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It may be owned and operated by Rupert Murdoch, but the Times (London) is still able to report in a free way about politics in the United States that is forbidden to Murdoch’s domestic empire. And today, Times religion columnist Libby Purves comes through with an article well worth reading all the way to the end. My take: if the word “blasphemy” doesn’t come to mind at least once as you read this, then I’ll wager you’re either agnostic or a lapsed member of your congregation. Here are the first five entries out of fifty:
I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.–Sharm el-Sheikh August 2003
I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.–Statement made during campaign visit to Amish community, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Jul. 9, 2004
I’m also mindful that man should never try to put words in God’s mouth. I mean, we should never ascribe natural disasters or anything else to God. We are in no way, shape, or form should a human being, play God.–Washington, D.C., Jan. 14, 2005
God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear.–Los Angeles, California, Mar. 3, 2004
I tell people all the time, you’re equally American if you’re a Christian, Jew, or Muslim. You’re equally American if you believe in an Almighty or don’t believe in an Almighty. That’s a sacred freedom.–Washington, D.C., Mar. 10, 2006
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Damages sought, in a defamation suit, by a Chicago landlord from a tenant who complained about mold via Twitter:
The British House of Lords voted to limit the right of parents to spank their children.
The Mall of America hired its first black Santa, a real estate company valued Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s North Pole home at $656,957, and it was reported that the price of the gifts from “Twelve Days of Christmas” went up by more than $200 in 2016, to $34,363.49.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."