“That his heels may kick at heaven”

now might I do it pat

Some time ago, Hemant Mehta asked "Where are the atheist fiction books?" and I was kind of baffled by the question.  There may not be many books where the atheism of the characters is a major plot point, but when I was growing up, most books I read had no reference to religion at all, so I tended to assume the characters were all atheists like me.  Even in books where characters go to church, there were seldom theological influences on the plot -- the church was just a public square where c … [Read more...]

Can Lethal Resistance be Loving?

I quite enjoyed reading Logan Mehl-Laituri's Reborn on the 4th of July for the Patheos Book Club this month.  Mehl-Laituri was weakly religious, but, while serving in the US Army, he became more deeply engaged with Christianity and ultimately decided that his newfound faith was incompatible with his job shooting people.It's obviously an emotional as well as an intellectual journey for Mehl-Laituri, but since I tend to be an unfeeling reader, wishing for a little less personality and a bit … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (7/6/12)

book binge

--- 1 --- My next post is going to be a contribution to the Patheos Book Club for Reborn on the 4th of July, a memoir by a soldier turned conscientious objector.  It's been delayed a little, since I had a couple topics I wanted to cover, so instead of one post, you're going to get enough to take us at least through Sunday.  In the meantime, you might want to review some of the things I've written on radical forgiveness, since I'm going to refer back to those posts.  (I think they also satisfy so … [Read more...]

Happy Higgs Day!

Today, all over America (land of science enthusiasts) fireworks will be set off in remembrance of the many particle collisions that it took to bring our observations of the decay products of the Higgs up above a five sigma confidence interval.  If you need a refresher or just haven't followed all this very closely, you'll definitely want to watch PhD Comics' animated explanation below (you'll want to see it full screen).The best print coverage I've seen so far today is, unsurprisingly, at … [Read more...]

Baby and Mommy and Mommy and Daddy

Rod Dreher is upset about a bill in California that would allow a child to have more than two parents in the eyes of the law.  (The double indent is Dreher quoting an article, followed by his comment in normal blockquote formatting).State Sen. Mark Leno is pushing legislation to allow a child to have multiple parents.“The bill brings California into the 21st century, recognizing that there are more than Ozzie and Harriet families today,” the San Francisco Democrat said....SB 1476 stem … [Read more...]

“Ethics is Like Physics” is total me-linkbait

The power is trickling back on.  Well, for now at any rate.  There's still a live utility pole a few blocks from my house that's apparently teetering over a gas station.  Sigh.  So as I work through my backlog of comments and email and promised replies, I've got another reading recommendation.Because, speaking of promised replies, Camels with Hammers had a really nice essay up titled "How Ethics Is More Like Physics Than Faith."  I'm not really in agreement with Dan's definition of fait … [Read more...]

In which my housemate writes a diss track

My housemate, Alexander, relyricized the union standard "The Ballad of Joe Hill" as a slam on Pepco, the energy company that's leaving us to languish in the dark.  DCist has picked it up, and has put out a call for local bands to submit covers.  The full lyrics are at the link, but there's a preview below.  And I promise to update you if any musicians answer the call. I dreamed I saw Pepco last night Driving down my street. “Thank God!” said I, “Our power’s down.” “It never died,” said he... … [Read more...]