The Golden Rule and Reading the Qur’an Fairly

The cartoon above is by Tom Gauld. It seems to me to do a good job of illustrating how people tend to exalt their own heritage and denigrate that of others. This relates directly to how Islam is being treated in the media. I’ve said it before: any Christian who reads the Qur’an differently than [Read More...]

Was Religion a Factor in the Chapel Hill Shootings?

The above cartoon came to my attention via Facebook. I actually had a very interesting discussion about religion and violence in my “Speaking About Religion” class yesterday. We discussed the Chapel Hill incident as well as the one in Copenhagen. We did some Googling to see what the internet had to say about which ideology was [Read More...]

Double Standard on Religious Violence

The above image indicates the double standard that most Americans have when it comes to people who engage in acts of violence in connection with their purported religious identity. The data comes from a 2011 PRRI study.   [Read more...]

The Contradiction of Fundamentalism

Via The Christian Left on Facebook. This really gets at the heart of the matter. It is the point that is made well in the Biblical story of Gideon, even though it is forgotten in much of the Bible as well. If a deity is offended, that deity can fight his or her own battles. [Read More...]

Happy Holidays

Via Sad Jesus on Facebook. [Read more...]

Derek Flood, Disarming Scripture

I had a chance to interview Derek Flood recently about his new book, Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives, and Why We All Need to Learn to Read the Bible Like Jesus Did. I had seen lots of interviews and blog posts about the book’s challenge for those with conservative views of the Bible, and [Read More...]

Sin of Omission

A recent comment on a post of mine related to homosexuality sparked a realization related to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis. On the one hand, what conservatives do in making that story into ammunition against homosexuals is disturbing enough. There is no reference anywhere to the people of that city having had [Read More...]

Love Your Loopholes as Yourself

Benjamin Corey has a post about how many conservative Christians justify violence. He says, Bottom line: if you think that “love your enemies” is fair game for a thousand loopholes and can’t be taken at face value, then you probably shouldn’t be drawing hard lines on any other issue in scripture. Because, if “love your [Read More...]

Armed and Pre-Existent?

Simon Joseph, author of The Nonviolent Messiah: Jesus, Q, and the Enochic Tradition, has offered a response to the recent articulation by Dale Martin of the view that Jesus and his followers may have been armed in the garden of Gethsemane. It promises to be the first of a series of posts on this subject. Brian [Read More...]

The Third Law of Mainline Protestantism

The above is based on the earlier meme image I created for the “Third Law of Theology” which states that “For every theologian there is an equal and opposite theologian.” I made it in response to some comments made by a mainline Protestant on Facebook about mainline Protestants, which reflected a different experience of this broad [Read More...]

Samson Gets an “F” in Ethics

Brandon Withrow interviewed me a while back for an article he was writing. The article has now appeared online in On Faith. Click through to read it. Brandon’s post on his own blog mentioning the article, which is about violence in the Bible, has the provocative title “Evangelical Professors Give Moses an ‘F’ in Ethics.” Since [Read More...]


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