Mary Knew! Stop Asking Stupid Questions!

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The popular Christmas song "Mary Did You Know?" by Mark Lowry is a pretty song in many ways. However it is also stupid and disrespectful of Mary.Did Mary know? Well, according to the first chapter of Luke she was visited by an angel of God.26. And in the sixth month the aangel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.28. And the angel c … [Read more...]

Lit Review: George and Wolfe “Natural Law and Public Reason” #rawlsreligion

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NOTE: This is a research note as I compile my literature review.Robert George and Christopher Wolfe argue that the "reason" aspect of public reason automatically cast religion as somehow being unreasonable or irrational (George 2000, 67). For George and Wolfe, public reason is hostile to religion in that the revelation which stands as the basis of religious faith is sacred rather than "publicly accesible" (67).George and Wolfe contends that prior to 1947 and the Supreme Court case … [Read more...]

Video: The Life of Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

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I have been looking for a brief video that might serve as a good introduction to the life and times of Nelson Mandela. In particular, I was looking for something that I might share with my own kids and my future students. I really like this 12 minute biographical clip from the New York Times:Please share any thoughts, memories, or reflections in the comments below. … [Read more...]

Atheism, Relativism, and Morality #rawlsreligion

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Rawls says that atheism is one view that Bodin could not abide. For Bodin, atheism is not the the belief that God does not exist, rather it is the rejection of right and justice. Bodin, according to Rawls, believed "that people will honor right and justice only when they believe in God and fear divine punishments." (Rawls 2010, 267)This suspicion of non-believers was shared by John Locke. In his A Letter Concerning Toleration, Locke excludes atheists (and Catholics for other reasons) from … [Read more...]

Is a More Beautiful World Possible?

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I may be the problem.In his new book The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, Charles Eisenstein addresses the disconnect we feel in a world that focuses on wealth and individualism. An emptiness becomes apparent as we begin to crave the community and social spirit which has fallen by the wayside in the pursuit of success, power, and wealth.Eisenstein's narrative is a familiar one to me. What he calls "separation," Marx called alienation. I think the value of what Eisenstein … [Read more...]

I am Thankful for…Monty Python’s Philosopher Football

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With the announcement of a Monty Python reunion, I thought I would share my favorite sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.Here is some Philosopher Football:Of course, in philosophy...the Germans win in a landslide. Just saying. … [Read more...]

Put The First Thanksgiving on Your Christmas List

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I loved reading The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History. It is an attempt to tell the real story of Thanksgiving in a way that draws on the methods of academic history, rather than the methods of The History Channel.After Christmas, we will see non-stop airings of documentaries about the historical Christmas and the historical Jesus. I actually enjoy this shows, but they are the donuts of historical study. Lots of mental carbohydrates, … [Read more...]


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