Republicans are now playing nice on the budget

Republicans in Congress tried to cut the deficit by letting the government shut down, being willing to dive over the fiscal cliff, and sequestering expenditures, but those measures didn’t go over very well politically.  So now Congressional Republicans are going along with the Democrats, and they are close to an agreement on a budget deal.   Is that good news or bad news? [Read more…]

Sunday Assembly

If you were travelling through Dallas, Chicago , Nashville, Grand Rapids, or other cities in America, Great Britain, or Australia, you might come across a congregation called Sunday Assembly.  That would not be what it sounds like, some offshoot of the Assembly of God.  This is an assembly of atheists.   They meet on Sundays in congregations for singing (not hymns, of course, but songs like “Lean on Me” and “Imagine”), teaching, and fellowship.

We’ve blogged about this before, talking about the group’s liturgy (in fact, the Sunday Assembly website links to our post in the “about” section).  After the jump, see the denomination’s 10-point creed. [Read more…]

A lawsuit against pro-life religions

A woman had a complication in her pregnancy that would normally (by today’s standards) be treated with an abortion, but she was in a Catholic hospital that did not give her that option.  So she is suing the hospital.  But that’s not all.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is handling her case, is also suing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the pro-life teaching that caused the hospital to not offer the abortion.

Columnist Seth Lipsky of the New York Post says that this represents a new front in the battle against religion:  Suing religious institutions themselves for the content of their beliefs. [Read more…]

Weird math fact

A comic strip  (which you can see here after the jump) raised a mathematical conundrum that I’ve been trying to get my mind around.  Maybe you can help.

(1) 9 x 1/9 = 1.   Right?  That’s what the fraction 1/9 means.

(2)  1/9 = .1111111. . .  If you turn 1/9 into its decimal form, by dividing 9 into 1, the result is .1111111. . . [meaning a repetition into infinity]

(3)  9 x (.1111111. . .) = 1    Substitute the decimal form for  1/9 in equation (1).

(4)  .9999999. . . = 1      Do the calculation in equation (3).   9 x .111111. . .  is .999999. . ., another repetition into infinity.  The number by itself is short of 1, infinitely short, but you could go into infinity and it would never be 1.  AND YET, in the equation, .99999 in an infinite regress EQUALS 1.

How can that be? [Read more…]

An Easter sermon by Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95.  He exemplifed an unusual kind of political power.  He spent 27 years in prison for his anti-apartheid activism in South Africa.  Whereupon he built up so much moral authority that the apartheid government, with its overtly racist system in which whites ruled over blacks,  ended up dismantling itself.  When he emerged from prison to become president of the new government, he led the newly-empowered black majority away from revenge to reconciliation with their former oppressors.

Mandel was a Christian, as the post below recounts.  After the jump, an excerpt from a quite powerful sermon he gave on the risen Messiah. [Read more…]

The Christianity of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, who led South Africa out of racial apartheid, was a Christian, whose faith shaped his activism.  So reports British journalist Michael Trimmer after the jump. [Read more…]