Restarting America

HT Jerry Coyne [Read more...]

Whom Can We Trust?

Yesterday in my class on religion and science fiction, we began discussing Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Year of the Flood. On the same day, news broke of a salmonella outbreak in multiple states involving some seven different strains of the illness, with CDC workers returning to work despite the so-called government shutdown. News also [Read More...]

Shutdown and Priorities

Plenty of others are discussing the government shutdown in the United States, and so I won’t try to cover the whole story. What I consider most noteworthy is just how much it says about our priorities. Not everything that is part of the government’s budget is actually shutting down. “Essentials” such as military activities are [Read More...]

Creationism and Religious Freedom

Today my class on “Religion and Freedom of Expression” met for the first time. It is a class with a non-traditional format – we meet a few Saturday mornings for a few hours, plus also four evenings when students attend lectures in our public lecture series and have dinner and a Q&A time with the [Read More...]

Quote of the Day (C. S. Lewis)

I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If [Read More...]

Utopia/Dystopia

Next semester my freshman course “Faith, Doubt, and Reason” focuses on “The Quest for Community” and in particular on utopias and dystopias. We read a range of works, from the real to the fiction and from the ancient to the modern – including a significant dose of science fiction. Science fiction provides a great way [Read More...]

“Folks Haven’t Been Reading Their Bibles” – Barack Obama on Religion and Public Policy

  Someone made the above quote from then senator Barack Obama into a poster. It illustrates what those who are intimately acquainted with the Bible and its interpretation see clearly, but religious fundamentalists less familiar with their own Scriptures often miss, namely that it is not at all straightforward to derive a clear set of [Read More...]

Marriage Equality Biggest Threat in 500 Years, Says Church Founded by Serial Adulterer and Divorcer

It seems like it should be an article from The Onion. But it isn’t. A spokesperson for the Church of England apparently really has said that the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.K. is the biggest threat the church has faced in its 500-year history. The irony is unmissable – except apparently if you [Read More...]

Was Thaddaeus Jesus’ Original Drummer, or his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development?

In my historical Jesus class yesterday, one of the topics was the twelve apostles. When the fact came up that there are discrepancies between the names listed in various Gospels, I suggested that one explanation might be comparable to the bands many of us love, but from which we can name the lead singer and [Read More...]

PIPA and SOPA Blackouts

Very shortly, Wikipedia and many other sites around the internet will be going dark for a day. When I mentioned this in class today, most students didn’t know about it. Since many people will be Googling PIPA and SOPA trying to figure out what is going on tomorrow, and Wikipedia ironically won’t be there to [Read More...]

The Wrong Kind of Christian? President Obama and Evangelical Voters

I found the article in today’s New York Times about Evangelical voters striking. The attitude of those mentioned in or interviewed for the article seems to be “anyone but Obama.” They would prefer a “big government Republican” to a “big government Democrat.” They would prefer a Mormon and a person with a history of infidelity [Read More...]


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