January 14, 2019

Here are some gems from the recently published  ‘New And Improved Evangelical Play Book’ Preach love of enemies but never do it. Advise forgiveness of enemies but never do it. Avoid bible passages like Micha loving mercy. Avoid bible passages like Jesus forbidding divorce. Avoid bible passages like Christ exalting the poor. Avoid bible passages like Paul’s command to veil all Christian women. Admire millionaire pastors living in gated communities. Claim to be ‘non-denominational’ as if that’s not just another denomination (out… Read more

January 12, 2019

In a dream I saw Franklin Graham deliver this sermon: ” It is very clear that God loves Donald Trump because Donald Trump became the president. It’s fairly clear that God dod not love Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders quite as much, since they did not win the presidency—maybe because they are not flawed enough, not great enough sinners to be loved and used by God. It’s extremely clear to any Bible reader that God used men of questionable morality… Read more

January 6, 2019

Suppose the idea of God only just now dawned on humans and had never existed before now. Suppose someone just floated the idea of a God for the first time today. What kind of God would such a person conjure? I witnessed this conjuration in a Japanese man I met ten years ago. I was living in Tokyo with my family for two years and I felt some wonder that many Japanese have no idea of God, and I broached… Read more

December 26, 2018

We all aspire to be precise speakers. And therefore we must all agree to detest most uses of the sentence, ‘Thanks for having me.’ There are many proper responses to a statement indicating gratitude toward us. But ‘Thanks for having me’ is seldom a fit answer. As an example, let’s imagine that I appear on the set of a TV or radio show and I am to be interviewed.  The host says to me, ‘Thank you for coming.’ Here are… Read more

December 15, 2018

Jordan Peterson dodges the God question and he does it unartfully. The question is put simply to Peterson by an off-screen interviewer in a May 2017 YouTube video:  ‘Do you believe in God?’  Peterson might have simply answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘I’m not sure.’ But he performs a classic liberal theological sidestep, redefining his terms. If you are unaware, liberal theological types re-define religious terms so as to make the terms more palatable to themselves. Here’s an example of… Read more

December 14, 2018

Mercy me. The wrong people are getting damned here. It’s the peculiar opinion of any Proselytizing Religion that those who disbelieve are damned. Wouldn’t vice versa make more sense? If an evangelist for a Proselytizing Religion is incapable of convincing someone of the truth of his religion, shouldn’t the evangelist be the one who gets damned? Damned for what? Damned for being un-persuasive, damned for being un-convincing, damned for being un-impressive, damned for being in-effective. If a Proselytizing Religion possesses a… Read more

November 6, 2018

Your moral hero advises, nay, commands that you love your enemies.  ‘Would that include political enemies?’ you fearfully ask your moral hero.  Your moral hero replies, ‘Yes, political enemies too.’ Here you might abandon your moral hero on the spot as a strange subject for moral veneration, as an oddball, as an inveterate dreamer. Or you might stick with your moral hero, even in these flights of impracticable perfectionist ethics. You decide to stick with your moral hero. You think… Read more

November 1, 2018

This is a short piece because it’s heavy and you’ll have to go into your well of solitude and ponder it.   Religions moralize mental assent, making belief a criterion of merit and disbelief a criterion of demerit. Belief gets saved and unbelief gets damned.   Here are three reasons why Humanists disagree with the moralizing of our mental life:   Action is subject to moral judgment but thought is not subject to moral judgment. It is the essence of… Read more

October 14, 2018

The idea of a punishing God is prehistoric and ubiquitous in human ecology, and it is still with us. In the hunt-and-peck days of prehistory, when aboriginal peoples everywhere conceived of the world as animated by innumerable spirits and sprites and souls—many of these imagined invisible entities required pacification. And if the Invisibles were not pacified, they punished humans. Punished them how? With bad luck, with lack of crops, lack of scaled fish, lack of feathered fowl and leathering cow,… Read more

October 3, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh was educated by Catholic Jesuit priests. They may  have taught young Brett how to practice moral casuistry, since the Jesuits were once known for such a thing. Morality is not mere rulekeeping in the casuist view. There are moral rules of thumb, yes. But any given circumstance can provide mitigating events that make moral rules moot. ‘Don’t steal’ is a good rule of thumb but it’s not a moral absolute when we can imagine permissible scenarios that would… Read more

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