I guess I'm confused 
2007.06.19 09:00 - News and Politics, Philosophy and Religion
I'm honestly not clear on the beef that Islamic hardliners have with Salman Rushdie, since I never read The Satanic Verses, or any of his other works. However, if one is to believe the (unnamed) member of the Pakistani government's cabinet, their feud with "the West" includes allegations (by us) of "extremism and terrorism" (by them). Therefore, it would O. K. to kill Mr. Rushdie (who, I guess, encourages the sorts of attitudes the West has towards the likes of our anonymous cabinet minister) with "a bomb".

Because that's not at all like terrorism. I guess.

Surely someone out there in the Religion of Peace understands why this ironic attitude might be counterproductive to convincing the rest of the world that Islam isn't the religion of benighted, bloodthirsty lunatics. Maybe they're just being very quiet about it.

(Link stolen from The Corner.)
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And a belatedly happy Easter to the lot of you. 
2007.04.09 09:57 - Philosophy and Religion
I actually did not make it to church for Easter, though I did attend a Good Friday communion service. (Apparently, I am not actually competent to set my alarm clock.)

I did spend much of the last week reading up on St. Benedict &c, though I confess that I found the magazine's emphasis on how countercultural and radical the monastics are/were. Not that they're wrong. It just seemed rather beside the point, and I don't really think it bore stating more than once in a given two- or three-page article. Still, some interesting information there, if you find yourself so inclined.

On the matter of that Good Friday service, though, I am more and more convinced, wherever I belong in the body of Christ, I no longer quite belong in the church in which I grew up. (Not that I've ever been much for attendance, sadly.) The pastor's a great guy, but I've never felt like his sermons had much to do with me,0 and the music direction has left me rather cold for some time now.1

So, I feel as though I have some additional stake or interest in articles like this2, which suggest that there might be something wrong with the way churches are ministering.3 I guess I'm not the only one who tires of spending all of Sunday morning in a pew being lectured about feelings while good and innocent music is badly brutalized.4

In the meantime, I suppose I should really find another church.

0. In the preacher's defense, I would submit that the greater part of that church is probably his focus, and I can find no fault with that. Especially as I have made no effort to make my dissatisfaction known.
1. This is partly because I haven't been to church except on holidays in over four years, but I really miss the experience of singing hymns from hymnals to the accompaniment of actual people playing organ or piano. I also like for 4/4 time to not sound like a funeral dirge--it's not a speedy pace for a song, but c'mon: it doesn't crawl, either.
2. Link stolen from Luther at the Movies.
3. Actually that seems to suggest something is more likely wrong with the surrounding culture. I'm inclined to think that it's some from column A, some from column B.
4. I wish to point out that I find several of the ideas floated in that article a bit dubious. There was an article a year or so back that I recall making an argument for more theology from the pulpit. This seemed like a good idea to me, though it would require starting small, if my own woefully inadequate background in the subject is any indication. (Whether this is an issue with my current church, I do not know: my attendance has, of late, been so spotty as to leave me without any context with which to make such a judgment.)

[Update: Missed a noun up there. It's supposed to be 'good and innocent music'. My mistake.]
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You'll probably hear about this before the day is out 
2007.02.26 11:02 - News and Politics, Philosophy and Religion
At least, if it's of any significance, anyway.

James Cameron is holding a press conference0 wherein he intends to present claims that a handful of bodies found in a family crypt in Jerusalem in 1980 actually belonged to Jesus of Nazareth; his mother, Mary; his wife, Mary Magdalene; and his son, Judah (amongst others, presumably).

He claims to have DNA evidence to support these claims, but I don't see how that can do anything other than verify that the bodies were related (which is stated by the inscriptions in the tomb, after all). At least, I'm not aware of too many free-floating bits of DNA that can be tied back to any of those figures.


0. Don't read the comments. It's really not worth the IQ points you'll lose.

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Just in case there's anyone else interested 
2006.12.19 16:45 - Philosophy and Religion
December 25th was probably chosen as the date of Christ's birth for reasons that have nothing to do with pagan celebrations around the same time on the calendar.

I already passed that one on to a couple people last week, but it seems to be worthy of broader distribution. (I stole the link from a post by Ramesh Ponnuru over at The Corner, so I doubt I can broaden distribution by very much. However! I'm fairly certain that the set of my readers is far from wholly contained in the set of people who read National Review's website.)

Merry Christmas!
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In sort of the same category as Answer-Me Jesus 
2006.10.02 19:27 - News and Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Toys, Gadgets
We have the Dashboard Mohammed.

It might be more offensive than the Jesus thing, at least to the parties it's intended to offend.

Link shamelessly ganked from PDB.
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