7 Quick Takes (7/16/10)


Hello, visitors from Jen’s Conversion Diary!  If you’d like a quick introduction to this blog, you may want to check out yesterday’s post giving a preview of upcoming topics inspired by back and forth with the commenters.  Soon to come: why God is not like a hurricane!  Why morality is kind of like a hypercube!  Hope you stick around for the discussion.


I’ve got a new opinion piece up on the Huffington Post today titled “The Only Law of Facebook is Fatwa” on the strange evolution of standards for free speech online.  A preview quote from the piece:

“The traditional defense of censorship by corporation is that those who don’t like the terms and conditions are free to take their business elsewhere. But, as the endless arguments about Facebook’s privacy policies make clear, leaving a social network isn’t like switching carriers for your cell phone. It’s more like giving up the phone all together.”


Patheos, a religion portal, is running a special feature on The Future of Religion.  Every week, writers from a particular faith tradition discuss their history and what’s to come.  Some of the essays are hit or miss, but it’s worth keeping your eye on this summer.  Up next week: Catholicism!


I can’t leave you without a math link this week, so check out the wikipedia explanation of the Hairy Sphere Theorem.  It is every bit as interesting as it sounds, and the lower dimensional examples are easy to visualize.


There’s been some talk about whether Christianity can be self-justifying, but I think most of us can agree that some sects of Christianity that are self-refuting.  The Cornerstone Church has established what they are calling the Man Church.

Man Church is church the way a man expects it to be done. No singing, short sermon, time to talk with other guys, no women present, and coffee and donuts. That’s the way men want to do church. The topics of discussion will have a definite manly focus – being the best possible husband, father, employee, leader – being a real man. In fact, every aspect of Man Church is geared for men – not like any other church you have seen. This ain’t your mama’s church!

Do the organizers not realize that this is a profound insult to Christianity and as well as to men?  I’m all for the soft sell, but if you haven’t got anything more compelling than free eats, your religion is in for some troubles.  Most attempts to ‘popularize’ Christianity seem to work by dumbing it down, and privileging its social aspects over its spiritual ones.  In the long run, this type of conversion doesn’t take.


After all that ribbing, I do want to single out one church for kudos.  The pastor at the Hill Country Bible Church is making an admirable effort to critically engage his flock and all comers.  He’s asked people to submit the questions that “stop your faith in his tracks” and then builds up sermons around them.  The site for questions is on hiatus due to heavy traffic, so, to read the full details, check out the write up at Common Sense Atheism.

Bravo to Pastor Bobby Pruitt!  If Christianity is true, it should be able to handle questions with more than proffered snack platters.  Well done.


Final reminder: Don’t forget to submit your posts to the Humanist Symposium. I’ll be hosting it next weekend, and I’d love to feature your writing!

[Seven Quick Things is a blog carnival run by Jen of Conversion Diary]

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  • http://jojosmom.livejournal.com/ jojosmom

    Hi there, I saw you at Mark Shea's blog (Catholic and Loving It) and decided to check out yours. Nice work! I'm Catholic, but one of my best friends in college was an atheist, and we had some really terrific conversations. See you around!Elisa

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10019240793982424774 Christian H

    Ughh. I once read a blog about being a RealMan (written like that), and it was sickening. Commenters were talking about keeping their guns handy as a response to the new health care reforms down in the States. I was silly enough to try and talk some pacifism into them, but I'm not sure how much good it did.I mean, come on. Jesus weeps. He makes bread (miraculously, mind you). The early church was financially backed by wealthy women, maybe business owners. There's lots of stuff in there which makes this whole manly-man church premise a bit awkward. Also, since when do men not want women around? That's where most Christian guys I know go to meet girls. And why is wanting a short sermon a guy thing? And lots of dudes like singing, if it's a decent song!Phah.