The Strange Idea that Religion Evolved Towards Christianity

I tend to ignore Camp Catholic here at Patheos, and I daresay most of them are inclined to overlook that fact that this site is brimming with unapologetic capital-P, multiple-gods-worshiping, Pagans. Despite the fact that Catholics got most of their best bits from pre-Christian religion and culture, we tend to have a relationship that is less than cordial. In any case, I'm a live-and-let-live sort of guy, a peaceful polytheist content to serve my own community as best I can. However, every now and then someone waves a red flag in my general direction, yells "Toro," and I feel the need to respond. I mean, how can you not when you see a headline like this...Sadly, Marc "Bad Catholic" … [Read more...]

Tennessee’s “Monkey Bill” Becomes Law and other Pagan News of Note

Top Story: On Saturday, I wrote about the impending enaction of a bill in Tennessee that could require schools to “teach the controversy” of evolution and global warming. Opposed by the ACLU, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the Tennessee Science Teachers Association, it nonetheless was allowed to become law without the governor's signature on Tuesday."Republican Gov. Bill Haslam allowed the controversial measure to become law without his signature and, in a statement, expressed misgivings about it. Nevertheless, he ignored pleas from educators, parents and civil libertarians to veto the bill. The law does not … [Read more...]

Why Teaching “the Controversy” Means Teaching Christianity

For decades there has been a quiet war against the teaching of evolution in American science classes, fueled largely by conservative Christians who think the theory is heretical and flawed. Ever since the 1987 Supreme Court case Edwards v. Aguillard, teaching creationism alongside evolution in a federally-funded science class has been outlawed. The justices ruled that  "creation science" is an inherently Christian religious construct and would violate the Establishment Clause.  Since then, Christian activists have sought to find a loophole, most notoriously with the theory of "Intelligent Design," which was also exposed as an inherently religious invention. The past twenty years has been litt … [Read more...]