What I’m Reading, March 4, 2015

Beyoncé as Gateway to Satan? The Long, Strange History of Conservative Christian Panic Over Satanism, Evan McMurry, AlterNet, February 27, 2015

Last week, a priest in Ireland blared a severe warning about a dark practice that was surreptitiously leading people to the “Kingdom of darkness” where “Satan and the fallen angels” waited to prey upon them.

What nefarious activity had so insidiously masked its agency of darkness? Yoga.


Spotting links between Satanism and yoga and Harry Potter is both the ridiculous result and the natural continuation of a decades-old practice of spying Satanism’s flag in the most innocuous segments of western culture, an evolving trend that functions as a map to the shifting class and gender anxieties beneath the culture wars.

What Christians Mean When They Use the Word “Atheist”, Neil Carter, Ex-Communications, February 19, 2015

Evangelical Christians are using a much fuzzier definition for the word “atheist.” For evangelicals, an atheist is anyone who lives as if there were no God. It’s not fundamentally about belief, for you see they’ve been taught that everyone believes in God (see Paul’s ad hoc assertion in Romans 1:19ff). What’s more, they’ve been taught that everyone worships something, which means that even people who think they don’t believe in anything are really worshiping either themselves or some nefarious deity unbeknownst to them. They’re being led astray by the devil, or by demons, or else by their own selfish desires. They’re unavoidably worshiping some kind of idol, some kind of rival god to the one they’re supposed to be worshiping. Therefore there can be no such thing as an atheist in the sense that everyone else uses the word, including atheists themselves.

Why the right hates American history, Thom Hartmann, Salon, February 26, 2015

Many of the today’s biggest political issues, like our privacy rights, would not even be up for debate today had it not been for the attack on education. If more Americans had had a strong understanding of our history, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would have never been able to pull off the Patriot Act. And, we wouldn’t be discussing the Orwellian government spy agencies like the NSA in this day and age.

While we can’t undo the damage to the Fourth Amendment overnight, we can protect our remaining rights by passing on accurate history, and protecting public education.


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