Monthly archive February, 2005

Simpsons: Godless, Gay, or (Gasp) Both?

Sharlet: Last week The Simpsons‘ Springfield went gay, but before that, The Simpsons was a Christian show. Well, sort of. Christianity Today dubbed Homer’s okily-dokily neighbor, Ned Flanders, St. Ned, for his scrubbed-clean Christianity, John Ashcroft is said to be a fan of The Gospel According to the Simpsons, and pastors across the English-speaking world use the show as a source of pop...

New Noonan

Peggy Noonan enters the god-blogosphere, kindof, writing her weekly Wall Street Journal column “blog-style,” and inviting readers to guess the theme connecting her musings on Hunter Thompson’s death (“an occasion for compassion” and “a sense of universal idiocy”); Hillary Clinton’s religious reference-dropping; and her pick for “patron saint of the internet” (St. Joseph Cupertino, described...

Halachic Ruling on Disengagement

Rabbi Shaul Bar-Ilan, writing for the Council of Rabbis of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, has issued a halachic opininion, charging that police and soldiers who carry out the evacuation of Jewish settlements will be committing 14 biblical sins, including the humiliation of orphans, widows and converts; theft; kidnapping; the destruction of synagogues and...

Cosmic Therapist

A new survey released by the National Study of Youth and Religion (led by UNC sociologist Christian Smith) finds that a majority of American teens believe in God, stick to their parents’ faith, and attend worship services on at least a semi-regular basis. Follow-up interviews, however, found that the teens’ understanding of religion was so...

Scout Appeal

A Michigan atheist, John Scalise, is appealing to the Supreme Court to review a ruling that allows Boy Scout recruitment posters inside schools. Scalise argues that the Scouts discriminate against nonreligious boys and parents and the schools are therefore sponsoring religious discrimination. In 1997, Scalise volunteered to be a troop leader when his son joined...

Council for National Policy

Gadflyer contributor Sarah Posner delivers a thorough investigation of the Council for National Policy (CNP), the little-known but high-powered conservative organization founded by Left Behind author Tim LaHaye in 1981. It’s been described by Donald Rumsfeld as “the heart of a great conservative movement”; by Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) as “the most influential gathering of...

I’ve Been Sanctified…

“‘When a young man and a young woman give in to Satan, when they strip down like animals in the wild and prepare themselves for a lusty round of heavy petting and full-blown sex, what better reminder for them to buck up than a WWJD condom?'” Buck up, Reverend? Ouch. Even The Revealer can’t quite bring itself...

Little White Stones

In the second installment of a three-part series on the place of religion in Europe, Peter Ford of The Christian Science Monitor finds "waves of spirituality" in the "secular ocean" that is the continent of Europe. Among these new wave-makers, Ford notes some violent, "noisy" types: radical Muslims who bombed the trains in...

I've Been Sanctified…

“‘When a young man and a young woman give in to Satan, when they strip down like animals in the wild and prepare themselves for a lusty round of heavy petting and full-blown sex, what better reminder for them to buck up than a WWJD condom?'” Buck up, Reverend? Ouch. Even The Revealer can’t quite...

Terri Schiavo Case

The case of Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged Florida woman at the heart of a fierce battle between her husband and her parents over whether or not her feeding tube should be removed, effectively causing her death by starvation, has long attracted attention from Catholics, pro-life and anti-euthanasia activists, advocates for the disabled, and Florida...

Haunted Derrida

“For someone constantly accused of relativism, Derrida often sounds in these late works like a man haunted by the absolute. There is a sense in which, although he was an atheist, he practiced what a medieval scholar might have recognized as ‘negative theology’ — an effort to define the nature of God by cutting away...

The Education of Senator Thune

Sharlet: Daschle defeater John Thune cites spiritual influence of a man who cites spiritual model of Osama Bin Laden. In this Q&A Christianity Today conducted with Senator Thune (R, SD), he says that the “C Street ministry” of Doug Coe helped keep him on the Christian path when he was a Representative. As it happens, I’ve witnessed that...