A meal plus an extended argument? Seders are the best!

Last night, my housemates and I threw a by-the-seat-of-our-pants Seder.  It's the first one I've ever been to (assuming watching Shari Lewis's on TV didn't count).  And plenty of it was un-orthodox (small o) starting with what we had standing in for a lamb shank on the Seder plate.Our Seder party was about evenly split between Christians and Jews, and the Christians tended to be more theistic than some of the Jews, which prompted the following (paraphrased) exchange between the Seder leader a … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (4/6/12)

--- 1 --- Easter is coming, and I've had a link stored up for a long time that I've been practically bursting to share with you all.io9 has a nice explanation of the physics of this trick.  Once you fill a hollow egg with hydrogen gas and wave a match over the top: It burns like a very ineffective gas lamp for a while, showing little flame, while the hydrogen leaks out the top. The egg, for a while, remains unscathed. The column of hydrogen leaking out the top is exposed to oxygen, … [Read more...]

Q&A on Mormon Priesthood (Part 2)

Now that Michael's given us an overview of the Mormon priesthood and answered some of my questions about how the priesthood relates to gender and transfiguration of spirit, I think we've all got enough background to go on to weirder and wonkier questions.  Again, my questions are in bold, his answers follow, and he's not to be blamed for the illustrations.Q: At various points in the history of Christianity, monks and ascetics were seen as particularly holy because they withdrew … [Read more...]

Q&A on Mormon Priesthood (Part 1)

As a follow-up to Michael Haycock's clarification of what it means to be a Mormon priest or bishop, I did a two-part Q&A about Mormon theology, hierarchy, and culture. My questions are in bold, his answers follow, and he has no culpability for my choice of pictures.Q: Why is the Melchizedek Priesthood reserved to men? Are there any roles reserved to women? Hoo boy. The first question is a loaded one, because it cuts to the quick of the issue of Mormonism and gender, on which you might … [Read more...]

Romney’s a Priest? What does that mean?

Via the Daily Dish, I found an article by Howard P. Kainz, that argues that the media's relative comfort with Romney's religion is proof that most Americans don't consider Mormons to be real Christians.  Here's a pull quote: [T]he fact that Mitt Romney, the first Mormon candidate for the presidency in our nation’s history, is not only a bishop in the LDS church but a High Priest of the highest echelon (the "order of Melchizedek") within that religion, and is not being opposed because of the "s … [Read more...]

I’m Speaking in DC!

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.What's the best way to spend Pi Day (March 14th)?  Arguably eating the Venn Piagram pictured above, but luckily that choice doesn't rule out coming to a theatre talkback I'll be leading that night!Theatre J is reviving its stellar production of New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza and, after the 7:30 show on March 14th, I'll be moder … [Read more...]

The Other Contraception Mandate Fight

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I'm one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.I do want to do a substantive post on the contraceptive mandate later in the week, but, to set the stage, I want to talk about the conscience objection for pharmacists first..  Since we haven't all been having this argument to death (at least not recently), maybe it can give us a better lead-in to the more topical fight.A federal judge in Washington … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X