What ISIS Teaches Us About the Value of Arts and Humanities

The U.S., on the whole, embraces economic progress and relentless production to such an extent that art and humanities are seen as “nice to have,” rather than necessities.

Sarah Skwire, in a short, smart piece for (of all things) the Foundation for Economic Education, presents ISIS’ heartbreaking destruction of Assyrian museum pieces as a solid argument in favor of the two embattled academic disciplines.

There is a long history of fundamentalist Islamic groups destroying cultural treasures. The Buddhas of Bamiyan. The “end of the world” gate in the ancient city of Timbuktu. Over 95 percent of ancient Mecca. Countless thousands of ancient manuscripts. [Links added by TF.] Groups from ISIS to the Taliban to Wahabist Saudi clerics have made it clear: everything must be obliterated.

They claim, of course, that these things must be destroyed because they are idolatrous in themselves or might inspire idolatrous thinking in others. But I think it is far more likely that ISIS wants them destroyed because these objects prove the falseness of their version of history.



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This Finnish Band Just Released a Stunning Music Video Drawing Inspiration from the Work of Richard Dawkins

The Finland-based symphonic metal band Nightwish is about to release their new album, drawing inspiration from the natural world and the work of Richard Dawkins. (In fact, Dawkins appears on the album as a narrator for two of the songs.)

You can see the first single from the album, “Élan,” below. Gotta say, I’d never heard of the band before, but the video and music are just incredible:



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Check Out This Trailer for a Fascinating Documentary About How Evangelical Christians Deal with Sex

If I asked you to describe evangelical Christianity, “sex-negative” would undoubtedly be near the top of the list. The culture that embraces purity rings, and abstinence-only sex education, and compares women who have fooled around to a glass of spit-up food that no one would want to drink has warped a lot of people’s minds about what constitutes healthy, safe sex.

A few years ago, I posted about a Kickstarter campaign for a movie all about the relationship between Christianity and sex.

That movie — Give Me Sex Jesus — is finally premiering later this month (at least a version of the final film, anyway) and will hopefully be available to view online soon.

Check out this trailer:



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Conservative Writer Predicts Hellfire for Big Bang Theory Star Set to Play God on Broadway

Last week, Hemant wrote that Jim Parsons (below), best known for his role as Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, was going to play God in a Broadway adaptation of The Last Testament. He had noted at the time that it probably wouldn’t sit well with Christian conservatives.

Michael Cantrell, writer for the website Young Conservatives, seems to be eager to illustrate the truth of that prediction. In a piece entitled “Big Bang Theory Star Just Made A TON Of Christians Very Angry” — that actually only quotes a single angry writer (in addition to Cantrell’s own commentary) — he leaves little doubt of the direness of the situation.

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Jim Parsons Will Play God on Broadway

Back in April, we learned that David Javerbaum, the former head writer of The Daily Show who brilliantly channels God on Twitter as @TheTweetOfGod, was going to take his character to Broadway in a play based off of his book The Last Testament.

It was just revealed that Jim Parsons, better known as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, will play the role of God:



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