Browsing All Posts filed under »Religion«

Easter Pondering: I Don’t Understand God as Martyr

March 28, 2016

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I readily confess that I am agnostic in the true Greek sense of the word, “not knowing.”  Thus I shall remain, I suspect, because I just can’t get my head around many articles of faith.  This, despite a Catholic-school upbringing and scholarly study of the Bible. With Easter just past, my mind once again ponders […]

Kim Davis and False Christianity

October 5, 2015

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According to the teachings of Jesus, Kim Davis is an adulteress and hypocrite right now. Not just in her past. I’m not a Christian. I’m not trying to convert anybody, one way or the other. However, as a sometime scholar of the Bible (for actual grades!), I do think it bears mentioning that Kim Davis […]

Donald Trump: Dangerous Rhetoric

August 24, 2015

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Trump’s brand of intolerant, divisive rhetoric is mightily reminiscent of a certain historical figure. Four years ago, in 2011, Donald Trump was crashing around the Presidential campaign like an obscene bull with Mad Cow Disease.  This is what we wrote at the time (go to the link for the full text): Donald Trump has thrown […]

Papal Paradox: Curb Global Warming, But Don’t Curb Population Growth?

June 29, 2015

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Yea, verily, I say unto thee, the Apocalypse is upon us, and it ain’t the Apocalypse of John. It’s more like Genesis in high-speed reverse.   In his recent encyclical, the Pope says global warming is real, is a threat, and is partly caused by humans. I love him for that.  What I don’t love […]

Bristol Palin, Pregnant Again, Doesn’t Want Any Lectures. Good. Neither Do We.

June 26, 2015

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If ever there were an argument that we should all butt out of each others’ reproductive business, this is it.   Time for a quick Friday rant: Bristol Palin is pregnant out of wedlock for the second time. “Bristol Palin announces second pregnancy, schadenfreude-tinged pile-on begins,” trumpets the Los Angeles Times. I’m not into the […]

Christian Fundamentalists Treat Females Just as Badly as Muslim Fundamentalists

May 25, 2015

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Odd that Westerners fear the patriarchal extremism of Islamic Sharia law, but tolerate or even praise the exact same principles when they are espoused by Christian extremists like the Duggar clan. How very strange. There has been much flailing recently over revelations of Josh Duggar’s molestation of girls – some of them his own sisters […]

God as Martyr: I Don’t Understand

April 27, 2015

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Last week, I pondered the Pope’s words calling the childless “selfish.” That got me to thinking, and there are some things about Catholicism and Christianity I just can’t get my head around… despite having gone to a Catholic school in my youth. I am thinking of the Holy Trinity and of the concept that God […]

Explain: How is Remaining Childless “Selfish”?

April 20, 2015

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Back in February, Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church’s position on child-bearing: “Not to have children is a selfish choice.” Ummmm, really? Adjective self·ish \ˈsel-fish\ :  concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself :  seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others (Merriam-Webster). Amazingly enough, childless people are not always […]

Clash of Civilizations: Will Long-Term Peace Require Segregation?

January 19, 2015

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Are conservative Islam and Western liberalism fundamentally incompatible? To understand what is really happening in Europe now, and where it is likely headed, I urge everyone to read two articles: Samuel Huntington’s 1993 article in Foreign Policy, “Clash of Civilizations?“, and Damon Linker’s current piece in The Week, “Can Islam Ever Make Peace With Liberalism?” […]

Death With Dignity: Why Should Religion Be Allowed to Butt In?

October 10, 2014

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I would not tell anyone else that he or she should choose death with dignity. My question is: Who has the right to tell me that I don’t deserve this choice? That I deserve to suffer for weeks or months in tremendous amounts of physical and emotional pain? Why should anyone have the right to […]

Time to Make Scientific Education Standards a Priority… Starting with Us

September 22, 2014

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Our huge, inter-connected population and the globalization of economies means that today, intelligence without education is outright harmful.   The human mind looks for patterns, and in the absence of education or scientific thought processes, the mind will see patterns and meanings that just aren’t there. Conversely, without education, the mind grasps little of what […]

In Defense of Dictators… and Stability

September 8, 2014

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The US has a history of embracing a lot of not-so-benevolent dictators.  We also are swiftly establishing a history of promoting “regime change” with visions of democracy dancing in our heads, but what emerges instead is all too often a dangerous brand of Islamic extremism.   Back in the 1970s and at the height of […]

Moving Hiatus! Meanwhile, Back to… If You Are Pro-Life, Then You Are Anti-IVF

August 29, 2014

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All, one more look back at a Lila-Encore!  Lila and Hubby are still unpacking and unboxing, and the new house is finally starting to look more like a house and less like a hurricane-mauled refugee camp.  Lila’s computer is up and running so I will soon be back to blogging! Meanwhile, here’s a look back […]

Hobby Lobby and IVF: Inconsistent Thinking

July 14, 2014

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By now we all know that the Supreme Court ruled that “closely held” for-profit employers may decline to pay for contraceptive coverage if it goes against the business owners’ religious beliefs. This, in spite of the ACA’s stance that contraception is an essential part of women’s reproductive health in this day and age. Hobby Lobby, […]

How Can Atheists be “Offended” By the Ground Zero Cross?

