Doctor Who: The Space Pirates

The Doctor Who episode “The Space Pirates” is the last of the lost Patrick Troughton episodes, and the next to last episode featuring him as the Doctor. The idea of pirates in space is one that science fiction in general and Doctor Who in particular continuously revisits, to good effect. The episode includes, like so [Read More...]

The Disciples’ Field Trip

The theme of yesterday’s service at my church was the story in Mark 2:23-28. My wife referred to it as Jesus taking the disciples on a “field trip”  - literally! – since the story is set in a field. The story is often viewed as implausible, being understood to envisage Pharisees hanging around fields in [Read More...]

Christianity and Same-Gender Relationships around the Blogosphere

Rachel Held Evans wrote a beautiful post on Huck Finn and the need to listen to our conscience rather than texts at times, even when those texts are considered sacred. Richard Beck concurred. Tony Jones and Bob Cornwall were among those who emphasized that it is not only allowable but important that our views evolve [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (Scot Miller)

I hope I am prejudiced to value human beings over moral or theological principles. When Jesus was caught breaking the Law by gathering grain on the sabbath, Jesus said to his accusers, “The sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). In a similar way, I suspect that the Bible and [Read More...]

Evolutionary and Religious Exclusivism

This Speed Bump cartoon got me thinking. The cartoon depicts what might be called an exclusivistic and egotistical ethos: we’ve succeeded, now let’s keep the advantages of doing so to ourselves. Exclusivism is found in religion, in nationalism, in economics, indeed in all areas of life. But perhaps it is worth observing that neither the [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe

The fourth and final section of “The Trial of a Time Lord,” encompassing the last two parts, is known as “The Ultimate Foe.” . In it, the Master appears as a sort of diabolus ex machina, not to reveal himself to have been behind what has been going on, but to reveal instead that the [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Trial of a Time Lord: Terror of the Vervoids

The third major section of the Doctor Who episode “The Trial of a Time Lord,” parts 9-12, are known under the subtitle “Terror of the Vervoids“. It is the Doctor’s chance to respond to the accusations of the Valeyard, and he has been given access to the matrix, the computer database of time lord knowledge, [Read More...]

Is Not Being a Jerk Central to Christianity?

Several things have converged on a similar theme. First, Jonathan Robinson shared a post by Richard Beck, and added this cartoon: But in fact, the point of the post was more in line with this image which my sister sent to me. It has some coarse language, sorry, but the point seemed worthwhile enough when [Read More...]

The Sanctity of Marriage and the Unconstitutionality of Prohibiting Gay Marriage

Via Joel Watts. It might not take more than a challenge to a state law prohibiting gay marriage, from a member of the clergy in a denomination that allows gay marriage, saying that the state is prohibiting them from freely exercising their religion, to really bring this aspect of the matter to everyone’s attention – [Read More...]

Missing Alcatraz? What if you could take a pill to forget that you’re missing it?

Alcatraz isn’t on tonight, but I’ve been meaning for some time to discuss one of the interesting ideas raised on the show. It’s one that other sci-fi has explored before: the idea that memories make us who we are, and that there could be a treatment for twisted thinking or simply intense sadness or anger [Read More...]

Ceiling Cat’s Commandments

HT Jerry Coyne. While this is worth sharing just as  religion and cat humor, it also connects with my interest in religion and science fiction. Thinking about what other species, whether terrestrial or extraterrestrial, might think about God or morality is an interesting thought experiment. And on that last topic, see this amusing bit of [Read More...]


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