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{ Tag Archives } religion

Pelvic Morality and Saving Cash

So you’ve heard of the “Manhattan Declaration,” right?  It’s a right-wing propaganda bomb trying to stake a claim on “Christian” morals by enshrining certain values as essentially “Christian.”  These values–anti-abortion, no gay marriage–spawn debate across the country, with many sects going separate ways on these issues. But two things occur to me about the declaration.  […]

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Midnight Nation

by J. Michael Straczynski Wikipedia has a pretty good summary of the story, so I won’t bother here.  Straczynski crafts a religious tale about a man who battles demons over his soul.  Some thoughts: The story is okay, but the art got in the way for me — I don’t understand why a good story […]

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A Chosen Faith

An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism by John A Buehrens and Forrest Church My family has started attending the local Unitarian Universalist church in the last couple months and I’ve found it quite invigorating and interesting.  As part of the process, we took the “Introduction to UU” class and I bought a book about the religion.  […]

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Dawkins in your ear

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins; narrated by Lalla Ward and the author So in my quest to read a variety of books about spirituality, God, and more, I just finished listening to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.  Dawkins wields some strong rhetorical arguments about religious belief.  A few thoughts: He’s at his most successful […]

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The Invention of Lying

We saw the Ricky Gervais/ Jennifer Garner movie The Invention of Lying this weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly.  The film tells the story of a world in which human beings never evolved the ability to lie.  We say what we believe to be the truth.  Until R.G.’s character suddenly can say something “that isn’t.”  (Truth, […]

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Faith in Method

An essay I wrote as part of this year’s “Critical Encounters” series here at Columbia, published today in the Columbia Chronicle. The theme this year is Fact and Faith. How we believe what we believe by Brendan Riley, Assistant Professor of English When fact and faith come into conflict, how do we move forward? Alas, […]

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Thunderf00t vs. Ray Comfort

ThunderfOOt: You’re in denialism.  You can know nothing, you don’t even know that you’re here having this conversation. Ray Comfort: Well, you can know the Truth.  It’s all in the scripture. ThunderfOOt: Well, yeah, but you don’t even know whether you exist, let alone whether the scripture… Ray Comfort: Oh, I know I exist. Takes […]

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The Accidental Time Machine

By Joe Haldeman I read The Forever War a while ago, and enjoyed it immensely. One way to articulate that book’s project, though, is as follows: A man joins the army and, because of successively longer relativistic jumps, experiences the slow evolution of the human race and society over hundreds or thousands of years. Interesting […]

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The Year of Living Biblically

One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible By A. J. Jacobs I read Jacobs’ previous book, The Know-It-All, with great delight, and was very excited when I heard about this book. Then, in the yearly “let’s give each other books” swap I do with a couple friends at Christmastime, I […]

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The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell rating: 4 of 5 stars Vowell does a nice job of contextualizing the sometimes strange, sometimes familiar events of the early Calvinist settlers who arrived and settled Boston in the 1630s. As usual, she peppers the casual and entertaining discussion of history with witty, biting remarks. As usual, it’s […]

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I just realized…

The projected due date for the new Riley is August 8th, which would make his birthday 8/8/08. Check this out: In the Greek mysteries, the number 888 represented the “Higher Mind.” The Greek variation of “Jesus,” “Iesous,” equals 888. (link) The symbolism of the number eight: starting afresh on a higher level, an octave higher. […]

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