Category Archives: Religion

John Cleese Despises Christianity

Excellent religious argument from John Cleese aside, this is a fascinating time capsule of England in the late 1970s. When a comedy film with a religious setting could be dragged across the coals by the media and the establishment. But it’s the Pythons’ argument that is the meat of the clip. Cleese and Palin ask […]

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Bean Duped

Favomancy is a form of divination that used to be practised by seers in Russia, in particular, among the Ubykh. The practice involves throwing beans on the ground and interpreting the patterns in which the beans fall; it is therefore a type of cleromancy. Russian methods of favomancy may still exist; however, since the departure […]

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St Roch’s Dog

A random Facebook post led me to read up on Saint Roch, or Saint “Does this look infected?”, as I’ve been calling him since seeing his statue in a Paris museum. Roch’s claim to fame was in a miracle escape from plague, assisted by a local mutt: …he would have perished had not a dog […]

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U.S. Religious Knowledge Quiz

http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/ Here’s that Pew Religion quiz I blogged about earlier. As I suspected, I did pretty well – 14/15. Missed the question about the First Great Awakening, which was new to me. (Another distinction between myself the religious types who probably scored lower: I actually looked the Awakening up in Wikipedia, ’cause, you know, curiosity.)

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http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-religion-survey,0,7375137.story I want to take this survey, mainly out of curiosity as to how a lifelong atheist, with absolutely no exposure to the Bible beyond the scenes depicted in the museums I so love, would fare. Given the first few questions mentioned in this article, I’m well on the way to 100%. So why would […]

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Dailymotion – The Intelligence² Debate – Stephen Fry (Unedited) – a Film &TV video

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbvr0m_the-intelligence%C2%B2-debate-stephen-fr_shortfilms Stephen Fry, if you’ll pardon the pun, goes biblical on Ann Widdicombe’s pro-Catholic arguments at the Intelligence2 debates. Fry’s great gift here is to break down the church’s mealy-mouthed (or sometimes foul-mouthed) policies and show them for the hateful dogmas they really are. Thanks, Frannyy, for the forward.

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Evolutionary Psychology – Torontoist

http://torontoist.com/2009/10/evolutionary_psychology.php Richard Dawkins is the Michael Moore of the evolution argument: He’s entirely in the right, but such a smug asshole with such a childish attitude that he makes me cringe. Taking an approach that is as alienating and dogmatic as any religious doctrine is not going to win him new followers; it’s just going […]

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080311/ap_on_re_eu/vatican_sins_5;_ylt=AstoI.W65Ue26hF8KHS44FQE1vAI In olden days, the deadly sins included lust, gluttony and greed. Now, the Catholic Church says pollution, mind-damaging drugs and genetic experiments are on its updated thou-shalt-not list. Also receiving fresh attention by the Vatican was social injustice, along the lines of the age-old maxim: “The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.” […]

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Pope turns tables on critics – thestar.com

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/295577 In a 130-page “apostolic exhortation” issued last year, the Pope reasserted the church’s opposition to abortion, euthanasia and gay marriages, calling these values “non-negotiable.” And he insisted that Catholic politicians had a duty to defend the church’s teachings. Another example (after my Mitt Romney post last week) of why it’s a bad idea to […]

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Christmas with Christopher Hitchens | Books | Interview | The A.V. Club

http://www.avclub.com/content/node/71705/print/ I don’t like Christopher Hitchens, but I suspect we agree on many, many things. Case in point, the awful “family holiday” observation of Christmas (*shudder*): I think attitudes toward Christmas don’t depend just on attitude to religion, but on what kind of family you had, and my family was one that didn’t do very […]

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