Southern Religion

Who could imagine Al Mohler oversimplifying R. Crumb?

Who else could? Al Mohler himself.

Crumb isn’t offering a substitute for Genesis, or pretending to. Nor is Crumb offering an object of worship. He has instead created a work of art in his medium of choice – comparable to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (Gibson, working in his medium of choice). But for all his quoting of Crumb, Mohler doesn’t seem to grasp that. He skips right along, without acknowledging the broader issues, to assert, it seems, that Crumb’s work contravenes the second commandment. Are we missing something here?

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Cultural, Religion, Uncategorized | | Comments Off on Who could imagine Al Mohler oversimplifying R. Crumb?

It is Roman Catholic laity the Bishops fear

Susan Jacoby gets at something fundamental:

The real concern of the church hierarchy is dissent from lay Catholics, and that is why archbishops feathers’ are more ruffled when the last name of a critic is Dowd or O’Malley rather than Goldstein or Horowitz. (My mother’s maiden name is Broderick, by the way.) The groundbreaking reporting on the pedophile priest scandal was done by journalists for The National Catholic Reporter, as well as by The Boston Globe, which also employs a great many reporters with good old Irish names and Catholic backgrounds. The press is not criticizing “Catholics.” As the hierarchy knows perfectly well, the majority of Catholics do not agree with their bishops’ and pope’s position on opposition to married priests, to women priests, to contraception, to divorce, and to legal abortion. The bishops can’t persuade a majority of those raised in their own faith to support their positions, so they lash out at critics and try to intimidate the press with charges of anti-Catholicism.

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Catholic | , , | 1 Comment

Learn the H1N1 vaccination boogie, baby

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Health | Comments Off on Learn the H1N1 vaccination boogie, baby

OMG! Atheist ads keep right on rollin’

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Religion | , , , | Comments Off on OMG! Atheist ads keep right on rollin’

Are they serious?

Sharon Autenrieth at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch agrees the fundamental Manhattan Declaration points, yet sees the ovearching whacko of it. Charles Colson talks of educating young evangelicals about “the three most important issues,” and Autenrieth responds:

Really? The “three most important issues”? That’s a bold statement. And what are the issues that are drawing younger evangelicals attention, anyway? Much research shows that young evangelicals are pro-life in similar numbers to their elders. They seem to be more pro-life than senior citizens in the church, as a matter of fact. But get a group of young Christians talking about social issues and you are also likely to hear about climate change and justice issues – human trafficking, militarism, and especially global poverty. Let’s just focus on that last one for the moment. Are the signatories of the Manhattan Declaration confident that preventing civil society from recognizing same-sex marriage is a more central issue for Christians than addressing poverty? Are they serious? Let’s see…in the parable of the sheep and the goats Jesus separated the blessed from the cursed based on how they treated the hungry & thirsty, the sick, the stranger, the naked and the prisoner. If that’s not enough reason to prioritize serving those in need, consider that James 1:27 says that “Religion God your Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Religion | | Comments Off on Are they serious?

Hate Studies

An interdisciplinary curriculum sparked by conversations at Gonzaga University.

It’s time.

November 22, 2009 Posted by | anti-Semitism, Politics | , , | Comments Off on Hate Studies

Saturday night graph: It’s still the economy …

[H/T Nate Silver]

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Obama, Politics | Comments Off on Saturday night graph: It’s still the economy …

Real, live climatological scientists

Climategate is reassuring for everyone concerned that global warming and other scientific work is a conspiracy by extraterrestrials.

The pilfered 169-megabyte [.zip] file includes emails which show scientists at the University of East Anglia to be inescapably human. As they ever so tactfully put it at RealClimate:

…There is a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined. People working constructively to improve joint publications; scientists who are friendly and agree on many of the big picture issues, disagreeing at times about details and engaging in ‘robust’ discussions; Scientists expressing frustration at the misrepresentation of their work in politicized arenas and complaining when media reports get it wrong; Scientists resenting the time they have to take out of their research to deal with over-hyped nonsense. None of this should be shocking.

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Science | Comments Off on Real, live climatological scientists

‘Going Muslim’ down the slippery slope into the black box of religion

Jeremy Walton coments on Tunku Varadarajan’s Going Muslim column in Forbes. Walton explains how secular culture substitutes “the black box” of religion” for understanding:

When confronted by actions or motivations that defy explanation, the mouthpieces of secular political culture are content to attribute these actions or motivations to religion and then rush to criticize them as such. While so-called Islamist violence is a particularly frequent object of this type of black box rationality, one also encounters it in less spectacular contexts. Contemporary homophobia in the United States, for example, is typically linked to Evangelical Protestantism and Christianity more generally in public discourse, in spite of the fact that many devout Christians eschew bias based upon sexual orientation and many prominent homophobes have only marginal religious credentials. This is not to deny that some individuals do understand their own violent actions or prejudices as religiously-motivated. However, this fact does not imply that public commentators on religion should take this self-understanding at face value. This is especially the case in politically-charged times, when the attribution of individual causes too easily becomes a blanket description of entire communities and traditions.

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Cultural | , , , | Comments Off on ‘Going Muslim’ down the slippery slope into the black box of religion

Bishops defend the Catholic Camapign for Human Development

Archbishops John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Charles J. Chaput of Denver. responded to the far-right hammering of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), for which collections are being made this weekend.

Chaput, one of the investigators of the Legion of Christ, was reported by the Catholic News Agency to have said of blog attacks: “People shouldn’t believe everything they read or be upset with the kind of intensity that I’ve seen, because I think that intensity leads to blindness.”

According to CNS, Nienstedt explained that the Campaign aims to “break the cycle of poverty” for 40 million people in the U.S. by funding local “self-help, anti-poverty” organizations. Many of these are not under the auspices of the Church, but agree to follow guidelines which prevent them from violating Catholic teachings, the archbishop explained. And had “immediately cut off” violators.

November 22, 2009 Posted by | Catholic | , , | Comments Off on Bishops defend the Catholic Camapign for Human Development