"Killing the Buddha
is about finding a way to be religious when we're all so self-conscious and self-absorbed. Knowing more than ever about ourselves and the way the world works, we gain nothing through nostalgia for a time when belief was simple, and even less from insisting that now is such a time. Killing the Buddha
will ask, How can we be religious without leaving part of ourselves at the church or temple door? How can we love God when we know it doesn't matter if we do? Call it God for the godless. Call it the search for a God we can believe in: A God that will not be an embarrassment in twelve-thousand years. A God we can talk about without qualifications." I particularly enjoyed The Temptation of Belief
, by a Buddhist exploring evangelical Christianity, and My Holy Ghost People
, by an unbelieving daughter in a praying-in-tongues family.
posted by heatherann
on Apr 24, 2006 -
Jesus walked on the
So sayeth... um... well, this guy at Florida State. Doron Nof
has released a paper
positing that when Jesus walked on the water in Galilee, he was actually walking on a patch of floating ice. What's interesting about science like this to me is that it both validates and invalidates scripture, since if Jesus was walking on ice... no miracle (although, it's a miracle he didn't slip and fall, har har har). But if Jesus was walking on ice, then at least he historically existed, which is still an open question
at least in some quarters
. In case you think you recognize Mr. Nof's name, you may be remembering his work explaining that the parting of the Red Sea was totally possible
(flash video link).
posted by illovich
on Apr 5, 2006 -
The Mercy Seat.
Described in the book of Exodus, the throne of mercy has quite a variety of meanings. Some contemporary Christians are interested in "reconstructing
" an image based on Egyptian and Phoenician culture. In Judaism, the kisei rachamim
is part of the narrative of Yom Kippur, as God moves from the seat of justice to the seat of compassion. In medieval Europe, and especially in Germany, the Gnadenstuhl
was a perfect representation
of the trinity, combining the cruxification, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit (usually a bird), into one image of mournful compassion. Nick Cave used the idea of the mercy seat as the frame for a song about murder, sin, capital punishment, and atonement/redemption
, which was later covered by Johnny Cash (mp3 clip
). The chair of mercy is even visually alluded to Jodorowsky's Montana Sacra
, aka Holy Mountain
. (Which have been inspired in part by the Ascended Masters of Mount Shasta, but that's technically another story - the bizarro California cultists story.)
posted by jann
on Mar 3, 2006 -
The Other Christian Activists "Any Christian who believes that homosexuality is a more important issue than justice for the poor just hasn't read his Bible straight."
- David Hilfiker
"If you are waiting for a religious left to emerge to offset the power of the religious right, it may already be in your own neighborhood at a local church or synagogue."
- Ira Chernus
posted by quonsar
on Mar 1, 2006 -
One in five
Americans consider themselves "holy", according to a recent poll by the Barna Research Group.
posted by bcveen
on Feb 24, 2006 -
is said to be the founder
of The Orphic Mysteries
, or Orphism
While in school most students are taught the Theogony of Hesiod
, but as in most religions, a differing account existed: The Orphic Theogony
, summarized somewhat in this short video
(nsfw? abstract nudity
). The Orphic Reform
to the Dionysian Mysteries
included vegetarianism, abstention from sex, and restraint from eating eggs and beans — which came to be known as the Orphikos bios
, or "Orphic way of life".
into the Mystery school
was needed to teach the Road to the Lower World
, through Bone Tablets
remnants of Orphic Hymns
. The Orphic Mystery has been seen as very similar to other
(scroll about 2/3 down the page or search for Orphics
posted by ozomatli
on Feb 17, 2006 -
. A collaborative work by former members documenting The Family
/Children of God
religion/cult. Uniquely reflecting the sexual revolution
, they encouraged prostitution
as a means of gaining converts
they had comic books
for the kids
. But in concordance with other cults, abuse
, charismatic leaders
, and irreparable harm
were in full swing
. (No more inside. There may be PDFs involved. Please note that much of this material is not safe for work, or anywhere else.)>
posted by cytherea
on Feb 10, 2006 -
Interpreting Revelation's "Millenium."
Outside of the all-too-virulent rapture-crazy pre-tribulational dispensationalist premillenialism
permeating JesusLand, some Christians hold to other, more nuanced eschatological alternatives. You've got historic post-tribulational premillenialism
, which places the transformation of the faithful at the final judgment rather than before it; amillenialism
, which regards Christ's "millenial" reign as a symbolic spiritual reign culminating in the last judgment; and postmillenialism
, which sees the millenium as a gradual progression towards goodness and light. Overlapping those, you have the "it's all been fulfilled" preterists
, and their prophecy-party-pooping compatriots, the hyper-preterists
. It's a debate just slightly more fun than the end of the universe
. Meanwhile, the noncanonical apocalypses
sit in a corner, sadly ignored, and sunny Megiddo
is still waiting for some end times action
posted by brownpau
on Feb 1, 2006 -
Five Reasons Torture Is Always Wrong.
From the magazine "Christianity Today", David P. Gushee, a professor of moral philosophy at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, is against torture. Period. No exceptions. Complete with Bible verses to prove it.
posted by willmize
on Jan 27, 2006 -
Breaking the Science-Atheism Bond.
"When I was growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the 1960s, I came to the view that God was an infantile illusion, suitable for the elderly, the intellectually feeble, and the fraudulently religious."
posted by brownpau
on Jan 24, 2006 -
The Beast is coming.
