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Same Sex Relations and the Jerusalem Council

The Butler Religionists club had a discussion about same-sex relations as viewed by a variety of religious traditions. I mentioned that Acts 15, with its depiction of a decision by Jewish Christians about what Gentiles needed to adopt from Jewish customs in order to make it possible for Jews and Gentiles to have fellowship, neglects [Read More...]

Employers’ Freedom vs. Employees’ Freedom

Hemant Mehta has gotten to the heart of the issue in one debate about the Affordable Care Act and the question of whether employers can be required by law to provide health insurance that covers things an employers disapproves of. It is the same question as whether an employer can be required by law to [Read More...]

Selling Your Soul

The above cartoon appeared in the newspaper the same day we started discussing Goethe's Faust in my class. We have not reached his deal with Mephistopheles yet, but will next time. I usually get students to discuss what, if anything, they would sell their soul for – or, if they are not comfortable with that [Read More...]

When Jesus Disarmed Peter

Tertullian had some very direct things to say about Jesus, warfare, and weapons. A sizeable portion of American Christians think that Tertullian got Jesus wrong. And, conversely, if Tertullian understood Jesus correctly, then a sizeable portion of Christians in American (though by no means all) actually (whether they admit it or not) think Jesus was [Read More...]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The above Zen Pencils cartoon was accompanied by a reminder that October 16th is Blog Action Day, with a focus this year on human rights. Human rights are things that we as humans define. But we do so rationally, by declaring that the same rights, freedoms, and protections that we want, all should have. Looking [Read More...]

Mass Murder is Never of God

Hemant Mehta shared the above church sign, asking for captions. Mine as a liberal Christian would be something like, “I love it when Christians have enough faith, courage, and moral conviction to disagree with the Bible.”   [Read more...]

Religion and Suicide Bombing

The blog Friendly AtheistĀ (sparked by an article by Sam Harris) recently discussed the Pew Forum statistic concerning the number of Muslims who say that suicide bombing is never justified. There are lots of different ways that one could take this. One thing that is noteworthy is how different the answers are depending on the location [Read More...]

God and Our Values

Some think that they can start with certain information about, and/or knowledge revealed by, God, and then proceed to extrapolate to key values. That those values end up resembling those of the individual and their culture is, we are reassured, entirely coincidental. I’d like to suggest that the process, whether admitted or not, is always [Read More...]

We’re All Going To Hell

Fred Clark at Slacktivist has posted some thoughts on the Bill O’Reilly conversation with Candida Moss that I shared here recently. In his post he writes: Moss does not euphemize or equivocate about what the text says that Jesus said or that Jesus said this as a direct assertion of fact. Jesus said that if [Read More...]

Silver, Gold, and Platinum

Sabio Lantz posted this image: In the post, he argues that the Golden Rule is deeply flawed. The post mirrors a discussion we had here a while back, in response to a Sunday Morning Breakfast Cereal cartoon. Many commenters then suggested that the Golden Rule, unless understood in an unnecessarily literal fashion, is really about [Read More...]


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