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Archive for May, 2007

Backsliding

“Gimme that old-time religion…”
(folk song)
Sometimes I feel that time is flowing in reverse, at least as far as the progress of reason is concerned.
Columnist Kathleen Parker, writing in the Chicago Tribune (May 30, 2007), reported on a poll that said that substantial minorities of Muslims think of themselves as Muslims first and Americans […]

“I do not think about. . . things I do not think about.”
William Jennings Bryan, in “Inherit the Wind”
In a recent visit to Brazil, Pope Benedict managed to offend millions of Latin Americans by delivering a speech in which he claimed that indigenous populations welcomed their European colonizers because the natives were “secretly longing” […]

I have a dream:
At the Pearly Gates, a stern St. Peter confronts a sweating, trembling, porcine little Jerry Falwell and scolds him for all the earthly misery he caused by perpetuating his particular brand of superstition and bigotry. He concludes that Jerry is not a candidate for heaven and damns him to eternal suffering.
But […]

Much, MUCH has been and will be written — sorrowful, joyous and wickedly satiric — about the death of Jerry Falwell. I will keep my comments to a minimum.
I am neither happy nor sad. He is gone, but countless images of his grinning pomposity, suffused with the glow of self-righteousness, will live on, […]

“I always wondered how much my soul was worth. So when Cinemax asked me if I’d go on camera to interview soft-core porn stars on the set of its new series, ‘Sin City Diaries,’ in return for $2,000 and a free night in Las Vegas, I discovered that my soul was worth some amount […]

“I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.”
Christopher Marlowe (c. 1589)
Once again it proves embarrassingly easy to judge a book by its cover. Watching The Daily Show, I learned of Christopher Hitchens’ new book God Is Not Great, subtitled Why Religion Poisons Everything.
Why didn’t he just call it […]

Sometimes you have to look to the comic strips in order to get truth in its most concise form. In one edition of “Non Sequitur,” the panel shows a man in a beard and a turban addressing an audience. One audience member asks, “Um…if being a martyr is so great, why don’t YOU […]

This will be my first and last comment (unless specifically provoked) on the Obama phenomenon, hereafter “the Obama-rama.”
Since he’s from Illinois, he gets a lot of coverage here, and local people hotly debate whether it’s too much. Equally heated is the debate over whether he is black enough for black voters or too black […]

The Presidential election process has begun – way too early, as everyone but the participants will acknowledge – and with it, the God-babble and the Bible-babble.
Talk of and concern with religion, with lots of ostentations public piety, are de rigeur for politicians today. John Edwards is as fake as his hairdo, now […]

Today marks the second straight joint effort by Christian and Jewish leaders to support placing the 10 Commandments on government buildings. It’s only in its second year. Maybe it’s something that can be nipped in the bud.
This is America!
Come on, folks, this is America, and we’re supposed to have no public/state […]

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