Economic salvation

The US economy is in great shape—at least, Goldman Sachs is doing well, and politically that's what counts. Still, unemployment is worrisome. Good Christian Americans might be distracted from the excellent work they're doing in defense of health insurance companies. (At least, opposing any change in our wonderful health system seems to be a major preoccupation of the Christian radio station I listen to.)Thing is, we can't solve that problem by having Good Christian Americans actually make stuff … [Read more...]

Murderers are as bad as nonbelievers!

I've started reading yet another Muslim book explaining why True Islam is a religion of peace that utterly rejects terrorism: Terror and Suicide Attacks: An Islamic Perspective, edited by Ergün Çapan.That's fine and good: the more Muslims who reject jihadi ideology, the better. But immediately, the book gets off on the wrong foot. Fethullah Gülen, a very prominent Turkish religious leader, writes, in the first paragraph of his chapter, that "In Islam, killing a human is an act that is equal in gr … [Read more...]

Infidel Billboards

Billboards advertising churches or proclaiming a Christian message are ubiquitous in American roadsides. But there are now some newcomers. I haven't yet seen one in person, but billboards by atheistic and skeptical groups seem to be sprouting up as well. They usually appeal to the fellow nonbeliever, pointing out that they're not alone.The reason I know about the infidel billboards is that I invariably hear news about controversies and strongly negative local reactions. In fact, very often they … [Read more...]

Conservative Bible???

Leonard Pitts wrote an article a couple of weeks ago noting that the editors of "Conservapedia" are preparing a "conservative" translation of the Bible that will eliminate all "liberal bias" in extant bible translations (Damn those pointy-headed, bleeding heart, knee-jerk liberal King James translators!). Woo Hoo! I can't wait to see it! In fact, I think contributors and commentators on this site should offer to help. Here is my offering, the beatitudes for the "conservative" Bible:(FROM THE … [Read more...]

Debates

I was recently offered an opportunity to debate a creationist, on the existence of God. I was intrigued by the idea at first, but then I took some advice and turned it down. There's a stereotype of scientists taking on creationists with the naive notion of presenting some basic science and contributing something to the public understanding of science. They then discover that a debate with a creationist is a totally different proposition. I admit, I have no experience with formal debates with … [Read more...]

New Chick Tract

More of a tangential tract complaining about Bibles with alleged missing verses. … [Read more...]

It’s all in the interpretation

More woman-friendly interpretations of Islam may be penetrating into the grassroots more and more. For example, in an interview, Zakia Nizami Soman of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, "a movement of Muslim women across India struggling for their citizenship rights," says:Islam speaks of a God who is just. The Quran has given women equal rights and equal dignity. We are as much God's followers as men are. The problem arises not from the Quran but from distorted, patriarchal interpretations … [Read more...]

When is a religious public sphere acceptable?

My default view of religion and public life is hard-core secularist: the less our public conversations are conditioned by supernatural beliefs, the better.Having said that, I also have to acknowledge that the current reputation of secularism among political thinkers is ambiguous at best. Many religious people don't like secularism. That isn't surprising, but many religious thinkers have been more successful lately in pressing their view that secularism illegitimately handicaps people of strong … [Read more...]


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