Category Archives: religion

A reader describes the “high” of glossolalia and his journey to nonbelief

I got an email from a reader who had a few comments about glossolalia (“speaking in tongues”), and then his email turned into a description of his journey from belief to atheism.  Because of the possible negative repercussions of the author coming out publicly, I won’t identify him except to use the word “he”. Anyway, the name is […]

Our god vs. theirs

A New Yorker cartoon tw**ted by Massimo Pigliucci. Remind you of a certain Monty Python skit?

The ecology of faith: what makes societies religious?

Along with some sociologists, I’ve long suspected that religiosity in today’s world derives largely from uncertainty in one’s life. This is based on several sociological studies of religion, showing striking positive correlations between social dysfunction and religiosity (the worse off a society, the more religious its members), combined with evidence that religiosity fluctuates with social dysfunction, but lags a […]

Karen Armstrong osculates religion on the BBC

Reader Colin sent an email that Karen Armstrong was on the BBC this morning. His note, below, got me to listen to the first 15 minutes of the 43-minute show, the part that is pretty much a monologue by Armstrong before other discussants take over. His email: If you can stomach it, you might find the interview on […]

The 50 Smartest “People of faith”?

The Best Schools website, which I think is fairly well known for telling people where to study in a given area, has produced a list and description of “The 50 smartest people of faith.” And it’s dire. I’m not sure whether they simply haven’t looked hard enough to find smart religious people (they choose folks who […]

The continuing decline of American religiosity

The Richard Dawkins Foundation website highlighted a post by Tobin Grant, a professor of political science at Southern Illinois University whose interest is the sociology of religion, and who writes about it at the site “Corner of Church and State” at the Religion News Service. Grant’s post reports 61 years of measuring “religiosity” (the degree […]

Lawrence O’Donnell takes out after Ark Park, and Bible as well

In the clip below, Lawrence O’Donnell, author, television writer (“The West Wing,” among other shows), and host of “The Last Word” on the MSNBC television channel in the US,  takes out after the Ark Park planned by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. He criticizes its unwarranted tax breaks from the state of Kentucky, its purveying fiction as […]

CoE allows women bishops

Well, the Church of England has finally stopped disenfranchising half of humanity, at least as far as being bishops in their church is concerned. Now I don’t know why anybody would want to be a bishop, but if they allow men then they should allow women. The BBC has just reported this: The Church of […]

And a little child shall lead them. . .

Out of the mouths of babes come, well, see for yourself in this grilling of a priest by two kids. It’s apparently from a British t.v. show called “Outnumbered.” Anybody know it? They’d never allow this kind of stuff on the main commercial channels in the U.S. h/t: Miss May

Is God a vertebrate without substance?

I believe it was H. L. Mencken who used the term “vertebrate without substance” to describe the beliefs of Christians about God; the term, of course, was meant to mock the superstitions for what they are, shorn of numinous language. Mencken was a true strident atheist, as good with mockery as was his successor Hitchens. But my point […]

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