Dismal theology-related quote for the day

Religious freedom should be cherished by all of us. But the progressive socialists in our country want to strip us of those freedoms and regulate those freedoms. That’s the same thing Communism did in Russia and Eastern Europe, and is still doing today in places like Cuba and China. These people hate God and despise those who worship Him. This should be deeply concerning to all people of faith, whether you’re a Jew, a Muslim, or a Christian.

Franklin Graham

This remark comes in connection with the case of Aaron and Melissa Klein, another of those tedious bake-shop cases.

Bah. This is a reprise of the repeatedly-failed argument that southerners made against the civil rights movement: “My religion demands that those people be kept apart.” Sexuality is like skin color, however — an innate trait that cannot justify discrimination in a secular state. You can keep black and gay people out of your church, if you wish, and Southern Baptists generally still do. You can keep black and gay people out of your home, if you wish. You can operate a religious mission which refuses to provide services to black and gay people, if you wish.

But these bakeries are not churches or religious missions; they are ordinary businesses licensed by the public, and a sign reading “We sell cakes” has to mean “We sell cakes to everybody.”

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Headline of the day

Trump spiritual adviser says ‘demonic networks’
have aligned themselves against president

President Trump’s spiritual adviser, Paula White, said in the opening prayer before his campaign kickoff rally in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday that “demonic networks” have aligned themselves against the president.

“Let every demonic network that has aligned itself against the purpose, against the calling of President Trump, let it be broken, let it be torn down in the name of Jesus,” she said to a crowd of Trump’s supporters before his rally began Tuesday.

“I declare that President Trump will overcome every strategy from hell and every strategy from the enemy,” she added, according to video of her remarks.

Someday, people will watch tapes of the serial lunacies and indecencies of Donald Trump’s America and wonder how it happened. How did he create a 1984-ish state media right in front of everybody’s eyes? How did an incandescent nutjob like Paula White become influential, instead of a figure of ridicule? How did the greatest nation on earth come under the control of a pack of plaid-suited carnival barkers?

To answer those questions, start with The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer.

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Dismal theology-related tweet of the day

Remember: Y’all are no damn good, so just do as you’re told.

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How to buy an endorsement

Apparently, you can get the endorsement of top evangelicals by helping them keep their peccadilloes out of the public eye.

Mr. Falwell — who is not a minister and spent years as a lawyer and real estate developer — said his endorsement was based on Mr. Trump’s business experience and leadership qualities. A person close to Mr. Falwell said he made his decision after “consultation with other individuals whose opinions he respects.” But a far more complicated narrative is emerging about the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the months before that important endorsement.

That backstory, in true Trump-tabloid fashion, features the friendship between Mr. Falwell, his wife and a former pool attendant at the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach; the family’s investment in a gay-friendly youth hostel; purported sexually revealing photographs involving the Falwells; and an attempted hush-money arrangement engineered by the president’s former fixer, Michael Cohen.

Well … ho-hum. The Falwells appear to divert themselves with the company of other grownups, at least, which is an improvement upon the generality of Holy Men.

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Quote for the day

Worse is always possible in this administration. But Sanders set a benchmark for awfulness that was a thing to behold. It wasn’t simply that she spun the news or shaded the truth, which many people in her position have been known to do. It wasn’t even that she lied, though she did that with abandon.

It was that sneer of hers, the consciously curled lip, which seemed practiced before a mirror, that communicated bottomless contempt for individual journalists, for the profession of journalism itself and for the very idea of truth-as-such. She combined the sincerity of Elmer Gantry with the moral outlook of Raskolnikov.

Bret Stephens, New York Times

Well said. Sanders’ casual and routine dishonesty exemplifies the reason that journalism is important and we should all be grateful for the First Amendment. Her departure from the White House leaves it a (modestly) cleaner and better place.

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