Category Archives: Christianity

A Christian tries to save my soul by answering my hard questions about religion

In 2014 I published a piece in The New Republic (click on screenshot) which, despite the title, which I didn’t choose, described ways to turn religious peoples’ debate arguments back on themselves. Part of that article involved using a “no-god of-the-gap” arguments, asking religious people to answer a series of six questions. The bit below […]

An Easter homily by Peter Nothnagle on the “Empty Tomb”

JAC note: A bit more than two years ago, I made available to readers a Jesus-themed essay by reader Peter Nothnagle, whose day job is helping record early classical music. His essay, “Jesus: Fact or Fiction,” comprised a talk he gave to the to a joint meeting of the Unitarian-Universalist Society of Iowa City and […]

Ross Douthat’s dumb Easter theodicy: what is the “meaning” of the pandemic?

If you knew that Ross Douthat was religious, or even that his faith was Christian, but didn’t know what brand, you’d know by the end of his new column that he was Catholic. And indeed he is, for at the end he invokes the Hornéd One, aka Beelzebub.  In other words. . . SATAN. After […]

More dumb theodicy in the New York Times

Even though the New York Times is full of advice about how to take care of yourself during the pandemic, it also brings in a Jesuit priest, Fr. James Martin, to deal with the issue of theodicy, as you can see from the title of his piece in today’s paper (click on screenshot to read): […]

Another Jesus relic goes down the drain

UPDATE: Greg found the debunking paper from J. Archaeological Science Reports (Science got the name wrong), and a judicious inquiry will land you the paper. ********* I’m about to start reading the book below, which was published on March 1 and was kindly sent me by the author, Andrea Nicolotti, a professor at the University […]

Weekend religiosity

I bin comments like this one frequently, as they’re from those who have drunk the Kool-Aid and come over here to make us drink it, too. This time, however, I will put up a believer’s comment, addressed to the “dear atheists here” (we’re also called “simple folk”). Apparently Mr./Ms./Their Dejuss thinks that the metaphor of […]

A bad argument for a good cause

I originally called this post “Lying for Jesus,” but that’s not quite accurate since the church that posted the sign below (seen on a walk in Hyde Park yesterday) may really believe in the virgin birth.  What bothers me about this sign is that it uses a delusion to prop up a good cause. (Actually, […]

The NYT’s Christmas sermon: Jesus presented as real

The op-ed piece below, which is the most prominent article in today’s New York Times Opinion section (top right of webpage), is an example of how religious delusions get mainstreamed, simply by being presented as if they were incontestably real. (Note: the piece isn’t the paper’s opinion, but they decided to publish it.) The author, […]

Nicholas Kristof still struggling about whether he’s a Christian; queries evasive evangelical writer

For some reason that I don’t understand, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has published column after column in which he asks theologians and other religionists about what they really believe. Do they believe Jesus was resurrected? Did he really perform miracles? As I wrote about his last column in April: For a long time, New […]

New Pew survey shows that Americans are rapidly becoming less Christian and more secular

The Pew Organization conducted surveys for their Religious Landscape Studies in 2007 and 2014, assessing the religiosity, non-religiosity, beliefs, and churchgoing habits of Americans. They continued these surveys last year and this year, though on a more restricted scale. Nevertheless, the new Pew Survey, whose summary you can see by clicking on the screenshot below […]