June 23, 2014

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Because some atheists are zealots… yes, just like religious zealots. I think we all know by now that Lila is a bona fide agnostic, doesn’t pray, and loathes attending church (although she will grit her teeth and attend to support friends at key moments like weddings, memorials, and the like). If you want to torture […]

The Arrogance of Prayer

June 16, 2014

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Prayer makes me extremely uncomfortable.  It is at best simply superstitious words lost in an empty wind, but at worst… at worst it is a never-ending stream of presumptuous personal demands made to a Being whose power and whose nature is far beyond our imagining, much less our understanding.   It’s no secret that I […]

Feeding the World: Veggies Alone are NOT the Answer

May 23, 2014

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Instead of figuring out how to feed nine billion people in 2050, we should be figuring out how to not have nine billion in the first place. L.V.Anderson, writing for Slate magazine, conducts a sort of thought experiment: what if the whole world became vegetarian or vegan? What would this mean for the environment, for […]

The Cult of Life at any Ghoulish Cost

January 17, 2014

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Why do we accept, even celebrate, the most ghoulish medical procedures – so long as they have a whiff of a chance of producing an infant, even an unhealthy one? For those who have read Frank Herbert’s Dune novels (original series published 1965-1985), you may recall the mysterious but universally loathed axlotl tanks, a closely […]

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

November 28, 2013

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All, Happy Thanksgiving.  Joan Larsen forwarded this to me, and it seemed appropriate to the occasion… and very, very applicable to us today, perhaps even more than to the Americans of Washington’s era. For reading and reflection: Thanksgiving Proclamation President George Washington City of New York, October 3, 1789 Whereas it is the duty of […]

Dear Fag Waiters, Jesus Told Me Not to Pay You for Your Work [UPDATED]

November 18, 2013

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Self-described “Christians” judge you, find you wanting, and steal your labor.  Jesus would be so pleased. Let’s hope this doesn’t become a full-blown trend:  it seems to have become increasingly fashionable among “Christians” to offer judgmental pronouncements scrawled on restaurant receipts in place of tips to the wait staff. In October, this tip was received […]

Happy Rosh Hashana 5774

September 5, 2013

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The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of Sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the Lord.’” Shana tovah u’metukah to all my Jewish friends out there!  […]

On Faith, Reality, and Failure to Protect One’s Children

June 13, 2013

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Relying on God to fulfill your parental responsibilities is arrogant, childish… and fatal As USA Today reports, yet another family has lost a child to illness as a result of relying on prayer over medicine.  This was the second such loss for this family.  One would think, after Herbert and Catherine Schaible lost their two-year-old […]

Burial, Belief, and the Forgotten

May 6, 2013

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It is only the mourners who believe in the sanctity of any particular grave… or person. The Jamestown colony certainly had a rough start in those early years of 1607-1610 or so, and cannibalism was described in various chronicles of the time.  Recently, archaeologists discovered hard evidence that supports that history: the bones of a […]

Everyone Just Loves to Be Offended

April 8, 2013

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The latest people to be annoyingly offended are Turkish Muslims, who just now noticed a Star Wars set…  30 years after it debuted in Return of the Jedi. I’m all for courtesy, consideration, and respect, but an awful lot of people have been way too easily offended in recent years.  I’m not sure when this […]

DOMA Is Teetering. Let It Fall!

March 29, 2013

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The Supreme Court is hearing arguments this week on the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and I’m hoping that the law will be struck down.  It’s sort of hard to support something that denies basic Federal allowances and benefits to folks like Staff Sergeant Tracy Dice Johnson, whose spouse was killed in Afghanistan.  Not […]

Opposing Suzanne Venker’s View on Women’s Happiness

February 18, 2013

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Author Suzanne Venker promotes the idea that women and men are not equal, and everyone would be a lot happier if we all just acknowledged that and went back to our old traditional roles.   Venker’s  bio page at Amazon reports that “Her roles as wife and mother make up the core of her existence–shaping her […]

Rapists and Extremist Republicans: They Both De-Personify Women

October 25, 2012

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Here we go again.  I wasn’t planning to write about politics again so soon, but how can this be ignored?  This time it’s Indiana’s Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, saying that “Life is that gift from God.  I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended […]

Can Any Self-Respecting Woman Vote Republican? Yes, If She’s Ultraconservative

October 23, 2012

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Denny Friedenrich, writing on The Hill online, enumerates some recent examples demonstrating the reality of the GOP “War on Women.”   The cutting of funds to Planned Parenthood.  Republican lawmakers making idiotic remarks associating the Girl Scouts with Planned Parenthood.  Claiming that you can’t get pregnant from rape.  Claiming that abortions are never necessary to save […]

Why Should the Rest of the World Have to Accommodate Muslim “Sensitivity”?

October 1, 2012

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We’ve all seen the violence erupting across the Middle East thanks to some loser’s stupid YouTube video insulting the Prophet Mohammed.  Screaming mobs, embassies attacked, dozens of deaths, hundreds of injuries, fatwas calling for murder, English-language signs reading “behead all those who insult the Prophet.”  Here we go again:  We’re pissed off.  Our feelings are […]

Santorum’s Scary Mockery of the Elite: Bad Omen for the Future

September 18, 2012

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“We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”  Rick Santorum’s quote, delivered  at the Values Voter Summit in Washington this weekend, is being gleefully trumpeted out of context, painting the Republican Party as the party of ignorance and stupidity. The remark was taken out of context, all right, but make no mistake:  […]

Dominican Republic: Right-to-Life Law Kills Pregnant Teen

August 21, 2012

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Article 37 of the Constitution of the Dominican Republic (2009):  “The right to life is inviolable from conception until death.  In no instance can the death penalty be established, pronounced, or applied.” The 16-year-old daughter of Rosa Hernandez has died. The teen was diagnosed with leukemia, in need of an aggressive course of chemotherapy, and […]