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...]

William Lane Craig and I (briefly) Agree!

P.Z. Myers has a post up lambasting Christian apologist William Lane Craig for his defense of genocides in the Old Testament.  Here's the damning paragraph: Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God's grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven's incomparable joy. Therefore, God does … [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 technically pr … [Read more...]


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