Don’t Celebrate a Best Selling Book if You Think It’s Okay to Game the System

Christian author Eric Metaxas‘ latest book Miracles just hit the New York Times best sellers list.

As it turns out, however, Metaxas also made an interesting comment to Christianity Today regarding buying your way onto that list — like disgraced Pastor Mark Driscoll did:

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Why Do Cartoonists Draw Insulting Images of Muhammad? (Spoiler: Not Just to Upset the Religious)

Philosopher Stephen Law offers an explanation for why cartoonists lampoon faith:

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Myanmar Anger Over Buddha With Headphones Shows No Sign of Abating; Bar Owner Now Faces Four Years in Prison

Remember the recent case in Myanmar of the bar owners who got arrested and threatened with serious jail time after they’d Facebook-posted a colorful image of a Buddha wearing headphones?

Despite removing the image and replacing it with a statement apologizing for “embarrassing ignorance,” [New Zealander Philip] Blackwood was arrested on December 10 along with nightspot owner Tun Thurein, 40, and co-worker Htut Ko Ko Lwin, 26.

NBC News has an update, including this stark fact:

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U.S. Strangely Missing from Map of “Top 50 Countries Where Christians Face the Greatest Persecution”

Open Doors USA, a non-profit group that tracks Christian persecution around the world (and helps Christians in need), released its annual World Watch List yesterday, highlighting the “50 countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe.”

Incredibly (to the surprise of Religion Right leaders, I’m sure), the United States didn’t make the cut:

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Excessive Guilt in Children May Lead To Adult Depression and Other Mental Disorders, Researchers Say

Guilt gets a bad rap, but I like that guilt exists. In fact, I’d say guilt and remorse are indispensable if we’re going to have a society that isn’t run purely on impulses, greed, and self-interest.

The trick in handling guilt is to (over time) calibrate your conscience to determine which things you ought to feel guilty about (stealing yes, masturbation no), as well as the level of guilt that fits the moral transgression.

I’d venture to say that religion — strict religion, especially — inhibits both those processes.

The consequences of getting guilt wrong can be dire.

Via the Atlantic:

Some scientists now believe that extreme feelings of guilt in children … can be a strong warning sign for mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and bipolar disorder later on in life. Research has long linked excessive feelings of guilt to mental disorders in adults — the DSM-V lists feelings of excessive guilt as a symptom for depression. But researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found that excessive guilt in children might be linked to a part of the brain that is connected to controls for several different mental disorders.

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