There’s a lot I like about being a public historian. I get to work directly with the survivals of the past, both artifacts and documents, rather than what people have written about them. I reach a much broader swath of the population than I would at a university. I only teach a few “lessons,” but even at a modest sized museum I can reach thousands of “students.” But then there a things like this: Fight erupts over George Washington cherry… Read more

Pastor John Mark Comer asks “What is Sex?” (If you have to ask …) Oy. It’s nice to see someone go against the erotophobia in contemporary Christian culture. Taking a high view of sex might be more successful in making the “sex only in marriage” argument – might be, but probably won’t. Some observations: 1. I’ve come to realize that the “biblical” is just a signifier of approval within the subculture. It does not mean that the concept is spelled… Read more

Weird week, and it’s only Tuesday. First we find out from Nate Phelps that his father Fred is extremely ill and has been “excommunicated” from his own church: As for the question of whether we picket his funeral or not, my vote is no. Being more humane than Fred Phelps is a pretty low bar, and if we can’t clear that we’re screwed. Next we find out that Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, now regrets his entry into the marriage… Read more

(via Balloon Juice) My guess is he tried the green beer. Read more

Every revolution spawns a counter-revolution. That’s as close to an iron-clad law of history as you can get. So after the successes of the marriage equality movement, it’s no surprise that there’s a backlash. The “religious freedom” laws that many states have attempted are a good example. But probably more indicative are the moderates who now seem to think that maybe things have gone to far, and maybe the proponents of gay marriage should be, y’know, more civil. Once again,… Read more

Here to prove that no disaster is so bad that it can’t be used for a little self promotion, Uri Geller is getting into the search for the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370: Psychic Uri Geller called in to help find Malaysia Airlines plane by “significant figure” Psychic spoon-bender Uri Geller today revealed he has been asked to help find the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft. Almost a week after the flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board, the famous psychic… Read more

A Fox affiliate station in Oklahoma City broke into their presentation of the new Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson to show a nonessential update on coming news stories. SNAFU, right? Some of my local stations can’t seem to figure out how to get those little segments timed right either. But this little slip just happened to occur when Tyson first began to talk about human evolution. One viewer named Adam Bates caught and recorded the interruption: Tyson goes from pointing… Read more

I’ve been following the saga of Bryan College. Due to outside pressure from the likes of Ken Ham and other creationists, Bryan College issued a clarification of its mandatory Statement of Belief so that it spelled out a literal belief in Adam and Eve. It’s become a thing in the media, and you can see reactions from our neighbors Fred Clark and Peter Enns. A number of the articles I’ve read includes a line like this one from Christianity Today:… Read more

Hector Avalos, the biblical scholar calling for an end to biblical studies, occasionally posts over at Debunking Christianity. His latest two posts expand on a debate he had with pastor and apologist Rev. Juan Valdes. The debate was over the scientific accuracy of Genesis 1-3, and now both men are answering questions and drawing out arguments. Avalos’ major point is that apologists do not understand the texts they’re dealing with, nor the way that scholars interpret them: Briefly, the Achilles’… Read more

Russell Crowe film ‘Noah’ edited to appease Christians upset by ‘historical inaccuracies’” “historical inaccuracies” … *eyetwitch* Writing on his blog last year, Answers In Genesis president Ken Ham noted that the film’s script “is not at all faithful to the biblical account in Genesis.” Ham believes the trailer for the film is “a Hollywood con” designed to lure unsuspecting Jews and Christians to witness “an unbiblical production.” He lists the many ways in which the film does not accurately reflect… Read more

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