How is an atheist group like a bridge club?

good without god

In yesterday's Sunday Review section of The New York Times, Susan Jacoby had an essay titled "The Blessings of Atheism."  She's tackling the perceived absense of atheists and secular philosophy in moments of crisis.  Here's an excerpt, but my critique is about something missing in the piece, so you'd better read the whole thing to be fair. One major problem is the dearth of secular community institutions. But the most powerful force holding us back is our own reluctance to speak, particularly at … [Read more...]

The Criminal Justice System, Touched by Radical Forgiveness

scales justice

In today's NYT Magazine, there's an amazing story about forgiveness and the criminal justice system. Conor McBride shot his longtime girlfried Ann Grosmaire, and, after her death, her parents kept up their relationship with him. Four days later, Ann’s condition had not improved, and her parents decided to remove her from life support. Andy says he was in the hospital room praying when he felt a connection between his daughter and Christ; like Jesus on the cross, she had wounds on her head and ha … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (1/4/13)

dna proposal

--- 1 --- Jen Fulwiler of Conversion Diary (who runs this blog carnival) was in the hospital yesterday with two pulmonary embolisms, and treatment is complicated, since she's pregnant.  Happily, she was discharged last night and is stable enough to be treated/monitored at home.  If you're part of the religious subset of readers for the blog, please keep her in your prayers.And, if you're looking for someone to pray to, Jen keeps a random saint generator running, so you can learn more about t … [Read more...]

Let’s have a Math-Theology Bookclub!

naming infinity

Guys, my life is really really wonderful right now.  I just found out about the existence of Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity, and my cup runneth over.  Here's an excerpt from the review in The New Republic. The Name Worshippers of Mount Athos had been shut down. What mattered most were the defiant interruptions to the angry sermon of Archbishop Nikon of Vologda, who had marched into the monastery courtyard behind the troops. “You mistakenly believ … [Read more...]

Two Terrible Ways to Have Sex


Eaton of Growing up Goddy has written a much needed jeremiad against a poisonous strain in our rhetoric about sex and consent.  From his essay: In the world I was raised in, most junior high, high school, and perhaps even college students were unlikely to give explicit consent -- even though they were willingly having sex. I don't just mean girls, either -- both men and women in that environment had the lessons of immorality, temptation, and so on drilled into them. Sex was treated as a … [Read more...]

Help Me Keep A New Year’s Resolution

dnd character sheet

New Year's is a time for cached thoughts.   When people ask about resolutions, my first thoughts are "Should I be not eating something?  Or doing cardio?"  We tend to run down the list of cliche resolutions and decide which we should take on.  The standard resolutions may not be particularly well-tailored to you, but it's about as hard to ignore the defaults as to not think of an elephant.So, I have a wacky workaround.  Instead of thinking of disciplines to take on (we tend to grade New Year … [Read more...]

Mormon Enthusiasm for the Self-Made Man

god who weeps

I received a free review copy of The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life as part of the Patheos Book Club.I'm glad to have read The God Who Weeps, since, even in the midst of all the Romney controversy, there's been very little discussion of Mormon theology.  Reporters prefer to cover the Temple rituals because they're secret, and therefore must be interesting.  The Book of Mormon musical prompted some error-checking, but not very many details about what would have been the co … [Read more...]