Reading Time: 5 minutes An art history professor in Minnesota was fired after showing students an ancient depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in class. The dismissal came after a Muslim student complained to administrators that the act was offensive and disrespectful; those school officials eventually agreed. The whole controversy has raised important questions about whether potentially offensive content should be censored […]
Why is teacher burnout so bad this semester?
Reading Time: 5 minutes I’m struggling to finish the semester. So are my colleagues. So are my students. So what gives? I have been struggling to put this feeling into words for a while, which is surprising for a pretty wordsy person. I’m mostly functional on a daily basis, but I’ve been getting really bad decision fatigue. And emotional […]
‘The Chair’ on Netflix: Thoughts from a disenchanted academic
Reading Time: 3 minutes I am what you might call a “disenchanted academic.” I went straight from high school to undergrad to grad school, and finished my PhD in 2012. I only found job stability a few months ago, and it’s as a lecturer at a wonderful liberal arts college, not as the tenured professor I’d dreamed of becoming. […]
Go ahead, ask any schoolkid to name just one historical heretic
Reading Time: 4 minutes Quick! When in your American schooling up to higher education did you ever learn about the rich, global history of religious skepticism? “Never” is the correct answer. You might have been taught a thin sprinkling of heresy, perhaps, glancing for a moment on the lurid burnings of medieval Christian skeptics by the feared Inquisition, or […]
Biff vs. the Dianic Separatist Lesbians: A Heartwarming Christmas Tale
Reading Time: 8 minutes There exists no universe in which Biff did not make a beeline straight for the women in this club. No way, no how.
The Big Church Meeting in ‘This Present Darkness’ (LSP #115, Ch. 10)
Reading Time: 11 minutes Finally, we enter the big scene Peretti set up as the big conflict from the start of the novel: a church voting scene. We’ll look at how this scene might have resonated with Peretti as an author, and what it actually accomplishes in the novel’s setting. Today, Lord Snow Presides over a scene that demonstrates just how far from reality evangelical pastors’ lives truly are.
Culture Warriors Love Stupid Demons Best in ‘This Present Darkness’ (LSP #99; Ch.5)
Reading Time: 9 minutes Today, we examine the second meeting–and see some important truths about the culture warriors who love this book. We’ll see how they see themselves, and more importantly how they see their enemies–which includes not only demons but also you, me, and everybody else who rejects their simple message of control-lust, cruelty, division, and authoritarianism. Hop aboard for a demonic meeting, as filtered through a culture warrior’s lens!
The Magical Evil Demon Powers in ‘This Present Darkness’ (LSP #94, Ch. 4-5)
Reading Time: 8 minutes We meet an honest-to-goodness demon, learn about the dangers of higher education, see fundagelical parenting in action, and encounter another weirdly-persuasive evil character. Today, Lord Snow Presides over a crash course in more right-wing Christian prejudices in This Present Darkness.
Leaving Nothing to Chance in the Cult of Family
Reading Time: 7 minutes They promise their followers that, by following their orders to the letter, happy, harmonious marriages and families become all but inevitable. Those followers will likely never even realize that their orders contain nothing that actually produces happy, harmonious relationships of any kind. Today, I’ll show you what I mean.
ACE Really Is That Bad. (Also Announcing a New Series!)
Reading Time: 10 minutes Jonny Scaramanga has co-written a peer-reviewed paper that examines ACE and finds it wanting in many key respects. So it’s not our imaginations–ACE really is just as bad as we thought.