Archives for July 2006

Reverend Questions Church and State Entanglement

There's a great article in today's New York Times entitled "Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock," (Jul 30, A1, A21). It tells how Rev. Gregory A. Boyd of the Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently gave a series of sermons that essentially argued against coupling politics and religion. Or more specifically, the Republican Party from Christianity. What makes this story interesting is that Woodland Hills is an evangelical megachurch with more than 6,000 … [Read more...]


An iPod is a wonderful thing for long car trips. So this past week I listened to a podcast of a debate on the Infidel Guy radio show. It was an hour and a half long and often exasperating, so I wouldn't have sat through it otherwise. The debate was between FFRF's Dan Barker and Paul Manata, a Christian and presuppositionalist.Anyway, let me get to the exasperating part. The whole thing made me wonder if it's at all useful to even try and talk to some people, and presuppositionalists like Manata … [Read more...]

A catalog of gods

P.Z. Myers at Pharyngula points out Godchecker's "Your Guide to the Gods," a searchable database of over 2,850 gods. You can search by pantheon (African, Australian, Aztec, Caribbean, Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Finnish, Greek, Incan, Japanese, Mayan, Mesopotamian, Middle Eastern, Native American, Norse, Oceanic, Roman, Slavic and Baltic, South American, and Southeast Asian), look at the Deity of the Day (available via RSS feed), read feature articles, or purchase items from the God Shop. There … [Read more...]

Modern religion

Secularists have long hoped that modernization would work against religion, or at least the more mindless varieties of religion. As we did better in fulfilling human needs, there would be less that religious belief would compensate for. In modern societies with multiple overlapping social roles and fragmented identities, religions as complete ways of life would seem less compelling. Scientific explanations would substitute for invocations of supernatural forces.It isn't happening, with the … [Read more...]

Talk in Oregon

Just in case anyone is interested and can make it: I'm going to be speaking in the Summer Institute of the Jefferson Center for Religion and Philosophy in Ashland, Oregon, on August 5. They have an good lineup of speakers, including Matt Young, who should also be of interest to Secular Outpost readers.The Jefferson Center is a liberal religious group, so it should be interesting. I'll have as many questions to ask them as I'm sure they'll want to ask me. One question I'd like to explore is … [Read more...]

Who is the Most Prominent Atheist?

Philosopher Doug Krueger once made the interesting observation that whenever theists want to boast about their alleged successes in debates with atheists, theists always describe their opponents as "best-known," "foremost," the "most famous," or the "most prominent." For example:The blurb for the book on the second Habermas-Flew debate describes Antony Flew as "the world's best-known philosophical atheist."The back cover of the Moreland-Neilsen debate book describes Kai Nielsen as "one of … [Read more...]