The Idiotic Interfaith 9/11 Backlash

I know I promised a scifi vs fantasy post next, but I’m delaying it for one that is timely and a little more germane to this blog.A model of interfaith outreachToday, the hullabaloo over the exclusion of religious figures from New York City’s 9/11 memorial service made the front page of The New York Times. Scrolling through my ‘Religion’ folder in Google Reader, I’m still seeing post after post from Christians expressing outrage. Let me try to address some of the reactions … [Read more...]

Sneaky Critiques

With so many reasons to oppose Rick Santorum's candidacy, I'm disappointed at the justification offered by one commenter at The Daily Dish.  S/he wrote: This is only a half-formed idea, but as I watched Santorum engage the Penn State students, I couldn't help but wonder if candidate Santorum is really bad for Catholics. He seems to be suggesting that he's been persecuted for his dogmatic following of the Church's teachings. Nevermind that a thinking person and someone trying to be the leader of … [Read more...]

The Merits of the WTC Cross Suit

My last post about American Atheists's lawsuit over the World Trade Center cross has bifurcated in the comments section.  I want to take this post to split of the questions about the legal merits of the case from the question of whether it is wrong for the American Atheists to bring the suit, even if they think the law has been broken.  So, a quick disclaimer: this kind of law (and most kinds of law) are not my area of expertise, I'm mostly asking questions below.  Answers welcome.  (Answers with … [Read more...]

Serve a Paper and Sue Me

I wasn't planning to post about the the suit American Atheists has filed to prevent a cross-shaped piece of the World Trade Center from being displayed at the eventual memorial.  After reading a host of conflicting articles and commentaries, I still don't think I have a good enough grasp of the facts of the case (or the law) to guess where the merits of the case lie.And (I'll admit it) I was mostly keeping quiet in an effort not to prolong the story's coverage in the news cycle.  Whether or n … [Read more...]

My New Favorite Pope… Clement XI!  Why, you ask?  Simply put, he is responsible for my favorite application to date of overwhelming theocratic power.  You may remember, several weeks ago, I mentioned in a Quick Take that I was delighted that Rinderpest, a viral disease infecting cattle, had been wiped from the face of the earth.  It is only the second disease in history to be deliberately eradicated by humans (small pox was the first).When I originally posted about the Rinderpest victory, I as … [Read more...]

Why and How They Hate Us

Last week's post "Trying to Love My Enemies" ended up generating a comment thread that was more focused on how people became my enemies than discussion of how best to seek their good.  A number of Christians raised questions about what was signified by the reluctance of most Americans to vote for an atheist and whether my aggrieved feelings were merited.Poll numbers alone make it hard to suss out the feelings and motivations of the respondents, and some Christian commenters seemed concerned t … [Read more...]

Covenant marriage isn’t suited to Christians

This post is part of a series on covenant marriage.For Catholics and theologically conservative Christians, there is no difference between a covenant marriage and the standard form.  In either case, the marriage is sealed as a promise between both spouses but also as a promise between the couple and God. Although the couple could release each other from the commitment they have made to each other, the marriage cannot be dissolved unless God, through his human agents, releases them from their … [Read more...]