Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Faith

The Butler University Seminar on Religion and World Civilization got off to a wonderful start this year, with a session focused on freedom of religion as defined in the first amendment to the United States Constitution. Our three guest speakers were Sheila Seuss Kennedy, Rick Garnett, and Dan Conckle. Some who have attended many of [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...]

Limits to Religious Freedom

Since Tuesday is Constitution Day, and I will be gathering students from my course on “Religion and Freedom of Expression” soon for the first time to talk about Randall Bezanson’s book How Free Can Religion Be?, I thought I would see if there is interest in discussing the topic on this blog. As a starting [Read More...]

Syria and the End Times

Hemant Mehta shared some interesting statistics and infographics about what Americans think about Syria, and how events there may be leading up to the “end times.” These statistics also give us in the process a good sense of how many Americans have never consulted a scholarly commentary on the Book of Revelation… [Read more...]

Breaking Bad (Anywhere But America Edition)

Via Rachel Held Evans on Facebook, who got it ultimately from someone who said “We're pretty smug up here in Soviet Canuckistan”! I should say that I have not watched the series “Breaking Bad,” but I am aware of the premise, and so am able to understand that this cartoon makes an important point about [Read More...]

The US Constitution and Religious Texts

Thom Stark wrote the following on Facebook: In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, if someone didn’t like the Constitution of the U.S., they criticized it. In the 21st century, if someone doesn’t like it, they claim that it says what they’d rather it say. That’s because the Constitution has become a religious text. [Read More...]

DOMA and Prop 8 Struck Down

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act! Read the text of the decision here. A key quote from towards the end: The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by [Read More...]

American TARDIS

I saw this today on the University of Indianapolis campus. Apparently American TARDISes are even smaller on the outside.   [Read more...]

Doctor Who season finale “The Name of the Doctor” leaked early!

If you are a Doctor Who fan, you have surely heard the news that some copies of the season 7 Blu-Ray shipped early, meaning that a few lucky people in the United States who pre-ordered them now have access to the season finale, “The Name of the Doctor,” before it airs next Saturday. If you [Read More...]

Income Inequality

As I was gearing up for the second class period focused on The Communist Manifesto in my First Year Seminar course, this video came to my attention on several blogs I subscribe to. How can anyone think that this degree of inequity is acceptable? And it pales in comparison to the inequity that exists on [Read More...]

The Ten Recommendations

When I saw yesterday’s Non Sequitur cartoon, it reminded me of something that I run up against regularly in class: For today’s students, the Ten Commandments have always been ten “recommendations” or “suggestions.” No matter how strongly they were ingrained in them from an early age, they have not had the status of law – apart from [Read More...]


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