If you were looking for my Army of God series, check back tomorrow for the next installment. We apparently can’t go a week between major mass shootings in this country, and while I would like to draw attention to the way that the cable media is going on about self-radicalization in the wake of the San Bernardino shootings and ignored it here, my heart’s not in it right now. Pay attention to the San Bernardino coverage though, and see how much of what is said by cable news “terrorism” experts applies just as well to Robert Lewis Dear and Army of God.

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If you’re a Covenant College student, you may have heard by now that Covenant applied for and received a Title IX exemption granting the school permission to legally discriminate against LGBT students. As a Covenant grad I’ve got a few things I’d like you to know. To the straight students, whatever you may believe about the morality of same-sex relationships or attraction, or about gender identity, please remember this. Some of your friends and classmates may be hurting and feeling unwelcome at the school that they call home because of this news. You may not know that the friend you eat breakfast with or sit next to in class is one of those students. Be sensitive and compassionate in what you say because you don’t know who you could be hurting because of your words. Whatever your theological beliefs on this, remember that Jesus modeled love and compassion for the marginalized. To the LGBT students, whether you’re out or not, whether you believe that this is a temptation you have to struggle against or you’ve decided that it’s something you can embrace, know this. God loves you, and no matter how constraining the Covenant bubble may feel, there is a whole big world off the mountain. I’m not saying that what you’re feeling and experiencing now isn’t hard, because the stuff you go through in college is very real and when you’re in a closed bubble everything is magnified. It can definitely suck big time. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, no matter how much Covenant and the PCA can feel like all there is, there are so many options out there for you. If you need to get away from the bubble for a while to maintain your mental health, don’t feel bad about[…]

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Inside the Army of God Manual

Introduction Several years ago I happened across an archived copy of most of the anti-abortion domestic terrorism handbook the Army of God Manual.  I thought it might be useful for background research somewhere down the line, so I saved PDFs of the archive and they’ve been sitting in a Google Drive folder ever since. With the news in the New York Times that Planned Parenthood attack terrorist Robert Dear was influenced by the domestic terror group Army of God, I’ve decided it’s time to publish some excerpts from the Army of God Manual. All of the parts of the manual that I have were at one point readily available on the Army of God website. I’m not going to link you to the website because I have a policy against linking to terror groups. Today and tomorrow I’m going to publish excerpts that are still available on the Army of God website as of the time I’m writing this. These are materials that were readily available for Dear to access. After that, I’m going to publish excerpts from my archives. It’s still possible to find those archived documents without too much trouble, however because they do include detailed how-to instructions for making bombs and incendiary devices I’m not going to provide links or publish those portions of the manual that could provide others with the information necessary to carry out a terror attack. The reason for this series is because I believe it’s important for the general public to understand that this isn’t lone wolf terrorism. Just like Al Qaeda and ISIS publish online “terrorism starter kits” that enable others to take up the cause without contact with the main group, the Army of God website provides plenty to inspire would-be terrorists. The excerpts that I’m posting today show that[…]

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But don’t call him a terrorist, right? I happen to have managed to track down all but the bomb making instructions section of the Army of God Manual a while back and have been trying to figure out what I can do with it for ages. Tomorrow I’ll be starting a series and publishing excerpts. I’m not going to dump the whole thing online because even the sections I have include instructions on things like the best way to firebomb clinics, but there are things the public should see and understand.

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What happens after Colorado Springs?

You may think Planned Parenthood is wrong, you may think they’re immoral. Dehumanizing their employees, which is something I’ve been seeing a lot of on social media over the last few months, helps fuel violence like the kind that happened today. I haven’t said a lot on social media about the Planned Parenthood videos and the associated reactions other than to point out that one of the board members of the group that released the heavily edited videos is a bona fide terror group leader closely associated with the man who murdered George Tiller. My general silence on the matter aside, I’ve been worried for the last few months because the tenor of the rhetoric, both from the chattering class and Republican politicians, reminded me eerily of the talk I heard in the months leading up to David Gunn’s murder in Pensacola. There are times I hate being right and this is one of them. We saw today what happened because people who should have known better were more interested in playing with fire and amping up the rhetoric in hopes of defunding Planned Parenthood than they were about the consequences. The last go round in the ‘90s, what happened next was a mix of halfhearted denunciations, insistence that “most” pro-lifers were peaceful, and a whole lot of debate that played out in living rooms, churches, and the pages of Life Advocate Magazine arguing back and forth about the theological and ethical merits of a philosophy of justifiable homicide. It was a debate that shouldn’t have happened at all and went on for far too long before Flip Benham pulled a power play and marginalized the justifiable homicide proponents. Meanwhile, the debate and the dillydallying successfully legitimized the justifiable homicide camp as holding a valid position worthy of debate. The[…]

