Privilege and Persecution

I spoke to a member of the Midwest regional Society of Biblical Literature recently, who told me that there had been a number of members who were angry about a petition that went around asking the organization to move its conference from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. That school had not only at one [Read More…]

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Biblical Docetism

Samantha Field coined this very apt phrase for fundamentalism’s view of the Bible in a recent blog post. Here is an excerpt: To biblical docetists, cultural contexts don’t have to have any bearing on the text– it’s not really an ancient library of texts gathered together over time and with a lot of arguing. It [Read More…]

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Engineering Terrorism, Engineering Fundamentalism

There was an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education recently about the disproportionate number of engineers among the ranks of terrorists. This is not a new observation – articles on this subject, I learned, have appeared over the years, in Slate, the Washington Post, and Foreign Policy. But as Greg Laden also pointed out, there is a new book [Read More…]

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The Fundamentalist Mind

Samantha Field has written an excellent post about the fundamentalist way of thinking. Far from being irrational, Field suggests, the fundamentalist might be called hyper-rational. There is a desire for absolute consistency and clarity, which is precisely why fundamentalist atheists who embrace mythicism, as well as fundamentalist Christians who embrace Biblical inerrancy, cannot tolerate the kind [Read More…]

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The Best Medicine for Fundamentalism

The online devotional reflection by John Edgerton that the above quote is taken also includes the statement that provides the title of this post: “I believe Bible study is the best medicine for fundamentalism.” Click through to read it.     [Read more…]

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Being Right vs. Doing Right

The quote comes from a post by R. L. Stollar, focused on the question of whether it is possible to debate a fundamentalist productively, but also what leads fundamentalists to want to engage in those unproductive debates in the first place. Here’s the immediate context of the quote in the meme image: At the root [Read More…]

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X-Files 10.5 – Babylon

No need to justify discussing this episode of the X-Files in relation to religion – the episode begins with a Muslim man at prayer. The same man goes to pick up another Arabic-speaking friend, and then they go to an art gallery called Ziggurat, where there is a depiction of the prophet Muhammad. They blow it up. [Read More…]

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What the Bible Says

One of my first posts on this blog, after it moved from its original self-hosted location to Blogger back in 2007, was on this topic. Here is what I wrote: This is just a short entry, just to share a further illustration of how the Bible is mythologized, personalized and in some cases deified by well-meaning but [Read More…]

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Left Behind and Right Wing Conspiracy Theories

Fred Clark recently posted on the connection between the Left Behind series and Right Wing conspiracy theories. The two overlap extensively, with the non-religious leaving out the Rapture, but overlap in many other particulars, such as that the United Nations is a bad thing, and so too would world peace be. This while various news [Read More…]

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What Do Conservatives Conserve?

We all need a reminder from time to time that the traditions which the conservative hold on to and seek to preserve are not from time immemorial. This topic came up in my Sunday school class recently, and one individual said that he knew people who remembered how the advent of electric lighting in churches in [Read More…]

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Don’t Be Like Jerry

Zack Hunt shared the above image on Facebook. I have not had any real interest in participating in the creation of these stick figure descriptions of oneself, but I have appreciated several of the parodies and attempts at humor around them. And this one, as a response to the endorsement by Jerry Falwell Jr. of [Read More…]

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