Beliefs vs. Interests

I've been listening to an interview with Lawrence Wright about his new book examining Scientology, Going Clear (which grew out of his New Yorker article The Apostate which we've mentioned before). Wright is also the author of The Looming Tower, a Pullitzer winning history of Al-Qaeda.At the end of the interview, Wright is asked what he's learned about humanity over his career:I've been so struck by the power of belief to transform individuals in society for good or ill. I used to be … [Read more...]

Religion and Violence Monthly

The youtube contributor "ConversationsWithA" has been postin regular wrap-ups of news about religious violence, blasphemy cases, religious bigotry and other unpleasant religious news, all under the title of "What religion has contributed to the world this month." Here's mid-January through mid-February:!On one hand, "ConversationsWithA" claims that his channel is intended "to promote a positive view of atheism." This … [Read more...]

A Progressive Approach to the Problem of Evil

A couple of weeks ago, a blogger identifying herself as TXBlue08 had a post on CNN titled Why I Raise My Children Without God. It went viral, and it's now approaching 10,000 comments. You can read it for yourself - you probably already have - but it mostly boils down to the classic argument from evil: how can you believe in an all powerful and loving God when there is so much suffering in the world.Of course, no argument from evil could be complete until a progressive Christian shows up to … [Read more...]

Six Religious Cliches

Jessica at Ask an Islamist is a doctoral candidate in theology at Oxford, studying early Islam and Christianity. She recently took the time to vent about six cliches that crop up in discussions of religion (rather than the study of religions) that irritate her. It's a wonderful list:1.) “But isn’t the religion really about …”2.) “But what about [insert episode of violence here]?”3.) “I like faith, it’s all the dogma I have a problem with.”4.) “I’m just really not into organized religi … [Read more...]

Rowan Atkinson on Jesus’ First Miracle … [Read more...]