Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

Category: Religion (Page 2 of 3)

Somehow I figured the first side I read that brought Nazis — or, in this case, Holocaust denial — into the Intelligent Design debate would be the ID proponents, not the opponents. Guess I was naive.

Oh well, Godwin’s law wouldn’t exist if Nazi analogies weren’t useful across the political spectrum.

And, by the way, darn those “techniques of rhetoric and debate”. If we just didn’t have those, we’d be in a much better…Oh wait, he doesn’t say what those are, does he? 😉

Update: In the comments, Mark Nutter points out some prior art that confirms my original impression. Thanks, Mark!

Baptist Church Split…News at 11!

I grew up in Baptist churches…and watched them split. We went to a string of churches on four consecutive Sundays where the pastor resigned while we were there. This is pretty typical, and has been so for a long time. The issues may have been politics, divorce, smoking, church funds, the pastor’s wife, pants on women, sports on Sunday, you name it, but what it usually came down to was a control-freak pastor who couldn’t see past his own nose, and it sounds like East Waynesville Baptist got themselves a real winner last October.

I don’t know much about this church, but there are hundreds of dysfunctional churches just like it out there, and in the independent tradition of Baptists, the usual solution is to leave and start up a new one. In this case, it’s too bad the folks who were willing to fight against the pastor couldn’t get enough folks on their side to run him out of town. Sounds like the pastor was stacking the deck by running off old members and recruiting new ones. Now the church should experience the consequence of losing that tax-exempt status. Congratulations, young’un (the pastor’s 31), you’re killing your first church. 🙁

(BTW, just to cover it here, anyone who has read this blog for long knows I’m not a big fan of culture war rhetoric. So, it’s irritating to see folks who should be primarily appalled by this pastor and church’s actions settling for saying “Well, that’s just the kind of theocracy we’re becoming,” quoting Niemöller, and referencing The Handmaid’s Tale. Niemöller’s quote isn’t an incantation against evil, it’s a warning about inaction, so you’d figure the amount of time taken to quoting it as a dire warning of general direction would be better serving some sort of specific action against the specific wrong. In this case, why not try these suggestions?)

Link courtesy of

Update: Well, the pastor’s gone. And he and his supporters still don’t seem to get that it wasn’t about the Bible, it was about telling people who to vote for. Does he not understand he was in the Appalachians?

BTW, quote from a supporter: “I have never bowed down to Chan. I’ve only bowed down to the Lord.”

One hopes. 🙂

Schneier on the Papal Election

Interesting analysis of the security considerations behind a small-group voting process, plus much more information than I’d ever heard about Papal elections.

Update: I like this quote.

“…when an election process is left to develop over the course of a couple thousand years, you end up with something surprisingly good.”

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism?

A review of Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, from The Revealer. Sample quote:

In religious terms, according to teenagers, God cares that each teenager is happy and that each teenager has high self-esteem. Morality has nothing to do with authority, mutual obligations, or sacrifice. In a sense, God wants little more for us than to be good, happy capitalists. Smith and Denton elaborate: “Therapeutic individualism’s ethos perfectly serves the needs and interests of U.S. mass-consumer capitalist economy by constituting people as self-fulfillment-oriented consumers subject to advertising’s influence on their subjective feelings.” And to be good, happy capitalists, we should be good, unless if being good prevents us from being happy.

Sounds interesting, particularly since they don’t just pick on kids.

Actual AP and Yahoo! News Quotes

“84-year-old Pontiff ‘serene and calm’ after suffering heart failure.”

“Pope John Paul II suffered heart failure and is in ‘very grave’ condition, the Vatican said Friday, but it said he was lucid and spent the morning celebrating Mass and receiving top aides, asking one to read him the biblical account of Christ’s crucifixion and burial.”

One figures that resuscitation might fit in there somewhere, but he’s a tough old guy, so maybe he’s just soldiering on.

Update: They do explain it later.

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