Unarmed Prophets Stuck in a Chinese Room

I received a comped copy of Alone with a Jihadist through Speakeasy.Aaron Taylor spent seven hours arguing with Irish convert to Islam Khalid Kelly as part of a documentary called Holy Wars.   After the debate was over, he was troubled by Kelly's conflation of religion and the state and endorsement of war as evangelization.  This book lays out his pacifistic theology.When I signed up to review this book, I though more of it would be focused on the debate itself, but the confrontation … [Read more...]

Turns out someone was actually converted by the LARPing strategy

Back in the archives of the Why I am Catholic repository of conversion stories comes this anecdote from convert-from-Paganism Libby Edwards: I also enjoyed comic books. (Bear with me; this will all tie together in a moment.) My favorite character was from The Uncanny X-Men, a blue, fuzzy mutant with a spaded tail and a penchant for swashbuckling with a sword. His name was Nightcrawler, and he was a devout Catholic--possibly the only devout Catholic to ever star in comic books. He was something … [Read more...]

Just Give Me One Good Reason Not to Change My Mind

Eli of Rust Belt Philosophy thinks my LARP Your Way to Truth advice is a snare and a delusion. Let me post some excerpts, but you should pop over and read the short takedown piece in full for fairness: To begin, I cannot begin to imagine why Libresco thinks that curiosity only happens in the context of suspended disbelief. Perhaps she herself has that sort of cognitive limitation - though I doubt it - but it's hardly something that the rest of us have to deal with. I also have a really hard … [Read more...]

For the 800th Post, a Blast from the Past

Hurrah!  And I'm even more delighted by the nearly 18,000 comments you lot have posted since this blog started in the summer of 2010.I've been going back through the archives, five posts a day, to finally fix the tags that got mangled in the Patheos move, and I found a preconversion 7 Quick Takes that I thought would be fun to rerun today.Take it away, past!Leah...I started this blog over the summer as a way to try to clarify my thoughts on religion and morality, especially after I … [Read more...]

Costuming Collapse

This week, I was working on making a new muslin draft of my corset pattern for my Dryad costume.  Unfortunately, once again the fit was quite off, so the test fit pictures are NSFW.  With Halloween drawing on apace, I'm caving and looking for a commercial pattern this week.  While I wait for it to arrive, I'll start working on  the mask (since I only need to run to a hardware store to pick up wire).  Next week you should expect a mask draft (hopefully a complete one!) and the arrival of the patt … [Read more...]

Who Can Blaspheme?

Today is International Blasphemy Rights Day, spearheaded by the Center for Inquiry.  It's pretty much Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, but with a broader focus.  I fully back CFI's fight against blasphemy laws (remember, just in the past few months, Alexander Aan and that girl in Pakistan).  I'm a little more dubious about the practical use of having people in the U.S. and other relatively free nations blaspheme as a way of drawing attention/funds to the fight against blasphemy laws.  But neither of … [Read more...]

Contra Pangloss et Oprah

I recieved a comped copy of Glorious Ruin as part of the Patheos Book Club.This may be a matter of taste, but I thought Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free was too peppy for a book on the theology of suffering.  I like small, tightly focused books, and I thought returning again and again to Job was an interesting idea, but there was a weird quality of breathlessness (and too many exclamation points) throughout.The best part of the book contrasted the Theology of Glory with the Theo … [Read more...]


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