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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Politicized Christianity’s Pact With The Devil

Having recently shared some thoughts on the separation of church and state, and the politicization of religion, in relation to the Pew survey data that was published recently, I thought I would also re-share the meme above, which I made a few years ago, and shared in a post called “Possibly the Most Interesting Pact [Read More…]

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Self-Defeating Religion

Hemant Mehta drew attention to the fact that what some conservative religious people in the United States today want – namely to obliterate the separation between church and state – is arguably the most self-defeating course of action they could pursue. In Europe, countries where Christianity is the national religion have seen Christianity decline significantly. Baptists, in [Read More…]

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Barack Obama: I’m Not Saying You Were Aliens, But…

I support the separation of church and state, and am pretty sure that the President of the United States has no business quoting Exodus or any part of the Bible in an official speech. On the other hand, contrary to what conspiracy theorists are sure to come up with soon if they haven’t already, this statement [Read More…]

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Kevin Rudd on Same-Sex Marriage

The video above has been getting a lot of attention. It features Australian politician Kevin Rudd answering questions from a pastor about his views on same-sex marriage. Rudd actually posted a longer essay on the topic online before the last election to inform voters about his views. Many of the points that Rudd makes work [Read More…]

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Religious Freedom: A Shield, Not A Sword

Via Americans United on Facebook   [Read more…]

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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…]

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Christmas and Religious Freedom

Jim West shared this cartoon (for what reason I will not speculate): I find the cartoon bizarre. I don't think that whoever made it has any concept of either the setting into which Jesus was born or how religious freedom is safeguarded in the United States in ways that were unimagined then. Back then, there [Read More…]

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Religious Diversity and Alienation

I have been struck by the language some atheist bloggers I read have used in recent days, in reference to how they felt about President Obama’s speech/sermon in Newtown. Alienation. As a progressive Christian, and as someone who has studied Biblical studies, theology, and philosophy of religion, I often feel something that could be described [Read More…]

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What Fundamentalists Worship

Quite a number of people are discussing t-shirts like this one (or the wider use of the sentiment expressed on it) in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy: I am glad that fundamentalists are finally being a bit more honest about what they mean by “God.” They clearly do not mean an omnipresent [Read More…]

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Possibly the Most Interesting Pact With the Devil

Rick Perry has apparently made some bizarrely critical comments about the separation of church and state. That separation is the separation that the forerunners of modern Evangelicals, including the Baptists in particular, struggled for and advocated. It is the one that is surely responsible for the fact that religion is a vibrant part of American [Read More…]

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