Zika virus or pesticide?

The Zika virus is associated with rare birth defect microcephaly, but no causal connection has yet been established and anomalies keep cropping up.  Though much of Latin America is plagued with the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the vast majority of the birth defects are found in Brazil.  And a significant number of microcephaly cases are being found with patients that never had Zika.

A group of Argentinian doctors is arguing that the birth defects are not being caused by Zika at all but by a pesticide put in the water supply of the most affected areas to kill mosquito larva. [Read more…]

The life uniform movement

Have you heard of the “life uniform” movement?  It involves wearing the same kind of clothes–e.g., blue Levis and a black T-shirt–every day.  That’s what Steve Jobs did.  An article in Christianity Today tries to turn this particular fashion choice into an act of piety. [Read more…]

Camille Paglia unchained

Camille Paglia is a leftist who lambastes leftists and appreciates conservatives.  She is a feminist who critiques feminists and defends men.  She is an atheist who excoriates atheists and respects religion.  Her commentaries on contemporary culture are unfailingly outrageous, provocative, and stimulating.  Also hilarious.  She is the scourge of political correctness and an iconoclast of secularist pieties.  For her take on Bill Cosby, the Clintons, Jon Stewart, media bias, the 2016 presidential candidates, and more, read her  interview in Salon here and here and here.


Jesus vs. Christ

Chuck Queen, a progressive Baptist, says that “Jesus is not the same as Christ.”  The historical Jesus is one thing, but “Christ” is cosmic, embracing non-Christians as well as Christians.

This gives us a lucid glimpse into liberal theology, how they can use the historical-critical approach to Scripture (saying that we can know little about the historical Jesus), while still talking about “Christ” in a universalist way.  But it also shows the importance of Christology.  And the danger of thinking that the creeds of the historic church are unnecessary.

In addition to violating St. Peter’s confession (“thou [Jesus] art the Christ”) and St. John’s warning about antichrist, who denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (1 John 4:2-3), Rev. Queen is committing an array of ancient heresies.  Like what? [Read more…]

Cancelling church

Yet more weekend snow storms. . . .Local news where we are, on the road for our “Spring Break” (!), showed lots of churches cancelling services.  I don’t remember that happening until a few years ago.  All kinds of churches were scrolling the news on the screen.  (Do Catholic churches have to get some kind of special dispensation from a bishop or somebody to do that?)   Some relatives got the news via an e-mail blast, which tells us that now the technology makes it more possible than ever before to get the word out.

What do we think about this?  I’m not sure what I think about it.  Obviously, no one wants members to get hurt trying to get to church in unsafe conditions.  There is the commandment about the Sabbath Day, but perhaps that can be kept in other ways.  And yet I still feel weird about it.   There is not attending, which can happen for lots of reasons, but not having the service available seems more problematic.  But I don’t know.  You tell me.

HT:  Jackie

More martyrs for faith & freedom

ISIS now has a presence in Libya, and the group has beheaded 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt, a dramatic modern-day example of Christians dying for their faith reminiscent of early church martyrdom.

Also, a Danish discussion of the free speech controversy–including one of the Danish cartoonists whose life was threatened a few years ago for his depictions of the Muslim prophet, but including also voices more sympathetic to the jihadists–was shot up by a terrorist, killing two and wounding five. [Read more…]