Category Archive: Bizarre

Jun 22 2014

Not just veiled

I happened to stumble upon this lovely link this morning. Q. Why does Jewish law object to women singing in front of men? A. The rule derived from the Talmud (Ber. 24a etc.) is kol b’ishah ervah – “A woman’s voice arouses (desire)”. Charming, isn’t it?

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Nov 21 2012

OMG, Biblical Christianity is dying!

Now this is more like what I was expecting yesterday: overblown Christian hysteria in reaction to Election Day’s free reality check. Writing for forbes.com, Bill Flax weeps and wails over the imminent demise of Biblical Christianity in America. And it’s all a terrible misunderstanding. Christians never wanted a culture war, you see. They just wanted …

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Nov 20 2012

A persecuted church

I thought this story might be an amusing look at yet another Christian group hypocritically claiming martyrdom and persecution. It isn’t. A decade ago, God spoke to Jane Whaley, and she says he told her to fight… “God told me, ‘Jane, you are at the beginning of a holocaust,’ ” Whaley says. “Before … we turned …

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Nov 13 2012

Taking Back the Public Schools

Writing for The New American, Sam Blumenfeld has a plan for taking back the public schools from “the socialists” who, according to Blumenfeld, have been engaging in a decades-long plot to produce functional illiterates so that they will grow up to be Democrats. (Yeah, the whole piece is like that.) And his strategy involves, not …

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Sep 26 2012

Feminism in outer space

I have a long-ish commute, and I drive an “affordable” car. Apparently, though,  it has a really good radio, because I think I was picking up a talk show from another planet. The guest and hosts were discussing feminism in the context of the guest’s new book about “God’s 10 Gifts for Women,” and the …

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Aug 13 2012

Miracles and the power of suggestion

According to a story in the New York Times, the placebo effect isn’t just limited to a drug’s expected benefits. People can and do suffer negative side effects as a result of believing they are taking real drugs. It’s called the “nocebo” effect. In a curious study, a team of Italian gastroenterologists asked people with …

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May 21 2012

My new favorite religion

For some reason I don’t seem to attract the kind of crank email that, say, PZ Myers gets, but now and then I stumble across a bit of good material. It happened to me this weekend: I was in the store buying vitamins, and noticed that someone had discretely slipped a copy of “Prophetic Observer” …

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Apr 23 2012

An odd response

My latest post at Evangelical Realism seems to have attracted the attention of a self-described “New Evangelist” named David Roemer. It’s an odd response, though. My post was about William Lane Craig’s problems with the doctrine of Hell and Christian exclusivism, and, well, see if you can tell what (if anything) Roemer’s response has to …

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Mar 31 2012

ID creationists and their grasp of “reality”

The Coppedge v. JPL and CalTech lawsuit is living up to its early promise and perhaps even surpassing it. David Coppedge himself has submitted a deposition which includes—I am not making this up—a screenplay in which he fantasizes about his co-workers reduced to tears and desperately searching for a way to escape from the invincible …

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Mar 14 2012

In bed with the Church?

They say that politics makes strange bedfellows, but this one seems a bit stranger than most. David Coburn, the openly gay spokesman of Great Britain’s U.K. Independence Party, claims that Prime Minister David Cameron is “picking a fight” with the religious community over same-sex marriage, insisting that pushing such legislation “shows a lack of toleration …

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