Monthly Archives: December 2008

Open thread — topics we haven’t tackled

What topics haven’t we been blogging about on this site that would relate to our niche and make for interesting reading?

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Hell and the scientific method

My good friend blogger James Taranto drops his insistence that there is no tension between American tolerance and a belief in eternal damnation for wrong-believers (not without getting in one last crude mischaracterization of my argument, however).  Now he … Continue reading

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Miscellany, December 29

Per John Tierney in the Times, a new review of the literature has “concluded that religious belief and piety promote self-control”, which may help explain why religious belief is often associated with greater success in such goals as personal health … Continue reading

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Faith & George W. Bush

Austin Bramwell, He Still Believes: Bush’s admirers credit him with political courage on par with Lincoln’s. Lincoln, of course, hated the “terrible war” that he felt his duty to wage. “Fondly do we hope,” Lincoln intoned, “fervently do we pray, … Continue reading

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Which came first & why?

The piece that Walter mentioned below makes an interesting assertion: Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being, smashes … Continue reading

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America and Hell

A Pew religion survey  supports the hypothesis that American tolerance influences theology. “We are a multicultural society, and people expect this American life to continue the same way in heaven,”    [Alan Segal, a professor of religion at Barnard College, commented … Continue reading

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“As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God”

Matthew Parris, longtime fixture of center-right British journalism at publications like The Spectator, has been thinking about the intractable problems of Africa: …I observe that tribal belief is no more peaceable than ours; and that it suppresses individuality. People think … Continue reading

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Secular Intolerance

Gay activists are furiously denouncing the Rick Warren inaugural invitation as an imprimatur for intolerance.  At the same time, many in their ranks are trying to destroy the livelihoods not just of indviduals who donated piddling sums to California’s Prop. … Continue reading

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God as Mid-wife

I just caught a glimpse of the grotesque reality show (a redundancy, I know) “17 Kids and Counting,” which chronicles the “family values” of Arkansas evangelicals Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 17 children.  The segment I saw was … Continue reading

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Reason and Unreason

The appeal to unreason as a grounding for religious faith alternates regularly with the appeal to reason as a grounding for religious faith. That’s very good, Heather. I’ve noticed the same thing. The believers get you coming and going. “It’s … Continue reading

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