Murdered missionaries

If US news has lately been dominated by the Virginia Tech shootings, news from Turkey has been full of the recent murders of three Christians. It appears that five students staying at a religiously-based dorm got outraged by the missionary activity linked to a local Christian publishing house. So they decided to do something about it: torture and then murder a German missionary and two converted Turks associated with the publisher. The Turkish media is full of expressions of shock and anger that … [Read more...]

D’Souza Attacks Atheists

Dinesh D'Souza opens mouth and inserts foot essentially hijacking the Virginia Tech tragedy to attack atheism in general and Richard Dawkins in particular. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when he suggests that "we need something more than modern science." Clearly, following his latest disaster of a book in which he blames the secular state for the September 11 bombing, D'Souza is not keeping the first rule of holes firmly in mind. … [Read more...]

Clone Farms, Polygamy, and Pinkos

If recent history is any guide, expect the leaders of the religious right to blame the tragic shooting in Virginia yesterday on our so-called corrupt secular culture. In Adele Stan's fantastic summary of the recent "Reclaiming America for Christ" conference, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention said:“[A]ll the pinks,” Land said, “have become chartreuse; that’s the environmental crowd.” In an America run by “secularists,” Land’s hand-out reads, “[h]uman life would become more commoditiz … [Read more...]

“Intellectual diversity” in academia

Here's a sample of the occasional public pressure you get when you teach in a public university. The Missouri General Assembly will be debating a bill calling for "intellectual diversity." The full text is interesting enough, but the most important bit is:(e) Include intellectual diversity concerns in the institution's guidelines on teaching and program development and such concerns shall include but not be limited to the protection of religious freedom including the viewpoint that the Bible is … [Read more...]

Kurt Vonnegut dies

Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. Just after I griped about some things he's said recently. I feel bad. A great novelist and a great social critic; occasional griping aside, I will sorely miss him.The AHA has set up a web site for those who would like to make a contribution in Vonnegut's memory. … [Read more...]

Pat Robertson’s continuing influence on the Bush administration

Complementing Jim Still's post about "The Family," Ed Brayton writes at Dispatches from the Culture Wars about how Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School, a 4th-tier law school barely half of whose graduates pass the bar exam, has managed to be the source of at least 150 appointees to the Bush administration. Perhaps the fact that Bush appointed former Regent University law school dean Kay Coles James as the director of the Office of Personnel Management has something to do with it?Not … [Read more...]

Update on “The Family”

Hullabalo provides a fantastic update on the intriguing story of The Family, the secretive fundamentalist group that organizes the National Prayer Breakfast and enjoys a powerful influence over U.S. national leaders. … [Read more...]

The study without a prayer

According to Bruce Flamm, long-time critic of one of the best known studies that claimed real effects due to intercessory prayer, further reasons to be dubious of the study authors' work has surfaced, in the form of one being caught in plagiarism.In summary, the man who designed and supposedly conducted the prayer study resides in federal prison, and the man originally listed as lead author admits he knows nothing about the alleged research. The only remaining author has now been charged with … [Read more...]


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