Do Christians Only Want to Help Christian Immigrants?

Christianity Today has an article up today titled, “Franklin Graham’s Call to End Muslim Immigration Could Backfire.” Now, that headline might lead you to think that Christians are concerned that Graham’s racist, xenophobic comments in the wake of the Chattanooga shooting might incite retaliatory violence against Muslim Americans. But you’d be wrong. No, Christians are becoming increasingly concerned that Muslim immigrants are too dangerous to be let into the country. The article quotes Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy and… Read more

In the Wake of the Chattanooga Killings, An Interfaith Prayer Vigil in Tennessee

Every time a Republican or a member of the Religious Right (like Franklin Graham) slanders an entire ethnic group, it’s important to present evidence that mitigates the damage done by such invectives. A case in point is the prayer vigil in honor of the marines killed in Chattanooga held yesterday by Muslims in Nashville. One of the attendees made a comment that highlights the double standard of those like Franklin Graham: “At the beginning of Ramadan it happened in Charleston,… Read more

While Franklin Graham Rants, American Muslims Plant Seeds of Peace

Franklin Graham is at it again. Here’s his response to the killing of four marines in Tennessee by an American Muslim: It’s bad enough that Graham is ranting against the wrong threat — more Americans have been killed by white supremacists than Muslim terrorists since 9/11 — and that’s not including the three young Muslim-Americans killed by an atheist in Chapel Hill, the mass murder of 24 movie-goers in Aurora in 2012, or the two (which could have been five) killed… Read more

Forget the Benedict Option, Christians Should Take the Matrix Option

The Supreme Court’s historic same-sex marriage ruling has some conservative Christians considering what they call the “Benedict Option.” This is the idea of “choosing to step back from the now-futile political projects and ambitions of the past four decades to cultivate and preserve a robustly Christian subculture within an increasingly hostile common culture,” as Damon Linker puts it in The Week. It’s a self-imposed cultural exile. Rod Dreher, the most vocal proponent of the Benedict Option, writes in The American… Read more

Atheists’ Approach to the Religious: Firebrands and Diplomats

I recently took part in a roundtable discussion with my fellow Patheos bloggers James Croft, Peter Mosley, and Kaveh Mousavi about the two general ways atheists engage religious believers. James and I consider ourselves to be diplomats in the culture wars, whereas Peter and Kaveh adopt the firebrand or “anti-theist” approach. In the first post, “Listening to the Anti-Theists,” Peter and Kaveh explain what it means to them to be anti-theists, and James and I explain what we think it… Read more

Rush Limbaugh and the Pope’s Pantheist

I have a new article up at Salon discussing a recent episode of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. The title of his episode was “The Pope’s ‘Science Advisor’ Is An Atheist Who Worships The Earth.”  Limbaugh begins: My friends, not one to let things go, I have dug deep, and I have found out practically everything there is to know about the science advisor to Pope Francis on this encyclical. And the main thing you need to know, the guy’s an… Read more

Netflix’s Sense8 and the Celebration of Human Sexuality

I don’t know which is worse, the fact that I’m a straight white guy or that I like the Wachowskis’ filmmaking. Being born straight and white endowed me with a tremendous amount of privilege in our society, which means my very existence contributes to the oppression of women and minorities to some extent. But to admit that I enjoy the storytelling of the authors of Jupiter Ascending, which was universally panned by critics, is to invite no small amount of… Read more

Kids Need Philosophy As Much As Technology In The Classroom

I keep reading articles about the potential of technology in the K-12 classroom. At AltSchool, for  example: “Younger children have tablets, and older children laptops, which they use to complete a personalized ‘playlist’ of lessons, projects and activities, updated each day.” But the one thing that’s missing from this debate is an awareness of the fact that technology is only as good as those who use it. Fortunately, an excerpt from a book by Kentaro Toyama, the W.K. Kellogg Chair… Read more

Mental Illness and the Belief in a Soul with Free Will

An article called “5 Things Christians Should Know About Depression and Anxiety” from RELEVANT Magazine popped up in my Facebook feed the other day. The magazine describes itself as …the leading platform reaching Christian twenty- and thirtysomethings. Covering faith, culture and intentional living, the stories we tell are at the intersection of where a Christ-centered life is really lived. Our magazine is not about “being relevant” (whatever that means)—it’s that God is relevant to every aspect of our lives. I… Read more

Another Reason to Pile On The Duggars

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the Duggar’s appearance on FoxNews with Megyn Kelly, or what one writer called an “unholy disaster.” The segment was pretty much what you would expect — they used it as a PR opportunity for damage control. Thankfully, though, their high profile has brought awareness to the danger of the Quiverfull movement in particular and Christian patriarchy in general. It also helps clarify notions of consent, and what constitutes rape. In other words, the… Read more