Thursday, 7/7/16

  1. Two can play the Declaratory Judgment Game
  2. The GOP’s big opportunity, predictably, blown
  3. The Evangelical-Corporate Complex at work
  4. Freudian slippage
  5. Racists say the same thing!
  6. Behold, I show you a parable


I think I’ve mentioned having a somewhat vexed relationship with Alliance Defending Freedom, f/k/a Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). I affiliated for several years mostly because of its commitment to religious freedom, but its broadsides against the gay right movement often seemed excessive to me. Now I tend to see it as prophetic.

In 2007, Iowa broadened its “Civil Rights” act to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Now, it seems, its Civil Rights Commission has decided that those provisions apply to a Church that’s open to the public.

If you don’t have whiplash, you weren’t paying attention. Go back and read that again.

Where qualifications are not related to a bona fide religious purpose, churches are still subject to the law’s provisions. (e.g. a child care facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public).

(Bold added) And what are some examples of illegal discrimination?

  • Harassment, intimidation, or other demonstration of hostility
  • verbal, physical, or written conduct,
  • repeated remarks of a demeaning nature,
  • demeaning jokes, stories, or activities ….

Churches are concerned that the Civil Rights Commission is saying, in fairly clear effect, that sermonic condemnations of homosexual conduct, among other things, will be actionable.

Watch what you say or publish, preacher. That’s a nice church you have there. Wouldn’t want to take it from you. Oh, and by the way, Love Wins!

(Rod Dreher) And God bless ADF: It’s not waiting for that day.

Like the ACLU hundreds of times before, ADF filed a “pre-enforcement challenge” (Declaratory Judgment action) against the novel and potentially unconstitutional (i.e., unconstitutional if applied to church services and sermons) interpretation. Time to get out the checkbooks — State of Iowa, City of Des Moines, and Tipsy, though my contribution to ADF will be voluntary.

Tacit message: ADF is done with sending cease-and-desist type letters under the radar (e.g., “We’re sure this is just an innocent oversight, but did you realize …?”), because any possibility of good faith mistake is diminished and it’s important now to scream loudly enough to wake up the somnolent public. And I predict that nothing less than a Consent Decree that leaves open the amount of attorney fees will get them to stop.

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Oh, yeah: note that after 109 numbered paragraphs of set-up, the first cause of action is framed in Free Speech terms, not Free Exercise of Religion. I’ve said before and recently that free speech is sometimes the best theory for defending religiously motivated speech and conduct.

Legislators who virtue-signal by voting for laws like this, without strong religious freedom protections, are now officially the enemies of religious freedom. There is no more place to hide.


I am aware of Tuesday’s FBI announcement, which came to me through the most furious and lengthy daily Twitter feed I’ve ever had, as “she’s guilty as hell but we recommend no consequences.” Twitter just exploded around 11:30 EDT Tuesday.

But I didn’t watch the FBI presser and won’t venture an opinion of my own except that unless everyone I respect enough to follow them on Twitter is totally nuts, Donald Trump is should have an absolute field day with this.


After Wednesday, Dailey reads like a prophet. Trump couldn’t take advantage.


The single, childless, female “evangelical Christian and avowed feminist” Managing Editor of Christianity Today (which 9+ years before her birth was still a fairly serious publication), has, bless her heart and despite her best efforts at denial, given the back of her hand to stay-at-home mothers.

She argues not just that God permits some women to work, but that God intends every woman to work. Her theology of work is connected to her beliefs about cultural impact.

(Jonathan Merritt) Well, you can’t argue with “theology” now, can you? De gustibus non est disputandum, right?

Johan adequately summarizes my reaction:

Get those mothers out of the house and be corporate worker bees! Well, inasmuch as Evangelicalism is basically a subsidiary of the corporate/Republican/conservative movement, is this so surprising?

Doubt that “basically a subsidiary” idea?

For what it’s worth, by the way, I am dubious about the claim of skb that studies disprove that “parenting/home environment makes a difference on adult outcomes.” There’s too much play in the joints of social “science” for me readily to accept a theory that seems custom-designed to make a virtue of the perceived necessity of two-breadwinner households.



Zac and so many others want their point of view to be seen as a legitimate point of view. Even if we disagree with it we are at least supposed to acknowledge that it has some veneer of legitimacy to it. The problem is racists say the exact same thing!

Q.E.D. You can probably guess what the vilified Zac is arguing about.


Behold, a parable:

In a now famous study, a capuchin monkey rewarded for a task with a piece of tasty cucumber was pleased, until she saw one of her peers rewarded for the same task with a tasty grape. The reaction may be familiar to parents. The monkey throws the cucumber at her handler and rattles the cage in anger.

(NYT, When a Child Thinks Life is Unfair, Use Game Theory)

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.