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The Fall: A Novel

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Tag: Religion

God and Gay Marriage

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Posted on May 18, 2008 READ MORE    


Destroying a Village of Pedophilia

As the dust settles from the recent roundup of allegedly abused children from a fundamentalist retreat, some are asking whether saving these kids is worth the human cost.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE


The Universe
nasa.gov

We May Not Be Alone, Says Vatican

The pope’s chief astronomer has written an article in the Vatican newspaper that argues that intelligent beings “created by God could exist in outer space.” The article, “Aliens Are My Brother,” is likely a move by the Vatican to strengthen its scientific credentials, bringing science and religion closer while maintaining papal control over the entire universe.

Posted on May 14, 2008 READ MORE



godtube.com

GodTube Cashes In

A European hedge fund just invested $30 million in a Christian-oriented video sharing site. The vast majority of Americans identify as Christian, and while the economy may be taking a nose dive, there’s still money to be made on Jesus.

Posted on May 12, 2008 READ MORE


stained glass
commons.wikimedia.org

Render Unto Darwin That Which Is Darwin’s

The New Atheist writers from Richard Dawkins to E.O. Wilson to Sam Harris have become the high priests not of science but the cult of science.

Posted on May 11, 2008 READ MORE


Wright Up Your Alley

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Posted on May 4, 2008 READ MORE    


The Nonsense Gap

Do white right-wing preachers have it easier than black left-wing preachers? Is there a double standard?

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


Hagee and McCain
AP photo / Gerald Herbert, file

Church, State and Campaign ‘08

We are letting religious fanaticism dominate the presidential campaign. The candidates have brought it on themselves with tedious references to their churchgoing piety. Now we’re all paying for it. Who cares what their preachers say?

Posted on May 1, 2008 READ MORE


Only Half-Wright

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Posted on May 1, 2008 READ MORE    


Why Celebrate Rev. Wrong?

As Jeremiah Wright gleefully tours the airwaves, inflicting severe political damage with almost every utterance, he is proving that racism isn’t the only obstacle to a black president.

Posted on Apr 30, 2008 READ MORE


I’ve Had It With Rev. Wright

The media tour he’s conducting is doing a disservice that goes beyond any impact it might have on Obama’s presidential campaign.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE


Rev. Wright

Rev. Wright and the Press

After laying low for some time, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has been speaking out about the controversy that has tarnished his name. The minister seemed to enjoy this encounter with the media, too many elements of which relied on YouTube to lay out the facts of their stories.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE


Is Pennsylvania Ready for a Black President?

Perhaps it was inevitable: The Democrats’ battle for the presidential nomination has now led us into the thicket of race and religion.

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


Rev. Wright

Rev. Wright Speaks

Lesser journalists continue to characterize the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermons as hate speech, without ever having heard more than snippets of them. As Wright tells the great Bill Moyers, the meaning of his sermons has been deliberately distorted to achieve a political goal, and it worked. Updated.

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and Obama
AP photo / Rick Bowmer

The Left Has Lost Its Way

The failure of the American left is a failure of nerve. It has been neutralized and rendered ineffectual as a political force because of its refusal to hold fast on core issues.

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE


Benedict’s Discomforting Message

The pope came to the U.S. as a quiet but forceful critic of “an increasingly secular and materialistic culture.” Almost any American who paid attention to his sermon Thursday had to be uncomfortable because all of us are shaped by the very forces he was criticizing.

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE


Whose Elitism Is Worse?

It is hard to blame John McCain for mocking Barack Obama as an “elitist” following that silly remark about bitter folks who cling to guns and religion. Rarely does the Arizona senator—one of the wealthiest members of Washington’s most exclusive club—encounter such a tempting chance to masquerade as a populist.

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE


Marie Cocco on Bitterness

The columnist argues that Barack Obama’s “bitter” comments will indeed work against him with white working-class voters.

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE


Pope at the Pump

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Posted on Apr 16, 2008 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP photo / Charlie Neibergall

Blame It on the Media

With the so-called scandal over Barack Obama’s “bitter” comment, the media have once again abandoned impartiality and become active participants in the race for the White House.

