Back from the Rectory

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, and, of course, my greatest thanks are reserved for Deacon Michael who generously spent two hours chatting with me yesterday.  I really appreciated both his candor and his enthusiasm.  It's always so encouraging to see people who are energized by disagreement and conversation, rather than frightened of it.I'm not going to do a beat by beat recap of our discussion for a variety of reasons.  The primary one is that I have a policy of only attributing … [Read more...]

Chatting with a Catholic Deacon tonight… what should I ask?

The deacon at the local parish has been kind enough to set aside some time to chat with me tonight.  I'm not having a debate, but a conversation.  I've been reading plenty of apologetics and having debates of my own, but I was planning to have this be a less academic-themed discussion.The main question I'd like to discuss is what sustains him in his faith.  I'm curious as to whether it's mostly the kind of academic/philosophical ideas that I've been discussing here or the more experiential th … [Read more...]

Two quick stories about Santa and Empiricism

I really appreciate the personal stories that were shared in the comments thread of yesterday's post on Santa Claus.  I'm going to be returning to some of the more philosophical issues that were raised tomorrow in my Weatherwax Wednesday post (luckily enough, Terry Pratchett wrote an entire book about the Discworld analogue of Santa, so I've got some great passages to draw on).  For today, I thought I'd just share two stories about my own experiences with Santa growing up.The E … [Read more...]

Is Santa Claus a Bad Influence on Christian Children?

Thanks to everyone for the lively discussion on last week's post which necessitated a follow-up and set an agenda for upcoming posts.  As always, if you'd like to respond to a Monday Call to Arms in longer form as a guest blogger, please email me at leah (dot) libresco (at) yale (dot) edu. --- In my more cynical moments, I sometimes think Santa Claus is God’s greatest gift to atheists.I don’t that mean in the usual, anti-materialist way. The commercialization of Santa Claus is a symptom of … [Read more...]

Your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins

Thanks all for your comments on last week's post on standards of evidence (extraordinary and otherwise). As always, if you'd like to respond to a Monday Call to Arms in longer form as a guest blogger, please email me at leah (dot) libresco (at) yale (dot) edu. The highlighted comment from last week comes from No Forbidden Questions:If you asserted to me that you drive a Honda, I'd probably believe you with ultimately very little in the way of supporting evidence -- a photo (which could be … [Read more...]

Lessons in the Lacunae: The Omitted Scripture

While looking up the readings for this week's Mass in the Catholic liturgical calendar, I noticed that the Old Testament readings skipped around in the chosen chapters. I've looked up these omissions before, and usually the gap is just an irrelevant sidenote (a timestamp for the event, some geographical digression, etc). However, this week the meaning of the passage is distorted by the edit. (passage below, cut sections in bold) 7 Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king of … [Read more...]


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