“If anything, blasphemy seems to be enjoying a resurgence in many corners of the supposedly secular West. The real question now is not whether blasphemy counts as a crime. Instead it’s about who, or what—God or the state, religion or pluralism—is the injured party.” 

“Where other vigilantes might appeal to their own, individual codes of justice, the preacher figure carries the authority to discharge God’s justice. His vengeance carries always the suggestion that it’s divinely inspired. . . . With a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other, the avenging preacher confirms the view that true justice cannot be enforced by institutions alone—and that God is on the side of those who would take the law into their own hands when necessary.”

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© 2019 by Steve Pinkerton