Eight Questions for Atheists

The Discovery Institute's Michael Egnor has posted eight questions as a challenge to New Atheists.  I've been a little overwhelmed for the past two weeks in rehearsals for the production of Iolanthe I'm co-directing, so I'm going to adopt these questions as a new posting sequence while I'm in rehearsal, and I'll be answering the questions out of order, depending on how much time I have each day. Eight Questions for Atheists Why is there anything? What caused the Universe? (plus bonus … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (10/21/10)

--1-- I've been terribly deficient w/r/t blogging this week, so I pledge to make it up by posting this weekend (especially the promised response to Peter Somerville's criticism of my post on the (im)morality of drone strikes). For today, I shall fill out the remainder of my seven takes with paired posts. --2-- Disappointing Democrats  (Part 1) Like pretty much everyone in the atheist blogosphere, I'm extremely upset by the new attack ad that Democrat Jack Conway is running against Rand … [Read more...]

Two Debates that aren’t about Religion

Unfortunately, I won't have time to do an appropriate post for Unequally Yoked today, but I thought I'd mention two other debates I'm embroiled in: I've written a piece for the Huffington Post titled "Yale Daily News Wrong to Condemn Outrage in Response to Sexism."  The whole controversy started when frat pledges marched around campus chanting "No means YES!  Yes means ANAL!"  Here's a preview of my take: The YDN editorial board puts the onus of defusing the controversy on the people who … [Read more...]

Bishop Robinson’s God of Low Expectations

I'm a huge proponent of Dan Savage's It Gets Better project, but Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson's upload really rubbed me the wrong way.  I'm holding my comments til after the video, so watch it before you scroll down so I don't bias your reaction further. Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Bishop Robinson is centering his message on "God loves you as you are, so you don't need to change?" It makes sense to say that God wants a better life for you, but can Robinson really … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (10/15/10)

--1-- Hands down, my favorite post in religious blogging this week was Julian Sanchez's post on the problem of an omnipotent God: Ned Resnikoff ponders the question. It seems to me that the answer is clearly “no,” but for a reason Ned doesn’t actually offer: It would require a good deal less than omnipotence to make a human perceptual system experience any demonstration of omnipotence you might care to suggest. So we might imagine God zipping you back to the dawn of creation so you can … [Read more...]

What brought me here, what brought you here

This is the 100th post since I started blogging here in the middle of June, so I'm giving a quick reflection on how this has been going for me, and I'd really appreciate any feedback from readers, lurkers or otherwise. I started blogging about religion as a way to have arguments about religion with people who are not my boyfriend, since I didn't think it was fair to him or Catholicism to have him be my only source for knowledge about Catholic theology.  I thought it would be useful when I … [Read more...]

Mixed Salad and Separate Cultures

Still working on a paper, still making short, standalone posts.  Gevalt. This week, the New York Times Magazine supplement was entirely about food, and, although as a college student with a meal plan I am singularly uninterested in cooking, one of the articles caught my eye.  Food writer Frank Bruni tries to understand the success of the Basil Pizza and Wine Bar in a Hasidic neighborhood of New York City. Bruni marvels at the Basil's ability to attract Hasids, West Indian immigrant, … [Read more...]

Chesterton’s Unlikely Heirs

Still trying to finish a paper, so again with the potpourri posts I've never heard a song by the band Insane Clown Posse, and, until yesterday, all I knew of them was that people who opened for them at concerts tended to be assaulted by their thuggish fans and that the duo's promotion of Faygo soda was discouraged by the owner of the brand. And then, I found out they were secret Christians. According to an interview in the Guardian, the two rappers are Evangelical Christians, and have … [Read more...]

Confused by today’s readings

I'm still in the middle of a series of posts on sin and immorality (and planning to respond to Peter Somerville's questions about my post on drone strikes) but, unfortunately, I have a paper and a song to finish before class tomorrow, so I'll have to wait a little on those posts. In the meantime, I'd love to know if any Christians (or particularly well-informed atheists) can explain something that perplexed me during the readings at Mass today.  Rather than paraphrase, I'll include the … [Read more...]

Dirty Hands and Drone Strikes

This post is one in a series on sin and immortality.  You can read the entire series of linked posts here. During the Vietnam war, the Army was responsible for training new draftees for combat.  Recruits were trained to aim their guns by practicing with bulls-eye shaped targets.  Although the men met the standards for marksmanship in training, when they went abroad, only about 20 percent fired their guns in combat, even when they were under fire. Although the men were … [Read more...]