Top 5

Attention Twitter fans: are you having trouble deciding what to say about the news that ill health is forcing the pope to retire? Here’s a quick list of Top Five 3-Word Responses to the news:

5. It’s a start.
4. What, no cops?
3. Prayer failed, eh?
2. He deserves it.

[Read more...]

Shells and switches

One of the most important reasons why creationism does not belong in the classroom is because creationism promotes superstitious thinking, which is the antithesis of scientific thinking. Trying to think superstitiously about science really screws things up, and in today’s excerpt from Pastor Stephen Feinstein’s reply to Russell Glasser, we find an almost prototypical example.

The Gypsy Curse

Over at Evangelical Realism, we’re continuing our look at Pastor Stephen Feinstein’s debate with Russell Glasser, and I I can’t help but think of a post I did a few years ago about Jesus and the Gypsy Curse.

It’s like a scene from an old B-grade black-and white horror flick: Jesus is walking down some dank alleyway in Jerusalem and carelessly bumps into an old gypsy woman, knocking her in the mud and muck, and then thoughtlessly laughing at her misfortune. Her deepset eyes blaze, and she scowls at him. “A curse upon you,” she mutters. “From now on, your followers and supporters will be unable to accuse their critics of any fault or fallacy without being guilty of the same thing themselves.” He, like all B-grade movie heroes, doesn’t take her seriously until her curse starts coming true. Only then does he realize, to his horror, that the curse is inexorable, inescapable, and infallible.

Yeah, cheap entertainment, but if you enjoy that sort of thing, come on over, we’ve got lots.

Mayberry Machiavellis

While I’m currently snowed under (literally and figuratively), here’s some interesting reading, from Religion Dispatches, on George W. Bush’s first “faith czar,” and his praise for Obama’s faith-based initiatives.

John J. DiIulio, the first director of George W. Bush’s White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, has taken to the Washington Post to laud President Obama’s White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In it, he cutely claims to like Obama’s director of the faith-based office, Joshua DuBois, better than “Bush’s first ‘faith czar.’”

Less than a year into his own tenure, DiIulio resigned in disgust, and complained about Bush staffers who sought to dole out favors to religious conservatives rather than serve “compassionate conservativism.” He notoriously coined the term “Mayberry Machiavellis” to describe Bush insiders, who, in relation to faith-based legislation, “winked at the most far-right House Republicans” in attempting to pass legislation for the faith-based office. That bill, which went nowhere, was drafted because Bush staffers thought it “satisfied certain fundamentalist leaders and Beltway libertarians.”

It’s an interesting read, especially in light of frequent accusations that Obama is somehow anti-religion (whilst simultaneously being Muslim, Nazi, Socialist, and Communist, hmmm).

Format change

Just a quick note: I’m switching to a more-or-less weekends only format, due to my day-job requirements. Much as I love blogging, I have to have weekdays clear to focus on my profession and still leave some time for myself and my family. I might be able to squeeze in a weekday post now and then if time permits, but for now I’ll probably end up writing here on Saturdays, and at Evangelical Realism on Sundays, and that will be pretty much it.