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Pseudo-Historian David Barton in the Times and on The Daily Show

…d.   For example, the Times notes: Mr. Barton burst onto the conservative scene in 1988, when he published a study that blamed a decline in SAT scores and other social ills, like violent crime and unwed births, on the Supreme Court decisions in 1962 and 1963 that banned prayer in public schools… Scholars derided his report as a classic confusion of correlation and causation. But Mr. Barton still thinks otherwise. “The nation walked away from God,”…

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The Battle for the Meaning of Religious Freedom Day

…ign called Project Blitz. Their model resolution for Religious Freedom Day celebrates a day devoted to something they oppose: religious freedom. Yes, the authors mouth many of the right things, including boilerplate platitudes and cherrypicked historical artifacts as recommended by Project Blitz. But what’s omitted illuminates the intentions of the theocratic Dominionists (notably, David Barton, as we reported in our original story) who have led P…

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Pretty Girls Like Trap Church: A Movement at 2 Chainz’s Atlanta Pink House

…subgenre of rap originating in the South, with Atlanta arguably being its central hub. To others, it was an art gallery, housing local artists’ depictions of other groundbreaking rappers such as Tupac and André 3000. To some, it was a free HIV testing site, as 2 Chainz opened a temporary STD clinic in the house over Fourth of July weekend. But for Pastor Michael Wortham of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, it became the home of “trap c…

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Are Evangelicals Suffering From Buyer’s Remorse with Obama?

…er’s remorse,” or are they getting what they expected out of Team Obama? Recently, some Christian evangelicals have expressed their disappointment in Obama’s approach to the issue of abortion. In a USA Today column dated March 16 and titled “Mr. President, we need more than lip service,” David P. Gushee wrote: I knew from the beginning that if Obama took typical Democratic positions on abortion-related issues, this centrist evangelical friendlines…

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The Third Jihad, Adelson, and Gingrich

This post has been clarified. Thanks to the Brennan Center’s freedom of information request, we now know that the NYPD not only showed the anti-Muslim film The Third Jihad to officers, but showed it on a continuous loop. Muslim groups are calling for the resignation of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who gave an interview to the film, and his spokesperson, Paul Browne, who first said the filmmakers used footage of Kelly without his knowledge, and…

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Electionpocalypse, Part II: The Mythical Jewish Vote

…by name (and aided in this regard by Gray), pulling a conservative tactic, claiming that conservative activist Grover Norquist has ties to terrorists. (Norquist’s wife is Palestinian-American.) And we are supposed to conclude what from this? That Jewish Democrats can engage in Islamophobic guilt-by-association tactics as well as Republicans? This was a clumsy attempt at pushback against Republican charges that Obama is insufficiently “pro-Israel.”…

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Evangelicals Getting on the Trump Train

…d Testament prophecies at the presumptive Republican nominee while the unsuccessful casino mogul sprayed insults around the political spectrum (even while having his first heart-to-heart with Paul Ryan). Moore and other evangelical (and Mormon) critics have been taken as a sign that Trump will make limited headway in getting out a vote that is essential for any Republican candidate, Christian conservatives. But the counter-evidence has been mounti…

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With Kurdish Genocide a Real Danger, How Ethical Was Mattis’ Resignation?

…ern of exploitation and betrayal. The laborers who sweated over his Atlantic City casino? Stiff ’em. Campaign director Paul Manafort? “Hardly knew him.” Decade-long personal attorney Michael Cohen? “Not my lawyer.” First senator to endorse his candidacy, Jeff Sessions? Just a “dumb southerner.” But betraying the Syrian Kurds will cost more than a good job with the Trump corporation or the administration, it will likely mean the Syrian Kurds becomi…

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Should Evangelical Trump Critics Leave The Movement? Who Cares?

…erally a reliable guide to the world of white Evangelicals. However, his recent piece in The Atlantic on whether anti-Trump Evangelicals should leave the movement suffers from a couple of big problems. Merritt begins by pointing to the case of Jimmy Carter, who has not-really disassociated himself from the Southern Baptist Convention over its positions on women in ministry, acceptance of gays and lesbians, and other issues. “Not-really” because SB…

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A King for Jesus: What the Religious Right Sees in Trump

…r more than three decades—have formed the bastion of the Christian right? According to a Pew June 2016 survey 89% of evangelical voters wanted a President with strong religious beliefs. Trump cannot even pretend to qualify. A number of analysts, particularly liberal ones, see it as the big reveal, that the Christian right is right, not Christian. The political right has captured the Christians, not the reverse. It’s about politics, class and honor…

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