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Category Archive: Religion

Apr 18 2014

When religious tradition collides with modernity

In many traditional cultures, marriages are arranged by the parents, often using matchmakers. Reader Tim sent along this link about a dating service in Israel aimed at ultra-Orthodox Jews that circumvents the traditional matchmaker’s role for those cases in which the young person does not fit the desired profile and is seen as a ‘difficult’ …

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Apr 18 2014

Request for suggestions for pre-debate questions

Joe Puckett, Jr, a minister at the Hartville Church of Christ that is about an hour’s drive from where I live, has invited me to a debate. The topic we have agreed upon is God Does Not Exist that I will affirm and he will deny. I know the proposition is a counter-intuitive one but …

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Apr 16 2014

Equal time for creationists

Religious people are upset that their views on creation are not being given sufficient deference in the TV series Cosmos and that the shows promote (oh, the horror!) evolution. The website Funny or Die has got hold of an alternative show that gives their side of the story. As you can see, the Biblical version …

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Apr 16 2014

Update on Mount Soledad cross case

Readers may recall the long and tortured saga of the huge cross erected on land near San Diego as part of a veterans’ memorial for which I gave the timeline. In a ruling on December 15, 201e, a US District Court judge reluctantly said that although he disagreed, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had …

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Apr 16 2014

Hobby Lobby owner branches out

Steve Green, the president of the company Hobby Lobby that has a case pending in the US Supreme Court where they argued that they did not have to comply with the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act because of the religious objections of the owners, has even greater ambitions for the role of religion …

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Apr 15 2014

Oh goody! Another end of the world prediction

Many of us have heard of the ‘blue moon’. This is when a full moon appears twice in one calendar month. This is a perfectly predictable astronomical phenomenon that occurs once every two or three years, infrequent enough to serve as a metaphor for rarity, as in the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’.

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Apr 14 2014

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster gains ground

In an interesting and amusing turn of events, Pastafarianism has been allowed to apply to be an official religion in Poland.

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Apr 11 2014

The effect of the internet on the decline of religion

I have been saying for some time that the internet is a real danger to religion. A new paper by Allen B. Downey of the Olin School of Engineering argues that what I had merely guessed at might be generally true. By controlling for other variables such as religious upbringing and education, the author finds …

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Apr 10 2014

Skepticism about Bible increases

The American Bible Society does regular State of the Bible survey and it finds that there is increasing skepticism about it, with younger people as usual leading the way. The ‘Millennials’ they describe are those in the age cohort 18-29.

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Apr 09 2014

Stephen Colbert finds the Holy Grail

Although Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of my favorite films, I had not really thought about where the idea of the Holy Grail originated or what it represented. To me it was just another bit of medieval folklore whose origins were lost in the mists of time. In this clip, he explains …

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