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I Stand With Ahmed

I made this piece of art from wires and circuit boards. Would the Irving school district and police department think I should be arrested too? Or does the paleness of my skin mean my harmless projects are given the benefit of the doubt?  Ahmed Mohamed’s story–nerdy kid builds something cool, wants to show it off–is a story as old as time. That’s why his story has resonated with so many across the science and tech sector, because we’ve all been there. The kid building things because we’re excited about making, excited about figuring out how things work. There’s a joy in finishing a project and finding that yes, you puzzled through and it works!  I saw that joy in Ahmed’s face when he was asked on MSNBC to describe how he made his clock. It’s the feeling I got from building model rockets as a kid, and I can’t imagine what I would be like to go show off one of them and end up in handcuffs. All because someone was scared by what they didn’t understand and could only see destruction, not fantastic creation. It’s utterly shameful that an ignorant, bigoted school administration and police department tried to take away that joy of creating because all they could see in wires and circuit boards was an instrument of destruction. Because all they could see in him was an agent of destruction.  I’m glad to see though that so many powerful people have rallied around Ahmed and have turned his terrible experience at school into something positive. I think I’d be having the best day of my life too, if the President of the United States, NASA engineers and astronauts, Mark Zuckerberg, and so many more big names are all inviting me to hang out and telling me my clock[…]

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Three things you should know before writing about Josh Duggar

With the latest round of Josh Duggar scandals, it’s time to address a few things that have been floating around, both in the religious blogosphere and tabloid and mainstream media. If you’re going to write about the Duggars, here are some things you need to know. Before I begin with my list though, I want to say one other thing. If you defended Josh Duggar the child molester I don’t even want to hear your condemnation of Josh Dugger the adulterer. Consensual sex between two adults isn’t in the same universe as child sexual assault. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to reexamine their life. With that said, here are some things you need to understand if you’re going to write about Josh Duggar. 1. Fundamentalist ≠ Quiverfull It’s tempting to conflate the two concepts, especially since those who were involved in the latter insist that they’re the only true fundamentalists, but they’re not the same thing. Fundamentalism is, at its core, a theological position dating to the formulation of the Five Fundamentals of Christian doctrine and the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy of the early 20th century. The five fundamentals were the core doctrinal beliefs that those who came to be called “fundamentalists” believed were central to orthodox Christian doctrine. Those fundamentals were the inspiration of scripture by the Holy Spirit and Biblical inerrancy, belief in the virgin birth of Christ, that Christ’s death was an atonement for sin, the bodily resurrection, and that Christ’s miracles happened. Pretty much every Evangelical church in America believes in those Five Fundamentals, though most of those churches would eschew the “fundamentalist” label because of the additional baggage the term has taken on over the years. It’s entirely possible to believe in the Five Fundamentals and still believe in women’s equality, marriage equality, evolution, and left-wing politics.[…]

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Haven’t posted any photos of myself on here in a while. Got a new asymmetrical hair cut which turned out great. Guess I’m going to the barbershop instead of the fancy pants salon from now on. Or at least until I get bored and grow my hair out again.

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George Takei was wrong about Clarence Thomas

For the record, George Takei’s comments about Clarence Thomas were racist, and, like most people on the left who have been complaining about Thomas’ “dignity” discussion in his Obergefell dissent, missed the point Thomas was making.  Clarence Thomas is a black man who grew up speaking the Gullah dialect in the Jim Crow south. He talks about watching his grandfather struggling to memorize long portions of the King James Bible so he could pass the literacy tests to vote. When Thomas writes about how dignity isn’t something that the government can give or take away, he’s speaking as someone who knows as well as anybody that if black folk in America were relying on the government as the source of dignity they’d be still waiting.  Now, where I disagree with Thomas is that I think that humans have inherent dignity, but that the government either does or doesn’t treat people in a way that respects that dignity that we all have. Thomas isn’t wrong though, just incomplete. I’m no great fan of Clarence Thomas’ jurisprudence. His version of originalism, with its stacks of old dictionaries, refusal to consider anything constitutional if it wouldn’t have been thought of at the time the document was drafted, and steadfast insistence that if you don’t like it you should amend the constitution, is too unwieldy for the modern era. There was no way Thomas was going to vote for marriage equality no matter his personal views about LGBT people. The man is nothing if not consistent in his application of his principles of constitutional interpretation, and this is an issue where he was always going to say that the right approach was to amend the constitution. I think he’s wrong, but that’s a matter for intellectual debate, not name calling.   To call him a clown[…]

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