Give Us This Day Our Daily Links

Stephen Prothero measures the distance Franklin has fallen from the Graham tree.  It’s old news by now that Sojourners and other progressive Christian organizations have a gay problem.  Hussein Rashid asks Muslims how they will treat LGBT people.  What do some Russian women see in Vladimir Putin?  Paul the Apostle, reports the Telegraph (via disinfo.com).  With a cue from Rob Bell, Chris Armstrong constructs a Handbook to Hell.  The When I Return Project: What will you do when you return to a liberated Palestine?  Anthea Butler on Glenn Beck’s plans to host a Restoring Courage rally in Jerusalem on August 20 this year.  An excerpt from Frank Schaeffer’s new book, about how “The Right” is waging a war on “all things public.” David Bahati, the author of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays Bill” may soon be that country’s Minister of Ethics.  Terry Mattingly begs for a definition of fundamentalist. Continue Reading →

Enter the Dragon: How Al Gore, the U.N., Earth First!, and an Episcopalian Bishop are All in Cahoots… with Satan

by Jack Downey

In 1964, Richard Hofstadter published a rather enduring essay in Harper’s Magazine that succeeded, if nothing else, in accomplishing what most (egomaniacal) writers only fantasize about: he coined a new phrase that had legs, and has proved a valuable addition to our intellectual lexicon.1 “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” investigated the social psychology behind the contemporary rise of the anti-intellectual “Radical Right,” and witnessed profound similarities between his allegedly secular subjects – although the distinction is not as clean as he seems to hope (especially in his treatment of anti-Catholicism) – and Christian millenarianism:

I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind…2 The distinguishing thing about the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regards a “vast” or “gigantic” conspiracy as the motive force in historical events.

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Inflating or Deflating Beck?

Becky Garrison: In her article for Washington Post’s On Faith blog about Glenn Beck and the Comedy Central rallies this weekend, Jennifer Butler neglects to mention that Faith in Public Life is the online host for Faithful America. As I noted in my post for The Revealer, Faithful America continue to protest Beck’s rantings in the hopes such advocacy efforts will result in strategically placed media and will increase both the nonprofit’s political profile and donor base. In my own post at On Faith, I reflect on how Beck relies on well-intentioned groups like Faithful America and Sojourners to launch campaigns against him because their anti-Beck advocacy efforts play into his persona as a persecuted American being hunted down by godless Nazis. Continue Reading →

Take America Back to What? The Founding Atheists?

For all of the — rather successful — efforts over the past decades to convince the nation that our founders were holy men devoted to keeping God as our national co-pilot (Beck is only the most recent in a long line ahistorical claimers), sometimes Christians have to call it the way they see it. Christian J. Pinto, a documentary filmmaker, isn’t out to give a glorified shine to the constitution-writers. He wants to move America forward to a new faithfulness, not back to those “athiests” who got us started.  In his new film, “The Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers,”  Pinto says that Christians could find better role models than the likes of Jefferson, Washington, and Adams.  So who were the Founding Father’s appealing to when they wrote the constitution, if not God?  Ultimately Rome, says Pinto, as a means of escaping British rule. Continue Reading →

Kathryn Joyce on Mormons and the Religious Right’s “Common Ground”

“Glenn Beck’s efforts to transform himself from Fox News demagogue into a religious leader for Tea Party America has a lot of commentators discussing the feasibility of a Mormon convert leading a wary evangelical and Catholic right in a faith-driven cause. While there are significant roadblocks hindering Beck’s quest for leadership in the Christian Right, he wouldn’t be the first Mormon to advocate a right-wing alliance that stretches across faiths. Beck follows hundreds of Mormon “pro-family” activists who have united with conservative Catholics and evangelicals to form a common front in the culture wars.”

Continue reading at Religion Dispatches. Continue Reading →

Kathryn Joyce on Mormons and the Religious Right's "Common Ground"

“Glenn Beck’s efforts to transform himself from Fox News demagogue into a religious leader for Tea Party America has a lot of commentators discussing the feasibility of a Mormon convert leading a wary evangelical and Catholic right in a faith-driven cause. While there are significant roadblocks hindering Beck’s quest for leadership in the Christian Right, he wouldn’t be the first Mormon to advocate a right-wing alliance that stretches across faiths. Beck follows hundreds of Mormon “pro-family” activists who have united with conservative Catholics and evangelicals to form a common front in the culture wars.”

Continue reading at Religion Dispatches. Continue Reading →