What Isn’t Religion?

I had a hard time even figuring out what to call this post. My friend and colleague Brent Hege gave a wonderful lunchtime talk today about religious freedom, during which he mentioned the difficulties that face attempts to define religion, and the ways in which the definition of religion assumed in discussion of such matters as separation [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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But I Tell You Whoever Googles Hatred

The New York Times had an article recently on the spike in “hate searches” after events such as terrorist attacks. The term “hate search” refers to things typed into search engines which express hatred towards an entire category of people, such as Muslims. After reading about this phenomenon, I imagined Jesus’ words being updated for [Read More…]

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Religion at its Best and Worst

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Blame Religion for Its Own Defeats

“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, [Read More…]

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Depicting Jesus and Buddha

Today’s Bizarro cartoon takes a look at how we depict important figures. What do you think about this topic when considered in a more serious way? How has the openness of Buddhists and Christians to depicting the key figures in their traditions impacted the way people think about them? Has the prohibition against depicting Muhammad helped safeguard his [Read More…]

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Christian Diversity and Love of Enemies

“Christianity has always been diverse, and has long been plagued by a tendency toward reciprocal condemnation and exclusion of others who have different opinions than our own, as we have proved time and again to be unable to apply the demand of Jesus that we love our enemies to those who are ‘enemies’ only of [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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Anti-Evolutionism as Stumbling Block

This came to my attention via the Facebook page Science Meets Faith, and I thought it worth sharing here. “I am a Christian and recognize that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. It is a discovery, much like Copernicus’ theory of heliocentricity, Newton’s theory of gravity and Einstein’s theories of relativity, and definitely not a [Read More…]

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Ten Commandments to Avoid Extinction

A provocative video by Michael Dowd. Don’t just fast forward to the commandments, as interesting and as important as they are. The introduction is also full of great insights and memorable quotes. [Read more…]

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