Monthly archive May, 2010

City of Life and Death

There wasn’t a dearth of death in Benares; as one walked or drove on its streets, small groups of men bearing the dead on biers kept passing by with little fanfare about the nature of their procession. I saw many more dead bodies in three days in Benares than I had seen in the preceding...

The Church Is A Lady

Mary Valle: Paul Vitello reports in the New York Times about the new, invasive screening of prospective priests, which is aimed at sorting out the pedophiles and those who identify as homosexual people. The reason for rejection of possible mature, celibate (but homosexual) candidates? The church's view of marriage. While sisters become Brides of...

Common Good Death Camps

Yesterday Glenn Beck struck out at Simon Greer, President and CEO of Jewish Funds for Justice for his recent statement of support for government as a tool for protecting and facilitating the common good in society. Beck quoted a statement by Greer then added: "This leads to death camps. A Jew,...

Israel Studies, A Form of Public Diplomacy?

“I know what the podium I stand behind represents, what Israel studies represents. I know this is a form of public diplomacy.” -- Amal Jamal, "Israeli-Arab" professor of political science, Tel-Aviv University, one of two Palestinian scholars (of a total of 300 attendees) at the annual meeting of the Association for Israel Studies...

Reconciling Faith and Science

Andrew Dermont at Big Think writes us to point out their new series, "Believe it or not," of video interviews with atheists on the possibility of reconciling religion and science. Those interviewed include Karen Armstrong, Lionel Tiger, Richard Dawkins, James Randi, and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. You can view the series here....

Mistreating History

The Reformed Reader quotes Carl Trueman's 2008 book, The Minority Report, on the two "disempowering" ways that churches approach history:
An idolatry of the new and the novel, with the concomitant disrespect for anything traditional; or a nostalgia for the past which is little more than an idolatry of the old and the traditional....

Visual Questions

WHCreation, an online non-profit gallery, has just posted their latest show, "What is Religion?" You can view the exhibition here. Their next show will be titled, "Who is a Predator?"

Virgins and Whores

Mary Valle: Nick Kristof continues his "nuns rock!" crusade to convince everyone that it's not all Catholics that are like that. Just some. Point taken, Mr. Krisof, but this good Catholics/bad Catholics line of thinking is a little worrisome. It's like "No, you're not a slut, you're a real woman," or "There are black...

I Think I Know Jack.

by Paul Creeden: Dr. Jack Kevorkian is the subject of You Don't Know Jack, an HBO film, which premiered on the cable network in April. Al Pacino plays “Dr. Death,” as Kevorkian was dubbed in 1956 after he performed, in his role as a pathologist, a photographic survey of the pupils of dying patients. Kevorkian...

God Tweets

Marc Hartzman, author of God Made Me Do It: True stories of the worst advice the Lord has ever given his followers, has started a website that allows God to speak through people who speak through twitter. The site is called almightytwitter and has a bouncy design that seems to invite...

Playing God

Virtually every significant medical advancement has been met with cries that scientists and doctors are trying to "play God." From the first heart transplant in South Africa on December 3, 1967 to the development of CPR, defibrillators and respirators in the late 1960s and early 70s, society, often led by religious leaders, has waved it's...

Lost and Religious Mortality

by S. Brent Plate: "This is the end, my only friend the end . . . I'll never look into your eyes again" -Jim Morrison/ The Doors. Along with 10-20 million others, I just left the island for good, saying goodbye to my friends who have occupied me for the past few years: the scientists and skeptics, the...