Pastor Kent Christmas Wants To Weaponize Christians Right Wing Watch reports Right-wing pastor Kent Christmas urges Christians to "get a hold of some passion" & be willing to die: "You want to know why the Muslim faith has had its advancements? It's because the Muslims were willing to die for their beliefs. They were willing to strap bombs to their chest." Christmas is calling for Christians who will lay down their lives for the gospel. Not himself in particular, but somebody. ... Read Article
The Rise Of Christian Nationalism Christian Nationalist Sean Feucht led communion inside the Capitol, declaring the blood of Jesus over the nation (via Right Wing Watch) Relatedly, The National Association of Christian Lawmakers Is Dedicated to Putting a Christian Nationalist in the White House ... Read Article
What Suit Is Trump? Apparently Black And White Stripes
So, it's official. Following an avalanche of lies, the former Clown Show In Chief has now been arrested more times than he's been elected. And of course, the first thing that happened after is the mis-information started flowing in, and as I've documented before, the propaganda art trying to persuade us that the everyday American people stand with Trump: ... Read Article
Consider Joining The Bart Ehrman Blog!
Interested in discussing scripture studies with a world renowned secular New Testament expert? Join The Bart Ehrman Blog! It's really inexpensive and all proceeds go to charity! Here is a new post on the blog for everyone - subscriber and non-subscriber. Give it a read and consider becoming a member today, all proceeds are given to various charities listed in the “About Blog” section: ... Read Article
Trans Rights And Sports
Above transgender cyclist Austin Killips won a North Carolina race by five minutes, leading the second-place finisher to suggest creating a separate category. See article here. We would not have a flyweight boxer compete against a heavyweight boxer because such a pairing grossly leans in favor of the heavyweight. This is why the UFC heavyweight champion has the title "The Baddest Man On The Planet." Similarly, time and time again we see trans athletes defeating women in women sport divisions. It is not at all a swipe against LGBTQI+ rights to propose a new division for trans athletes to compete in against one another. ... Read Article
(Post Script Summary) Did St. Mark Read Plato / Did Plato Read Moses?
PREVIOUSLY, