Religion and Morality – Part 1: Divorce Rates
It is generally believed that religion makes people morally good, or that religion is a significant factor in making religious people morally better than non-religious people. Christians generally believe that the Christian religion makes Christians morally better than non-religious people. But there is a good deal of evidence that casts doubt on these widely held beliefs. One piece of evidence is this: DIVORCE RATES. Divorce is an important moral issue, at least from a Christian point of view. There are a few reasons for thinking divorce is a moral issue. First, marriage, at least for Christians, involves promises or vows. Keeping promises or vows or commitments is a part of being a morally good person. Second, one of the Ten Commandments prohibits people from committing adultery (at least that is how most Christians understand the Ten Commandments), so Christians and Jews view adultery as a serious moral evil. Cheating or sexual infidelity is a major cause or reason for divorce. Third, because c ... Read Article
“PICK UP YOUR BED & WALK” 😤 FAITH IN DIVINE HEALING & HOW IT HURTS THE DISABLED COMMUNITY
Growing up in the fundamentalist evangelical flock I believed my Pentecostal pastor when he told me God had revealed to him that I, a scrawny little schoolgirl who came to church because I had nothing better to do, possessed the gift of divine healing. I placed my little hands with their nervously bitten nails and WWJD beaded bracelets on many a searching and desperate soul and imagined the incredible power of Jesus transmitting from my soul and through my fingers to reach their every complicated spiritual and physical ailment. No one ever jumped out of their wheelchair like they did at the televangelist megachurches on TV, but I didn’t dare doubt that magical healing would eventually take place. If it never did, I knew it was my fault for not having enough faith. I left Christianity behind in my early 20’s, much too far behind to pick it up again even as a crutch after I became disabled in a car accident at age 32. Rendered a complete quadriplegic I often found myself seeking and extending solidar ... Read Article
Part B Of My Exploration And Application of Robyn Faith Walsh’s Book Has Been Published
ABSTRACT: This is Part B of a three-part literary application and defense of Robyn Faith Walsh’s recent (2021) hypothesis that the Gospels are not, as is usually thought, the product of literate spokespersons conveying the oral tradition of their community, but rather are birthed out of networks of elite Greco-Roman-Jewish writers in dialogue with one another, not downtrodden illiterate peasants. For example, what if the empty tomb narrative did not originate in the oral tradition of a Christian community, but in empty tomb apotheosis narratives that the author had read from ancient novels like that of Chariton? As a literary test of a hypothesis, I ask what predictions we can make of the kinds of concepts that we should find in the New Testament on Walsh’s literary elite education model, compared to what we should find if the oral tradition model is correct. I show that Walsh’s approach is certainly plausible and makes good sense of the evidence, such as pervasive intertextual haggadic midrash (Jewish ... Read Article
Why are Pastors Quiet About What They Know?
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Ruling is a significant setback for the often religious backed anti-abortion movement
Supreme Court rejects challenge to abortion pill mifepristone, allowing drug to stay on the market. CNN—The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s approach to regulating the abortion pill mifepristone with a ruling that will continue to allow the pills to be mailed to patients without an in-person doctor’s visit. The ruling is a significant setback for the anti-abortion movement in what was the first major Supreme Court case on reproductive rights since the court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. See full article here. ... Read Article
The Separation of Church and State
MAGA pastor/Trump cultist Mark Burns has advanced to a runoff in South Carolina, putting him one step closer to Congress. Burns has promised that if elected, he'll work to see that those who promote LGBTQ rights are held "accountable for treason." See the Right Wing Watch article HERE ... Read Article
Christmaker: A Life of John the Baptist
James McGrath published his major trade book on John the Baptist today: The scholarly version comes in October: John of History, Baptist of Faith: The Quest for the Historical Baptizer ... Read Article
In a new, secret recording, the Supreme Court justice says he “agrees” that the U.S. should return to a place of godliness
Justice Samuel Alito spoke candidly about the ideological battle between the left and the right — discussing the difficulty of living “peacefully” with ideological opponents in the face of “fundamental” differences that “can’t be compromised.” He endorsed what his interlocutor described as a necessary fight to “return our country to a place of godliness.” And Alito offered a blunt assessment of how America’s polarization will ultimately be resolved: “One side or the other is going to win.” See RS article here. ... Read Article
Our Podcast and Discussion Forum
If you haven't checked them out yet, do take a look at Freethinker Podcast and the Internet Infidels Discussion Board Here is a great sample podcast where our Vice President Edouard Tahmizian Interviews renowned Biblical Studies scholars Prof Dennis R MacDonald and Prof Robyn Faith Walsh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avol8ce6L9g ... Read Article
Religiousness in TIME and SPACE
Many people believe that religion makes people morally good, happy, and mentally healthy, but I'm not so sure. Obviously, there are some very good, very happy, and mentally healthy atheists and non-religious people, and there are also some very bad, very miserable, and seriously mentally ill religious people. The same can be said of Christians in particular: there are some very bad, very miserable, and seriously mentally ill Christians. Religion does NOT guarantee moral goodness, happiness, and mental health, and Christianity does NOT guarantee them either. Nevertheless, many would claim that religion in general, or Christianity in particular, makes a significant difference in the lives of many people, helping them to be morally good, happy, and mentally healthy. I don't think so. I doubt this common belief. In any case, there is quite a bit of evidence that points in a different direction. I think it is helpful to look at religion and Christianity in terms of both TIME and SPACE, to dete ... Read Article
James McGrath: Did Jesus Know John the Baptist?
Saint John the Baptist, a 1540 painting by Titian Prof James McGrath's new books in John the Baptist are coming out soon and he has done 3 guest posts about them on Bart Ehrman's blog. But did Jesus know John the Baptist? Certainly, John baptizing Jesus and Jesus claiming John was greater than he was hardly seems to be something the early Christians would have invented out of whole cloth. Or is there more to be said here? I will be addressing this issue and many others in my second Robyn Faith Walsh reader response - coming soon! ... Read Article
Trump Was Convicted of Everything: The Attempt to Cast a Spell by Conservative Christians Failed
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Bart Ehrman: Jesus Did Not Teach Substitutionary Atonement – his followers later did
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4e2Ot46SJM&t ... Read Article
My New Essay Exploring the New Testament Interpretations of Prof Robyn Faith Walsh
So, I have a new essay out - part 1 of three on Robyn Faith Walsh. Check it out: Gospels, Classics, and the Erasure of the Community: A Critical Review Testing the Hypothesis of Robyn Faith Walsh’s The Origins of Early Christian Literature, Part A Part A: Jesus in the Light of Greco-Roman Philosophy and Highly Sophisticated Engagement with the Old Testament ... Read Article
How Many Skeptical Theories about the Resurrection of Jesus?
A DILEMMA IMPLIES THERE ARE ONLY TWO KINDS OF SKEPTICAL THEORIES When Christian apologists discuss skeptical theories about the alleged resurrection of Jesus, they often think in terms of an old dilemma between the disciples of Jesus being either DECEIVED or DECEIVERS. According to Christian apologists, Jesus' eleven remaining disciples (the twelve minus Judas Iscariot) all proclaimed that Jesus had physically risen from the dead after he had died on the cross. So, if Jesus had NOT physically risen from the dead, then either the eleven disciples had been DECEIVED into sincerely but mistakenly believing that Jesus had risen from the dead OR the eleven disciples were DECEIVERS who did not believe that Jesus had actually risen from the dead but who lied to others and falsely claimed to have seen the risen Jesus. This dilemma between being DECEIVED or being DECEIVERS indicates that skeptical theories about the alleged resurrection of Jesus can all be divided into these two categories. One common ske ... Read Article
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