Director Brian Flemming prepares to bring to the silver screen what might be the most controversial film of the year (if not all time). The cast and crew are all sworn to secrecy regarding the film's actual content, and the central premise easily explains why: What if there was a massive conspiracy in the Christian Church to conceal the fact that Jesus Christ never existed
posted by deusdiabolus
on Jan 6, 2006 -
"A Helpful Hand"
- Penn & Teller call Bullshit!
on the "bestselling book in the world," the Holy Bible. (link is to entire episode approx 29mins - *language, flash)
posted by hypersloth
on Dec 14, 2005 -
"If God does not exist, and if religion is an illusion that the majority of men cannot live without...let men believe in the lies of religion since they cannot do without them, and let then a handful of sages, who know the truth and can live with it, keep it among themselves. Men are then divided into the wise and the foolish, the philosophers and the common men, and atheism becomes a guarded, esoteric doctrine--for if the illusions of religion were to be discredited, there is no telling with what madness men would be seized, with what uncontrollable anguish."
posted by empath
on Dec 6, 2005 -
Faith based prisons...
Can Gov. Jeb Bush's new drive to introduce God to the inmates make a difference, or was Jesus 'dying for our sins' not enough already? Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?
"Night has fallen. He has died now.
A fly crawls over the still flesh.
Of what use is it to me that this man suffered,
If I am suffering now?" - Jorge Luis Borges
posted by 0bvious
on Nov 25, 2005 -
Thanksgiving sucks. The English went on setting fire to wigwams of the village. They burned village after village to the ground. As one of the leading theologians of his day, Dr. Cotton Mather put it: "It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day." And Cotton Mather, clutching his bible, spurred the English to slaughter more Indians in the name of Christianity.
posted by j-urb
on Nov 24, 2005 -
American Christianity has distorted the gospel and become spiritually bankrupt.
... “Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are materialists with no experience of the Spirit. Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are individualists with no real experience of community.” He paused for a moment and then continued: “Let’s pretend that you were all Christians. If you were Christians, you would no longer accumulate. You would share everything you had. You would actually love one another. And you would treat each other as if you were family.” His eyes were piercing as he asked, “Why don’t you do that? Why don’t you live that way?”
posted by publius
on Nov 9, 2005 -
If You're a Christian, Muslim or Jew - You are Wrong
- A rant over at the Huffington Post
And let's be clear about this, it IS a rant, and a beaut at that. But it's a sentiment that's run through the head of everyone who isn't a member of the three mentioned groups. No one in the mainstream media says things like this, I wonder why?
The post is made. Let the emphatic agreements, and the vicious denials... begin!
posted by JHarris
on Oct 23, 2005 -
The Antichrist Checklist
: The most recent entry in Slacktivist's extremely insightful and entertaining series
on mocking and deconstructing the Left Behind
books. Being written from the perspective of a non-fundie Christian just makes it even more powerful. Slacky reveals how manufactured the cooked-up, hacked-together "prophecy," that fuels the series is. If you believe all that nonsense, and can make it through this series with your wacky premillennial dispensationalist beliefs
intact, then I'm sorry but there is no hope for you.
Highlights of this week's installment, the best I've seen in a while: the antichrist, the paucity of the biblical evidence for him/it, and this sentence: "The composite sketch derived from all these descriptions yields a portrait that looks a little like Nebuchadnezzar, a little like Antiochus Epiphanes, a little like Nero or Diocletian, and a little like Victor von Doom."
posted by JHarris
on Aug 19, 2005 -
Why does the National Council of Churches hate America?
The NCC -- a coalition of 36 Christian denominations -- makes a firm statement against the war in Iraq: "This year our nation is at war as we observe the 4th of July, a day that honors those founders who spoke out for independence from tyranny. Today in Iraq a cruel dictator has been deposed, yet the suffering of the Iraqi people continues. Mandated elections have been held, yet the future of Iraq remains as uncertain as ever. Day by day the cost of this war for the United States, for Iraq, for peace grows clearer. No weapons of mass destruction have been found; no link to the attacks on September 11, 2001 has been shown. It has become clear that the rationale for invasion was at best a tragic mistake, at worst a clever deception." Mainstream Christians are starting to take back Christianity from the theocrats
posted by digaman
on Jun 30, 2005 -
Christian Video Games set to make comeback?
Tired of destroying the same old cliched monsters, day in day out? Want to engross yourself in a more morally sound, Religious video game experience? Well if the Christian gaming community has their way, we'll soon all be playing them (or at least a few % of gamers):
"As believers in Christ, we pray that God will be glorified through our work and that each of us draw nearer to him as we develop and grow as a business,"
the Christian game company says
posted by 0bvious
on May 24, 2005 -
How evangelical churches are borrowing from the business playbook - "The triumph of evangelical Christianity is profoundly reshaping many aspects of American politics and society... This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to 'plant' 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. 'We have cowboy churches for people working on ranches, country music churches, even several motorcycle churches aimed at bikers', says Martin King, a spokesman for the Southern Baptists' North American Mission Board... Many of today's evangelicals hope to expand their clout even further. They're also gaining by taking their views into Corporate America. Exhibit A: the recent clash at software giant Microsoft
posted by kliuless
on May 15, 2005 -