Faith is all it takes

My inbox is often a commentary in its own right. From this morning’s rich pickings, I pass on:

Islamists kill ex Muslim in Southern India, a piece by the good doctor, Arun, at Freethought Blogs:

Farooq was an Iron scrap dealer living in the South Indian city of Coimbatore. He was an outspoken ex Muslim atheist who regularly used to criticise all religions including Islam on Facebook and Whatsapp. He was an active member of an outfit called Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhakam, a break away group of Dravidar Kazhakam.

Not able to answer his criticisms, Islamists decided to punish him as per their holy book.

“Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,”                     Quran 5 : 33

[more here…]


And the very next item in my inbox today…

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 10.27.54

This is a newsletter entitled Faith and Skepticism, comprising a selection of material from the New Yorker archives:

A 1955 piece on the Dead Sea Scrolls that mentions someone named Muhammad (!)

A 1981 piece on End-of-Days ambassador Jerry Falwell.

A 1995 piece on the commonly-fathered bastard child of all Abrahamic faiths.

Then we leap across the back of an elephant to:

A 2007 piece on God’s own Rottweiler yapping at an even meaner, fiercer dog.

A rather good 2016 piece on Kemalism, modestly covered.

Then we time-travel back to:

A 1968 (and none of that) piece on Pope Paul, the one the Rottweiler venerated (same kennel, different dog).

A 1999 piece entitled The Future of Faith: Confessions of a churchgoer, not to be confused with the more gung-ho The End of Faith: Confessions of an atheist.

A 2000 piece on that most millennial of existential crises.

And, finally, a quick shimmy under the belly of the beast to:

A January 2002 piece on the religion that was on everyone’s mind at the time.

Yes, every media outlet knows exactly what an elephant looks like, but I suppose when it’s in the room, you’d best stick to describing the tip of its tail, and a bit of its left earlobe, maybe.

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