A Duty to Disclose?

I got into an argument in the comments section of Friendly Atheist's latest installment of Ask Richard (an atheist advice column).  An atheist wrote because his Catholic aunt and uncle had asked him to be the godfather to their child.  The letter writer thought they didn't know he was an atheist and wanted to know if he had an obligation to disclose his beliefs.  Richard advised the author to ask the relatives about what role they wanted him to play as godfather, and explain his atheism if they d … [Read more...]

Yes, I only think in children’s books…

I ended up in a lot of conversations about forgiveness and whether hatred necessarily warps the character of the person doing the hating after I posted about my reaction to Osama bin Laden's death and the celebrations that followed.  I'd like to do a few posts trying to address why I think its necessary try to offer forgiveness and charity to the people we hate, both for their sake and ours, but, today, I just want to link back to two interesting examples of this problem in children's … [Read more...]

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thy heart be glad when he stumbleth (Proverbs 24:17).A friend of mine posted the passage above on facebook shortly after the announcement that Osama bin Laden had been assassinated in Pakistan, and it quickly went viral.  A lot of us were looking for a counter to the celebrations that broke out on campus, since it felt like there was something wrong with taking anyone's death, even Osama bin Laden's, as a cause for joy.  I was reminded of a p … [Read more...]

William Lane Craig and I (briefly) Agree!

P.Z. Myers has a post up lambasting Christian apologist William Lane Craig for his defense of genocides in the Old Testament.  Here's the damning paragraph: Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God's grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven's incomparable joy. Therefore, God does … [Read more...]

In Which I Feel Like a Heel

This Easter season, I made it to two days of the Triduum: Maundy Thursday and Easter Vigil. (Since I couldn’t make it to Friday evening services, I went to Tenebrae with my boyfriend instead). The Easter Vigil was lovely, even if my boyfriend was so tired as a result of exams that his mom and I had to keep a close eye on him whenever he was holding a lit candle.Maundy Thursday was a little less pleasant. I had gone last year and had an awkward moment since I hadn’t checked ahead of time whe … [Read more...]

Two Fights to Pick On Homosexuality

I've heard two major types of Christian arguments against homosexuality (or, more precisely, against acting on a homosexual orientation).  I find both unpersuasive, and I thought I'd close out this series inspired by Christiopher Yuan by explaining why I don't buy the arguments and why I think one of them is never worth making to non-Christians.It is Bad because God forbids it. God asks people to do a lot of strange things, especially in the Old Testament.  At the most horrifying end of the … [Read more...]

The Trap of Numbness and Self-Satisfaction

I've still been thinking about some of the questions we've been picking over in the discussion of David Brook's new book and attempts to alter personality/moral character through pharmacology.  I'm sure some of my friends are delighted to find that there are transhumanist ideas I'm uncomfortable with, and I've been trying to nail down why.To refresh your memory, Tristyn asked: What if there was a drug that made you kinder, more charitable, more forgiving? Let's say even that it has some … [Read more...]