And what did you win with your death?

of_gods_and_men_0091

 There's a lot of interesting discussion happening in the comments of my post on More and martyrdom.  Yesterday, I highlighted a question Kewois asked about the moral choices that we don't notice,  and today I found another interesting question about More's act from Jubal DiGriz: Martyrdom in of itself is not a virtue. Moore’s unwillingness to bend and inability to transgress his own principles shouldn’t be what makes him a good man. What matters is what principles one is sacrificing fo … [Read more...]

A Martyr for All Seasons

Two weeks ago, I had an absolutely lovely time reading A Man for All Seasons out loud in a coffee shop with a new group of friends.  In what I hope was not type-casting, I read the part of Cromwell. (ok, it was probably type-casting).  I greatly enjoyed the play (though I'm now going to have to put aside all the very nice spiritual reading people have recommended or lent me, so I can reread Wolf Hall), and there was one exchange that particularly struck me, just after More resigns his position a … [Read more...]

“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...]

No ‘Healthy Outlet’ for Bad Habits

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I'm one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.This is part two of my response to Brian S. about my choice to give up free food during Lent.  The first focused on why I glommed on to Lent in the first place.  Now we're addressing the substance of the change I'm trying to make.  Brian wrote: I disagree [that the feeling of having cheated someone is a bad pleasure to cultivate], or at any rate don’t feel … [Read more...]

Yes, I only think in children’s books…

I ended up in a lot of conversations about forgiveness and whether hatred necessarily warps the character of the person doing the hating after I posted about my reaction to Osama bin Laden's death and the celebrations that followed.  I'd like to do a few posts trying to address why I think its necessary try to offer forgiveness and charity to the people we hate, both for their sake and ours, but, today, I just want to link back to two interesting examples of this problem in children's … [Read more...]

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thy heart be glad when he stumbleth (Proverbs 24:17).A friend of mine posted the passage above on facebook shortly after the announcement that Osama bin Laden had been assassinated in Pakistan, and it quickly went viral.  A lot of us were looking for a counter to the celebrations that broke out on campus, since it felt like there was something wrong with taking anyone's death, even Osama bin Laden's, as a cause for joy.  I was reminded of a p … [Read more...]


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