If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the proposed John 3:16 Super Bowl ad that Fox rejected because it was too religious. A lot of Christians are up in arms about the “censorship,” “intolerance,” and “unfairness” that Fox’s decision supposedly represents. Yet, I seem to recall lots of Christians expressing similar outrage when atheists began running pro-atheism ads on buses and billboards. So, what exactly do we want? Is it okay to run overtly religious ads in public spaces or not? Because it sure seems like we’re trying to have our cake and eat it too.
(By the way, that always strikes me as an odd saying. Why would I want to have the cake if I wasn’t going to eat it?)
- This fun video explains the difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain, and England. Living in Scotland for a while, I quickly realized that these are important distinctions to get straight lest you accidentally tell a Scot that he/she is “English”.
- Jesse Bering explains his argument that our belief in God is just a product of how our brains work.
What if I were to tell you that God’s mental states, too, were all in your mind? That God, like a tiny speck floating at the edge of your cornea producing the image of a hazy, out-of-reach orb accompanying your every turn, was in fact a psychological illusion, a sort of evolved blemish etched onto the core cognitive substrate of your brain? It may feel as if there is something grander out there . . . watching, knowing, caring. Perhaps even judging. But, in fact, that’s just your overactive theory of mind. In reality, there is only the air you breathe.
- Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie calls for more passion and less civility in public discourse.
All this talk about civility is beginning to make me uncomfortable. Civility refers to courteous and polite behavior. But courteous and polite behavior is not, in and of itself, a religious value. At times, it is to be subordinated to other, more important values.
- Joseph Black discusses why Eastern Orthodox churches claim to be the one true church.
Orthodox Christians believe they have managed to preserve and pass down the traditions of the church from those days through the rest of the Ecumenical Councils, through the ‘great schism’ with Rome, despite pressure and persecution from Muslims, Crusaders, Communists and Protestants (!) without deviation; they see themselves as having faithfully managed Christ’s blueprint and agenda for his people to the present day.
- Jim West reports that the church in Laodicea may have been uncovered by archeologists.
- Rod over at Political Jesus is going to be blogging through Black History Month. That should be a fascinating discussion to follow.
- Mubarak says that he won’t run for re-election, the Egyptian army calls for an end to the demonstrations, and there are reports that the internet has been partially turned back on. But, all of this has done little to stem the demonstrations.
I know that a couple of you are pretty interested in issues of church/state relationships, theologies of state, and social/civic engagement. So, I’d thought this post from Exploring Our Matrix might interest you. McGrath is basically arguing that atheists and baptists have (or should have) the same basic attitude on the relationship between church and state. Take a look at it and let us know what you think. There are really two questions here: (1) Do you think he is right about baptists and atheists have the same general take on this issue? And, (2) Do you think this is the correct stance that we should have toward church/state relations?