Archives for May 2006

Practising, but non-believing Christian?

Yesterday's Guardian (UK) had a short piece on a talk by Martin Rees, head of the Royal Society, and part of it was:In an apparent swipe at colleagues such as Richard Dawkins and Lewis Wolpert who have launched blistering attacks on religion, Lord Rees said he felt it was "not helpful" to cast religion as anti-science. "Among scientists there are adherents to a variety of religions. Creationism is not compatible with science, but many people hold to religious views and religious attitudes which … [Read more...]

Da Vinci Code

My curiosity got the better of me and I went to see the Da Vinci Code last night. I hadn't planned to go because the critics have been near universal in saying how horrible they thought it was. I'm glad I didn't listen to them. It was a fantastic movie. Sure it was standard Hollywood fare -- go see Brick if you're looking for an outstanding indie -- but the screenplay improved on the book's tortured prose, the acting was excellent, very good editing and use of flashbacks, good pacing, overall … [Read more...]

Russell County High School students demonstrate their faith

It has been tradition at Russell County High School in Kentucky for graduating seniors to elect a "graduation chaplain" who delivers a Christian prayer at the graduation ceremony. This year, a Muslim student filed a lawsuit and a judge issued an injunction to prevent it. As the principal began his opening remarks, 200 students stood and recited the Lord's Prayer. Most of the rest of the audience gave a standing ovation.When the Muslim student went up to receive his diploma, he was booed.Ed … [Read more...]

Pat “Superman” Robertson

The freakometer reached category 6 with the announcement on Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) that Pat Robertson can leg-press 2,000 pounds. The site claims that Robertson's superhuman strength in "keeping his energy high and his vitality soaring is his age-defying protein shake." The recipe for this magical potion is available for download on the site. Has the man no shame? … [Read more...]

FFRF sues over integration of spirituality into VA health care

According to a Freedom from Religion Foundation news release (awareness of which came my way via Daylight Atheism), the FFRF "filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal court, challenging the pervasive integration of 'spirituality' into health care by the Department of Veteran Affairs." The complaint cites a number of practices at certain VA Health Centers, practices so bizarre they make me wonder if this is all a practical joke or some sort of misunderstanding:A "spiritual/faith assessment" is made … [Read more...]

Jihad as a misunderstanding

I'm finishing up writing a book on Islam and science. While working on it, I collected an awful lot of stuff that I can't use. This quotation, for example, discussing the early conquests of the Islamic Empire:Now they had, by the order of God, to make Islam known to the outside world, but there was no telecommunication system or press or any other mass medium of communication. There was only one course to take, namely, personal and direct contacts, which meant that they had to cross the borders. … [Read more...]

Inside Scientology

Janet Reitman has written an excellent article for Rolling Stone magazine called "Inside Scientology." She began with no cooperation from the Church of Scientology (not an unusual state of affairs), but then was given access to Scientology leadership, tours of facilities, and was able to interview current Scientologists. My first reaction on hearing about this was to suspect it would be something of a superficial puff piece like some of the entertainment news TV shows have done, but she did an … [Read more...]

Antony Flew receives award from Biola

Antony Flew was supposed to have received the "Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth" from Biola University yesterday. Presumably it went as planned, though I can only find the "Former Atheist to Receive Award at Biola" announcement on Biola's web site. Flew was a well-known philosophical atheist (and complete political Neanderthal) of the older generation, and his conversion to a variety of Deism was newsworthy for a while. Biola's web site has an interesting interview with Flew … [Read more...]