Baptists Set to Ditch Boy Scouts

CNN is reporting that the Southern Baptist Convention will be abandoning the Boys Scouts of America over the BSA's decision to allow openly gay youth to participate in Boy Scout units.The Southern Baptist Convention, the country‚Äôs largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.The denomination will vote on nonbinding but influential resolutions during a convention June 11-12 in H … [Read more...]

Strange Gods: God Before Us (Chap. 1)

"To become too attached to a thought or feeling or thing is to place it between God and ourselves," Elizabeth Scalia tells us in the first chapter of Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life (14).It seems that we often make those thoughts, feelings, or things into our Gods.I am journaling my reading of Scalia's book. I am a little behind in my journaling because we traveled to Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend to check out the area that will soon be our home. The trip did give me … [Read more...]

Strange Gods: Introduction

Elizabeth Scalia, also know as The Anchoress here at Patheos, has written a book called Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life.I am not good at book reviews. Instead, I am going to lived blog, chapter by chapter, my reading experience.Right now, I am sitting in the parking lot of my children's elementary school on the last day of school. We are waiting to attend the fifth grade breakfast and fifth grade graduation for our second son, Shem.Scalia points out in the … [Read more...]

The Holocaust and Losing Faith in Christianity. #rawlsreligion

I started writing a while back about John Rawls and his journey away from a rather orthodox Protestant faith. Rawls mentions three incidents which he viewed as playing a significant role in this change. All are connected to World War II, with the first two dealing with specific experience Rawls had while fighting in the Pacific. I wrote about them here.The third incident is a much larger event. It is the Holocaust.Rawls recounts finding out about the Holocaust in the following way: It … [Read more...]

Kant on Duty, Inclination, and Loving Our Enemies.

Along with my dissertation, I have been pondering and working on a project about the idea of loving our enemies.Earlier, I shared a variety of English translations of the fifth chapter of Matthew verses 43-48. The philosopher Immanuel Kant references these verses, specifically the instruction to love our neighbors and enemies, in his Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.I was introduced to Kant in school. Much of my exposure to Kantian ideas came from reading John Rawls and Jurgen … [Read more...]

Sister Monson Passes Away

Only moments before seeing the news that Frances Monson had passed away this morning at the age of 86, I was telling a friend that my wife and children mean more to me than anything.Sister Frances Beverly Monson is the wife of Thomas S. Monson, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Since Sister Frances is a fellow Utah Ute, I want to share this part of the statement from the Church Public Affairs statement about her passing:She grew up in Salt Lake … [Read more...]

A Moral Critique of Guns and Gun Culture

I am working on a theological case against guns. Not so much for gun control, but against guns. My thinking keeps coming back to a recent appearance by Jeff McMahan on the podcast Philosophy Bites.You can listen to the podcast here. Philosophy Bites can also be found on iTunes.Take a listen. I would love to hear your thoughts.McMahan makes a similar argument in more detail in the New York Times.Gun advocates and criminals are allies in demanding that guns remain in private hands. They … [Read more...]