Posted on Apr 15, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

McCain Piles On in ‘Bitter’ War of Words

John McCain joined Hillary Clinton in critiquing Barack Obama’s characterization of small-town Pennsylvania’s (and by extension, perhaps, America’s) “bitter” outlook, telling a crowd of magazine and newspaper editors on Monday that Obama’s description represented “a contradiction from what I believe America is all about.”

Posted on Apr 15, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton ad

New Clinton Ad Jumps on Obama’s Remarks

There are many opportunities, in every heated political campaign, for one candidate’s perceived slip-up to quickly provide the plot for another’s next TV spot. Here, Hillary Clinton’s camp has some Pennsylvania supporters weigh in on Barack Obama’s recent statements about their home state.

Posted on Apr 15, 2008 READ MORE


Just a Regular Gal

Hillary “Shot-and-a-Beer” Clinton has given us the perfect illustration of what’s so insane about American politics: the philosophical dictum that could be summed up (with apologies to Descartes) as “I seem, therefore I am.”

Posted on Apr 14, 2008 READ MORE


The ?Bitter? Battle

The Democratic presidential candidates are doing a splendid job of helping John McCain get to the White House.

Posted on Apr 14, 2008 READ MORE


Ratzinger
AP photo / Gregorio Borgia

Coming to America

The pope is set to land Tuesday for a whirlwind visit to America, his first since assuming the mantle of the Roman Catholic Church. A spokesman has indicated that Benedict XVI will address the church’s sex abuse scandal, a topic around which protests are expected.

Posted on Apr 14, 2008 READ MORE


Maher

Bill Maher vs. the Pope

The “Real Time” host uses the recent raid on a polygamist compound to point a finger at the Vatican, which he calls “the Bear Sterns of organized pedophilia—too big to fail.” This wasn’t one of Maher’s more applauded closing numbers, but it’s not one you should miss.

Posted on Apr 14, 2008 READ MORE


Austrian exhibit
AP photo / Lilli Strauss

Outrage Over Last Supper Orgy Image Rattles Vienna Museum

A Catholic Church-affiliated museum in Vienna was shaken up this week by a controversy that erupted over the display of an unconventional rendering of Jesus and his disciples sharing the Last Supper—and then some—in an exhibit called “Religion, Flesh and Power.”

Posted on Apr 11, 2008 READ MORE


Steve Wasserman on Fidel Castro

What will history say about the implacable anti-imperialist and unrepentant revolutionary who has held power in Cuba for nearly 50 years? The publication of Fidel Castro’s and Ignacio Ramonet’s “My Life: A Spoken Autobiography” helps us understand the man and his myth.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE



AP photos / left: Gautam Singh / right: Uwe Lein

On Secular Fundamentalism

The battle under way in America is not a battle between religion and science. It is a battle between religious and secular fundamentalists. It is a battle between two groups intoxicated with the utopian and magical belief that humankind can perfect itself and master its destiny.

Posted on Apr 7, 2008 READ MORE


Is Wright Right About Racism?

Since the 1960s, bigotry has undergone an aesthetic makeover. Today, the most pernicious racists do not wear pointy hoods, scream epithets and anonymously burn crosses from behind masks. They don starched suits, recite sententious bromides and stage political lynchings before television cameras.

Posted on Mar 27, 2008 READ MORE


Rev. Wright
thepage.time.com

Rev. Wright Can’t Catch a Break

Lost in the discussion of the Rev. Wright controversy and its impact on the Obama campaign is the fallout for the minister himself. Wright’s first public events since his sermons went YouTube, a revival in Tampa and a series of sermons in Houston, have been canceled. A third event, where he is supposed to be honored, has been downgraded to “pending.”

Posted on Mar 26, 2008 READ MORE


Easter

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Posted on Mar 23, 2008 READ MORE    


book cover

Anthony Heilbut on MaryBeth Hamilton’s ‘In Search of the Blues’

What accounts for the strange need of some white scholars—from the plantation nostalgists of the late 1890s to the “Blues Mafia” of the 1960s—to honor African-American culture by trying to save black people from themselves?

Posted on Mar 21, 2008 READ MORE


On His Own Terms

Let’s ask the hard question about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright: Is he as far outside the African-American mainstream as many of us would like to think?

