Analyzing the Rainbow Just Wouldn’t Be As Effective

Richard Dawkins wrote this memorable passage in Unweaving the Rainbow:

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?

It’s a beautiful passage that really celebrates the joy of life in a non-religious way. But John Danaher at h+ Magazine isn’t moved by it:

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Liberian Preacher Says He’s Come Up With a Cure For Ebola: Prayer, Exorcism, and an Obscure Soft Drink

As the Ebola virus threatens to tear through West Africa, having already made 1,500 victims in Liberia this year, it’s worth rejoicing that we have self-styled bishop Edward Adjei, of the Christ Incorporated church, to cure his fellow Liberians. His method could hardly be simpler: All it takes is a three-day prayer session, an exorcism of the presidential palace … and a few bottles of Vimto, the purple British soft-drink.



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This Weekend, Pastors Will Dare the IRS to Revoke Their Churches’ Tax-Exemptions by Talking Politics from the Pulpit

For years now, the biggest IRS scandal may have been how churches that pay no taxes in return for not endorsing political candidates were breaking those rules openly but receiving no punishment at all. (Some pastors even sent the IRS videos of their sermons.)

It happens on “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” where more than 1,000 pastors speak out on political issues and/or endorse specific candidates.

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Can a Christian “Lean In” Movement Propel Women in the Workplace?

Liberty University, Jerry Falwell‘s evangelical powerhouse college in the hills of western Virginia, is loosely working with Christine Craine of Hillsong Church (in Australia) to start a program (Propel) to support Christian women in business. Inspired by the feminism of the Lean In book, Craine says this will fill a gap for ways women are supported by the Christian community.



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Rhode Island Catholic School Removes Pro-Choice Politician from Its Hall of Fame, but Plans to Induct Ex-Con

La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island is one of those Catholic schools that’s been around forever, with the current building dedicated in 1925. You can imagine that its Hall of Fame (“Wall of Notables”) is pretty stacked given all the alumni the school has had, but that’s been a source of controversy recently.

First, they removed the painting of Gina Raimondo, the Democratic candidate for governor, because she cares too much about the rights of women:

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