Christians, Mormons, and Polytheism

"We represent the rise of something Christian leaders thought they had vanquished long ago, and we should never forget that initial vanquishing involved the sword far more than persuasion." - Gus diZerega At the beginning of this year influential conservative evangelical Christian, and former presidential candidate, Gary Bauer engaged in a “thought experiment” for USA Today. The conclusion of this experiment was that voters should  ”support policies that align with their values,”except in once instance. “I wouldn’t vote for a pagan, I’d vote for a Catholic or a Jew whose policies reflect the traditional understanding of marriage and defend the sanctity of human life much more readily than I … [Read more...]

The Problem with Mount Carmel Moments

When one faith is dominant in a culture, it can sometimes lead to weird things being celebrated as positive moments. For example, certain Christians love to reference Elijah's challenge to the worshipers of Ba'al and Asherah on Mount Carmel. Being an exemplar of intolerant monotheism, Elijah hated the idea that other (false) gods were being worshiped in Israel, so he issued a showdown, a challenge between his God and their gods. "Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under. And call ye on the name o … [Read more...]

Watching Tennis (A Short Essay on Religious Conversion)

Some people love watching the sport of tennis, but I am not one of them. This should in no way reflect on that no-doubt fine sport, the talented people who play it, and the fans of said talented athletes. I'm sure it's a deficiency on my part, nobody's perfect, right? Similarly, I just can't get too worked up over the ongoing theist-atheist tennis match, the way some read so much meaning into every "point" scored by each side, how "heroes" and "villains" are created, how "experts" in the commentary box try to explain how one point was more devastating than another point, or how one player's career is on the decline. Worst of all is when a prominent player on one "team" decides to switch … [Read more...]

Quick Notes: Hindu Education, Pagan Alliance Festival, A Polytheist’s View of Christianity

Just a few quick news notes for you this Sunday.A Hindu Education: While there are a growing number of Hindu temples and house of worship in the United States, it can still be hard for American Hindus to find a place to practice their religion. Even more frustrating is when there is a local temple, but its teachings don't line up with your own beliefs. Religion News Service reports on how some Hindus are getting together to provide religious education for their children, mixing tradition with views that can be more progressive than is found in some temples."At a Hindu temple, the religious leaders might be defensive about an issue like caste, said Manjusha Kulkarni, the executive … [Read more...]