Posted on Mar 21, 2008 READ MORE



wikimedia.org / Ali Mansuri

Saudi Arabia Thinks Big

The House of Saud clearly takes a top-down approach to ruling. Under mounting pressure from the West to confront religious fundamentalism, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs plans to retrain some 40,000 imams.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE


Too Big to Fail

The government spread out a nice, soft net to catch the collapsing financial firm Bear Stearns. But if you’re a little guy who gets in trouble, expect to meet up with a somewhat harder surface.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE


The Two McCains

Liberals who have sung the praises of John McCain in the past confront a fascinating test of consistency, integrity and political commitment now that McCain is the virtually certain Republican nominee. It could be an amusing moment. I should know, since I’m one of them.

Posted on Mar 10, 2008 READ MORE


Christ the Redeemer
pastorandpeople.wordpress.com

News Flash: Obama, Clinton Claim Christian Faith

There’s been plenty of innuendo and chatter about Barack Obama’s religious affiliation and beliefs lately, but both Obama and rival Hillary Clinton have described their faith with little room for extrapolation in recent months. Here’s what they had to say.

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Very Own Farrakhan

Whatever their true private beliefs, presidential candidates in America are constantly required to provide proofs of faith, often through their connections with various religious figures. Benedictions from the pulpit bestow an aura of righteousness—except, of course, when the pastor or minister is a disreputable kook whose endorsement should be an embarrassment.

Posted on Mar 5, 2008 READ MORE


Shopping the Spiritual Mall

Just below the text there was a Google ad inviting me to take a quiz. “Christian? Jewish? Muslim? Atheist? See which Religion is Right for You.”

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


Micahel Moore

Michael Moore Gets Religion Against Hillary

A short while into this Larry King interview with Michael Moore, the filmmaker explains why his Catholicism morally prohibits him from voting for Hillary Clinton, and why religion, whether Mitt Romney’s or Tom Cruise’s, should be off-limits.

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


Metamorphosis

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Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


Prayers Will Be Answered in the Order They Are Received

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Posted on Jan 7, 2008 READ MORE    


God and John McCain

As he addressed a room full of members of the Iowa Christian Alliance in the small city of Cedar Falls, the senator demonstrated how hard it is for him to find his way through the tangled forest of Christian right doctrine.

Posted on Jan 1, 2008 READ MORE


Mitfords cover

Carla Kaplan on ‘The Mitfords’

A new collection of letters between the fascinating Mitford sisters offers unparalleled insight into one of the 20th century’s most famous families.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE


An Enabling Virtue

Hope is an overused word and an underrated virtue. We “hope” for all kinds of things, from the trivial to the profound. But hope is both a habit and a discipline. It is an orientation toward the future based on the conviction that we live in an ultimately trustworthy universe.

Posted on Dec 24, 2007 READ MORE


Huckabee
AP photo / Steve Mitchell

The Evangelical Rebellion

Mike Huckabee represents a new and potent force in American politics, and the neocons and corporate elite, who once viewed the yahoos of the Christian right as the useful idiots, are now confronted with the fact that they themselves are the ones who have been taken for a ride.

Posted on Dec 23, 2007 READ MORE


ron paul

Ron Paul Doesn’t Accept Evolution

The one and only anti-war Republican presidential candidate didn’t raise his hand when asked who doesn’t believe in evolution, but it turns out he may have wanted to. In this clip, Paul responds to a question about the incident by saying that it was an “inappropriate question,” but that “I think it’s a theory—theory of evolution—and I don’t accept it.”

Posted on Dec 22, 2007 READ MORE


book cover

Zachary Karabell on Mark Lilla’s ‘The Stillborn God’

With religious passions inflaming and complicating politics worldwide, the very project of a secular future is threatened.  In “The Stillborn God,” Mark Lilla reveals the roots of the age-old quest to bring political life under God’s authority.  He also explores how modern Western thinkers found a way to free politics from theological power and build barriers against destructive religious fanaticism.

Posted on Dec 20, 2007 READ MORE


Romney
dallasnews.com

Romney’s Religious Dodge

In the first of a new Truthdig series on religion and politics, the Rev. Madison Shockley analyzes Mitt Romney’s recent landmark speech and finds that America’s most famous Mormon is trying to have it both ways.

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 READ MORE


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