
R_P

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Posted: Jul 17, 2020 - 12:07pm

“America is fundamentally good, and has much to offer the world, because our founders recognized the existence of God-given unalienable rights, and designed a durable system to protect them,” Pompeo said.

The speech as well as the commission’s draft report were in many ways typical
of other Pompeo public pronouncements: They were filled with references to U.S. adversaries, such as Iran and China, and refer often to Christian thoughts and inspirations. The Thursday speech and draft report also invoke famous historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr.

But the speech in particular also was notable for some of Pompeo’s targets.

He blasted the New York Times’s award-winning 1619 Project on slavery, saying that the paper wants “you to believe Marxist ideology that America is only the oppressors and the oppressed. The Chinese Communist Party must be gleeful when they see the New York Times spout their ideology.”

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Posted: Jul 5, 2020 - 8:50am

Rick Perry Joins Capitol Ministries Project to ‘Disciple’ Local Officials to Right-Wing ‘Biblical Worldview’
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Posted: Jun 24, 2020 - 6:11pm

Tribal Law and Order...
FL Christians Condemn Face Masks for Blocking “God’s Wonderful Breathing System”
On Tuesday night, commissioners in Palm Beach County, Florida unanimously passed an ordinance required face masks in public spaces. That’s the good news. What’s frightening are some of the people who delivered public comments denouncing the decision as an attack on their freedom. A couple of the speakers — I’m not printing their names here — cited God in defense of their ignorance. They also pushed a string of wild conspiracy theories.

One lady is frightened about how the masks will block oxygen from entering our bodies — that’s not true — before accusing officials of trying to “throw God’s wonderful breathing system out the door.” Spoiler: You can still breathe while wearing a face mask.

The other speaker says the masks are killing people (a lie), and that citizen’s arrests are already underway (no), and that the commissioners are obeying “the Devil’s laws” (not even close), and that they’ll be “punished by God” (ha), and that “the 5G” are coming after the people (wut), and that the commissioners should “be in a psych ward”(sure), and Bill Gates needs to be in jail (huh?), and Hillary Clinton too (seriously?), and something about pedophiles (how…?)

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Posted: Jun 23, 2020 - 11:50am

Inside the State Department, the definition of human rights is up for debate.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an evangelical Christian, created a commission last July to provide a new vision for human rights policy that would more closely align with the “nation’s founding principles” and uphold religious freedom as America’s most fundamental value.

Human rights scholars have criticized the panel, saying it is filled with conservatives intent on promoting views against abortion and marriage equality. Critics also warn the commission sidesteps the State Department’s internal bureau tasked with promoting human rights abroad.

And former agency officials caution that elevating the importance of religion could reverse the country’s longstanding belief that “all rights are created equal” — and embolden countries that persecute same-sex couples or deny women access to reproductive health services for religious reasons.

“There are those who would have preferred I didn’t do it, and are concerned about the answers that our foundational documents will provide,” Mr. Pompeo said of the commission last fall to a conservative women’s group at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. “I know where those rights came from. They came from our Lord.”

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Posted: Jun 20, 2020 - 7:33am

God as the Original Terrorist: How the Bible Condones Atrocious Acts of Terror
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Posted: Jun 18, 2020 - 3:05pm

Liberty University eliminates its Philosophy Department, furthering the Christian right’s anti-intellectual backlash
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Posted: Jun 15, 2020 - 1:26pm

One Aslam, who ‘healed’ people by kissing their hands dies of coronavirus, infects 19 others
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Posted: Jun 7, 2020 - 7:28am

Rick Wiles Hopes Trump Will Round-Up Liberal Activists and Torture Them
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Posted: Jun 2, 2020 - 12:04am

Senior Legal Adviser to @TeamTrump and Attorney to @realDonaldTrump.

Identification with Christianity
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Posted: May 30, 2020 - 8:26pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
R_P wrote:

I'm pretty familiar with the (small. somewhat fractious) Jewish community here and I'd never heard of the guy. I'll try and check out the film.
 
Popped up in my films feed, and thought you might (want to) know something about it. Looks interesting.
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: May 30, 2020 - 8:04pm

R_P wrote:

I'm pretty familiar with the (small. somewhat fractious) Jewish community here and I'd never heard of the guy. I'll try and check out the film.
R_P

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Posted: May 30, 2020 - 11:37am

Praise and Loathing in Bozeman, Montana: The Rabbi Goes West
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Posted: May 21, 2020 - 2:56pm

Bella Ciao blasts from hijacked Turkish mosques’ speaker systems
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Posted: May 20, 2020 - 11:51am

Fundamentalist Pandemics
What Evangelicals Could Learn From The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam
(...) The pecuniary motives of some of this obscurantism are clear, as many churches and mosques depend on contributions from congregants at services for the livelihood of imams and pastors. Their willingness to prey on the gullibility of their followers in a bid to keep up their income stream should be considered the height of hypocrisy and speaks to the importance of people never surrendering their capacity for independent, critical reasoning.

Though you might not have noticed it on Donald Trump’s and Ali Khameini’s planet, religion seems to be in the process of collapsing, at least in the industrialized world. A third of the French say that they have no religion at all and just 45% consider themselves Catholic (with perhaps only half of those being relatively committed to the faith), while only 5% attend church regularly. A majority of young people in 12 European countries claim that they now have no religion, pointing to a secular future for much of the continent. Even in peculiarly religious America, self-identification as Christian has plunged to 65% of the population, down 12% in the past decade, while 26% of the population now disavows having a religion at all.

In post-pandemic Iran, don’t be surprised if similar feelings spread, given how the religious leadership functionally encouraged the devastation of Covid-19. In this way, despite military threats, economic sanctions, and everything else, Donald Trump’s America and Ali Khameini’s Iran truly have something in common. In the U.S., where it’s easier to measure what’s happening, evangelicals, more than a fifth of the population when George W. Bush was first elected president in 2000, are 16% of it two decades later.

Given the unpredictable nature of our world (as the emergence of Covid-19 has made all too clear), nothing, secularization included, is a one-way street. Religion is perfectly capable of experiencing revivals. Still, there is no surer way to tip the balance toward an Omar Khayyam-style skepticism than for prominent religious leaders to guide their faithful, and all those in contact with them, into a new wave of the pandemic.

haresfur

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Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: May 18, 2020 - 6:44pm


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Posted: May 16, 2020 - 12:22pm

Paula White’s One Voice Prayer Movement: A Thinly Disguised Political Operation for Trump
OVPM’s stated goal is “to unite the Body of Christ to pray for God’s values to be expressed through government and the nation.” At the time of OVPM’s launch, the Christian Broadcasting Network described it as an initiative “launched to fight against spells, sorcery and those who would employ witchcraft against the President and as an effort to address the current prayer needs for the White House.”

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