Mental Illness And The Southern Baptist Convention: We Have A Serious Problem Here

Reading this interview in Christianity Today with Frank Page, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention whose daughter committed suicide, was a rather harrowing experience. It was harrowing firstly because he’s trying to analyze his daughter’s untimely death, and that is necessarily going to make for uncomfortable reading. But it was harrowing also because it further convinced me of an insurmountable impasse between Southern Baptist-style Evangelical Christianity and proper mental health awareness.

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Lebron James Is Single-Handedly Destroying The NFL And Thank God

Even after months of relentless scandal, last week the NFL was dealt what may have been its most consequential blow yet. Lebron James, arguably the world’s greatest athlete, announced that he prohibits his two young sons from playing football. “Only basketball, baseball and soccer are allowed in my house,” James declared.

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The Democrats Lost Last Week Because Of Lena Dunham

Despite getting paid obscene amounts of money to espouse political analysis, pundits chronically underestimate the extent to which raw resentment fuels voter behavior. I have occasionally fallen into this trap myself; it did not seem likely to me that the GOP would score easy gubernatorial victories in Wisconsin and Michigan last week, for example. But with so much all-consuming economic misery, unrestrained animus, hyper-charged propaganda, and so forth swirling around in the zeitgeist, I now realize my error: I think it all came down to Lena Duhnam.

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There’s A Lot Of Muddled Thinking About Terrorism, Motivation, Belief, And Such

With two attacks on Canadian military personnel last week carried out by mentally-unstable transients in the name of global jihad, as well as a “hatchet attack” on NYPD officers in Queens carried out by another (likely) mentally ill transient, debate has broken out once again on the nature of the nexus between mental health and terrorism.

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Another Brief Note On The Idioicy Of Pro-Football Arguments

Jonathan Chait, one of America’s foremost trolls, and hence one of America’s most influential political analysts, has written a widely-recommended apologia about football. Chait played as a young man, you see, and can speak from personal experience about football’s virtues. According to Chait, football provides boys with a means by which to channel their masculine rage. “In Defense of Male Aggression” is a pretty good troll headline, and I’m sure it earned New York Magazine an impressive number of clicks, but Chait’s article doesn’t do very much at all in the way of justifying the culture of male aggression that football promotes.

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Why Football At All Levels Must Be Immediately Abolished: A FAQ

Because I keep hearing the same objections to my “Football is Irredeemably Depraved” thesis, I figured I would write a FAQ. This seems doubly timely given the recent revelations of a sexual torture regime at the “storied” Sayreville, NJ high school football program, which many are predictably explaining away by invoking the failed “a few bad apples” thesis. (Also, I learned yesterday that my VICE article calling for a boycott of the NFL spurred an op-ed in the New York Times! Weird. You’d think someone would’ve notified me about that…?)

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Breaking: Vapid Left-Liberal Posturing About Islam Still Vapid

Freddie deBoer has gone on a long, digressive diatribe about the evils of US foreign policy toward Muslim nations, with the presumed intention of arguing that these evils have been under-acknowledged by the tandem of Bill Maher and Sam Harris, in service of glorifying themselves. A few points.

The resistance to acknowledging differences between Bill Maher and Sam Harris is odd. Harris was asked on Maher’s television show to discuss Islam, because as a longtime critic of monotheistic religion (yes, all three monotheistic religions, not just Islam) Harris was evidently judged as someone who’d be apt to comment on recent world events.

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Ralph Nader on Middle East Turmoil, Ron/Rand Paul, Netanyahu, DNC Militarism, and More

MT: I think the major reason I was more appalled by the Democratic Convention was because at least with the Republicans, you know what you’re getting.

RN: Oh yeah — everything was scripted, censored. It was like the Commissars were in charge. All the speakers had to be — to use the terrible term — vetted. Which means they were forced to comply with a formula. And everyone got up — including Elizabeth Warren — and started with the same story: “My parents, my grandparents, I worked at 13,” and so on. Continue Reading →

Joe Paterno and the Depravity of American Football Culture

If you had asked me to conjure up the most damning possible catastrophe for Penn State, and potentially for American sports culture writ large, I would have given you something much more tame than the monstrous child rape scandal that has already destroyed Coach Joe Paterno’s legacy. And this is only based on the Grand Jury’s initial findings — at least three additional investigations are now underway.

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Asking Questions About Religion of the Presidential Candidates

At GetReligion, Mollie Hemingway is so upset with outgoing New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller’s article on the GOP presidential candidates and their religious beliefs that she facetiously says the entire thing must be an exercise in satire. Keller’s column is so bad, Mollie writes, that “there must be some deeper meaning here.”

Mollie appears hostile to Keller from the outset, labeling him an “anti-Catholic.” Keller grew up in the faith, he says, but has since left it. On occasion, he’s made some fairly standard criticisms of the Vatican — similar to ones routinely raised by Catholic press. Mollie also evidently considers Keller’s throwaway description of himself as a “collapsed Catholic” to be in bad form. Very well.

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