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January 05, 2010

Sam Harris responds to Karen Armstrong

The God Fraud: Sam Harris responds to Karen Armstrong | Foreign Policy Comments open. I heard Armstrong on NPR a month or two ago, when she was promoting her newest book. Her general point seems to be that we shouldn't judge religion by the actions of the forceful, the fundamentalist, or the martyrs but rather by who she thinks is a more appropriate sample. During the interview she admitted that she had no specific faith of her own--she is part of no organized religion--but believes that people should believe in something, no matter what it is. So I guess she's a Pastafarian? I dunno. Sam Harris is kind of a dick to her, but when most of her statements about atheists boil down to, "They're rude, they ignore my biases, and they should all shut up" I don't exactly blame him. Click through for her response as well.
Armstrong assures us that because religion has existed for millennia, it is here to stay. Of course, the same could be said about a preoccupation with witchcraft, which has also been a cultural universal. The belief in the curative powers of human flesh is still widespread in Africa, as it used to be in the West. It is said that "mummy paint" (a salve made from ground mummy parts) was applied to Lincoln's wounds as he lay dying. This is now good for a laugh. But in Kenya elderly men and women are still burned alive for casting malicious spells. In Angola, unlucky boys and girls have been blinded, injected with battery acid, and killed outright in an effort to purge them of demons. In Tanzania, there is a growing criminal trade in the body parts of albino human beings -- as it is widely believed that their flesh has magical properties. I hope that Armstrong will soon apply her capacious understanding of human nature to these phenomena. Then we will learn that though witchcraft has occasionally been entangled with political injustice, an "inadequate understanding" of demonology and sympathetic magic was really to blame. People will torture their children with battery acid from time to time anyway -- and who among us hasn't wanted to kill and eat an albino? I sincerely hope that my "new atheist" colleagues are not so naive as to imagine that actual belief in magic might be the issue here. After all, it would be absurd to criticize witchcraft as unscientific, as this would ignore the primordial division between mythos and logos. Let me see if I have this straight: Belief in demons, the evil eye, and the medicinal value of a cannibal feast are perversions of the real witchcraft - -which is drenched with meaning, intrinsically wholesome, integral to our humanity, and here to stay. Do I have that right?

January 04, 2010

Brit Hume: Tiger Woods should convert to christianity to be forgiven for his affairs

Brit Hume: Tiger Woods must become Christian to be forgiven

December 23, 2009

Merry Nittel Nacht, Everybody!

" href="http://www.slate.com/id/2238708/pagenum/all/#p2">The little-known Jewish holiday of Christmas Eve. Seriously....

December 18, 2009

Chappy Chanukah!

Eighth night tonight, people; get your candles and dreidels primed....

Continue reading "Chappy Chanukah!" »

December 15, 2009

Oral Roberts talking about the evils of sex

YouTube - The INFAMOUS Oral Roberts SEX TAPE! 2.0 | ORULAWSUIT.ORG

Noted televangelical swindler Oral Roberts has died

Evangelist Oral Roberts dies in Calif. at age 91 - Yahoo! News Mojonaut James Miller says this: "Oral Roberts University ... includes a 200-foot prayer tower and a 60-foot bronze statue of praying hands." You have to admire either the complete ignorance or set of steel balls on a preacher who builds "golden" idols and towers to reach the height of heaven on a campus named for himself. The rules against that aren...'t just IN the Bible - they're in the FRONT OF THE DAMN BIBLE. I don't hate Oral Roberts the way I hate other TV preachers. He had to go through life named "Oral." Maybe the freaks who kept you in shiny ties and hair creme didn't laugh in your face. But your name means "blow-job" and the rest of the world knows it. Clown.
TULSA, Okla. – Oral Roberts, a pioneer in televangelism who founded a multimillion-dollar ministry and a university that bears his name, died Tuesday. He was 91. Roberts died of complications from pneumonia in Newport Beach, Calif., according to his spokesman, A. Larry Ross. The evangelist was hospitalized after a fall on Saturday. He had survived two heart attacks in the 1990s and a broken hip in 2006. Roberts was a pioneer who broadcast his spirit-filled revivals on television, a new frontier for religion when he started in the 1950s. He was also a forerunner of the controversial "prosperity gospel" that has come to dominate televangelism. The evangelist's "Seed-Faith" theology held that those who give to God will get things in return. "If God had not, in His sovereign will, raised up the ministry of Oral Roberts, the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred," said Jack Hayford, president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, in a statement.

December 12, 2009

Happy Non-Denominational Gift-Giving Season!

Kicking things off with Happy Hanukkah, Chanukah, Khanike and חנֻכה YouTube - Neil Diamond The Chanukah Song