Category Archives: religion

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 […]

Lord Oystermouth’s lament: Britain is a “post-Christian” nation

Not long ago Prime Minister David Cameron described Britain as a Christian nation, and went on to emphasize the moral necessity of keeping it that way.  The odious Baroness Warsi , Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and  Minister for Faith and Communities (as well as a Muslim), has repeatedly emphasized the persecution of Christians […]

Is religion a superstition?

I haven’t been able to read the comments as often as I should, but I gather that Eric MacDonald and Ben Goren are at each other’s throats about whether religion has value apart from its truth claims, whether it’s a “way of knowing,” and, whether religion is a “superstition.” Eric maintained that religion wasn’t a […]


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