Answer to America’s Prayers

Both Hemant Mehta (who shared the above cartoon by James MacLeod) and Lauren Nelson blogged about the recent shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, and their sentiments were along similar lines. Prayer often emerges from a feeling of helplessness in the face of circumstances beyond our control. But prayers about shootings are like the person who prays not [Read More...]

Why Didn’t God Stop the Church Shooting?

This cartoon should serve as a helpful reminder to fundamentalists. You must make sure to use the right implausible answer to the specific question asked. Otherwise, theological and ethical confusion might result (in other words, the problems with your worldview might be exposed to your conversation partner and, worse still, to you).   [Read more...]

Is Racism a Mental Illness? #CharlestonShooting

I had someone comment on a Facebook post about the Charleston shooting, suggesting that mental illness must be involved. I responded in a number of ways, including asking whether all the people in lynch mobs in the south some decades ago were mentally ill. On the one hand, to blame mental illness can be a reprehensible [Read More...]

Surviving a Police Encounter

Sometimes satire is the only way to give voice to immense frustration and anger about something that has happened. The Onion did it well with its article about the Department of Justice deploying smartphone-carrying bystanders to the nation’s streets. I think the above image does an admirable job too. Because let’s face it, if you can [Read More...]

Abraham “Heard Voices”

It is important to tread carefully when something tragic is in the news, such as Aaron Alexis' recent shooting rampage at a Navy yard. But my students are continuing to discuss the Abraham story and the Euthyphro today, and we simply cannot bypass the question of how one would react to someone in our time [Read More...]

Shootings: Schools vs. Churches

This graphic which came my way on Facebook seems to make an excellent point. I was not able to confirm that the actual number of shootings in schools was 5, and it seems that that number may include institutions of higher education as well as elementary schools. Whether any religious schools are in that figure [Read More...]

Sandy Hook and Jesus Mythicisms

Most of us have watched in horror and dismay as a small handful of people have spun conspiracy theories around the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Andii Bowsher has noted the connection with another sort of denialism, that which one encounters in Biblical studies. Andii quotes an article from The Guardian which [Read More...]

Jesus’ Prophetic Nightmare

David Hayward’s latest cartoon depicts Jesus as having a truly prophetic ability, as illustrated by this uncannily accurate nightmare: Presumably it would have been enough to cause a nightmare if Jesus had simply foreseen what some people speaking in his name would about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Hector Avalos, [Read More...]

School Prayer Contradiction

I commented previously on some of the conservative Christian reactions to the Newtown school shooting, including in particular the attempt to connect it with the removal of prayer from schools. Today in church, as a longstanding public school principal who is a member of my church gave a children’s talk about prayer, my thoughts turned [Read More...]

Funnier and Wronger?

I originally posted these comments together with other links in a round-up about blogging related to the recent tragedy. But they grew to the point where they seemed to require a post of their own. Brian LePort joined the conversation between Tony Jones and myself about the story of the slaughter of the innocents in [Read More...]

Speaking Foolishly about God and Tragedy

HT Christians Against the Tea Party on Facebook I’ve commented several times on what prominent would-be spokespeople for Christianity have had to say about the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Initially I added additional links I came across to those posts. But there continue to be so many that I thought I should share some [Read More...]