Monthly archive June, 2007

Scientific American's Bad Religion

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins takes the hard sell approach to promoting science to skeptics (that is, the faithful): Religion is bad science, he says, just plain wrong and rather stupid. Physicist Lewis Krauss goes for the soft sell: "Teaching is seduction," he purrs, with believers in mind. But lost in Scientific American's lengthy conversation between...

The Sacred Secrets of Saddam's Super Secret WMDs

Why do people still believe Saddam had WMDs? Because Jesus tells them so. Well, not Jesus, but his modern disciples. Rod Parsley, a rising star of charismatic fundamentalism who's had a heavy impact on national politics, features on his "Breakthrough" program tonight Dr. Perry Stone, an apocalypse scholar who claims top national security sources and...

Fundamentalism's Colonial Drag

Former Revealer managing editor Kathryn Joyce makes her debut with an account of "The Other Jamestown Party," an ultra-right Christian celebration of the colony's 400th anniversary:

Fifteen miles from Williamsburg, Va., in Charles City County, on a country road dominated by plantations turned bed-and-breakfasts, 4,000 ultra-conservative, largely home-schooling Christians gathered to correct a month-old...

Reporters, Report

Reporters, report: The Fall/Winter 2006 edition of Christian Leader, a publication of Pat Robertson‘s Regent University, declares that 30 % of new school teachers nationwide receive their licenses through an “alternative route to licensure,” according to the National Center for Alternative Certification. Robertson’s Regent U. is one of the institutions that provides such an alternative...

Goldilocks Colson

The man sometimes referred to as the Christian Right's "movement intellectual" -- Watergate felon Chuck Colson -- tested out a new meme for a pre-convention meeting of Southern Baptist leaders last night. Part one is the invocation of a familiar enemy for the Christian Right, "Islamofascism." But Colson's upping the ante: "Islam is a...

Sacred Spaces, Unholy Real Estate

Two stories from opposite sides of the globe point to the problem of turning sacred spaces into holy real estate. In Tennessee, a Methodist pastor rejects a proposed Bible theme park as an encroachment on his congregation's view of God's creation (as shaped by a few hundred years of farming). In Australia, the...

Creationism in Canada

Homegrown anxieties for Canada's secular media

By Alexandra Boutros

Canada is getting its first Creation Science Museum in the small town of Big Valley, Alberta. The Big Valley Creation Science Museum opens its doors to the general public this week, offering displays of fossils, DNA strands and, the big draw, dinosaurs. These displays are meant to...

Faith Forum Farce

Sharlet: I'll be discussing last Monday's CNN/Sojourner faith forum for the top 3 Dem. contenders on the "Your Call" weekly media roundtable, KALW 91.7 FM, San Francisco, 10-11 am Pacific Time, Friday, June 8. Webcast here. Preview of my comments: What's YOUR biggest sin, Soledad?

A Biologist's Book of Revelation

"Munir Virani is a biologist, the name of his field spawning from the Greek root word for life. And yet he and many others in his field have become the equivalent of hospice workers..." Revealer alumnus Meera Subramanian writes about the slow, sad apocalypse of biolgists who are "monitoring to extinction."

Jim Webb's Never-Ending War

Sharlet: From my latest story in Rolling Stone: "As night settles between the two mountain ridges that rise on either side of Lebanon, Virginia, a rough little strip of a town in the state

The Mother of All Atheist Bestsellers

Britannica Blog, published by the Encyclopedia Britannica, speculates on the mother of all atheist bestsellers... The Da Vince Code! It's a provocative thesis, but we're not sure it holds up. The average Da Vinci fan didn't think of the book as an attack on religion, but as a thriller. Those who considered its "philosophy"...

Forbidden Fruit Creates Many Jams

That's just one of the strangely ambivalent bits of wisdom in display in Doree Shafrir's illustrated essay on the history of church marquees.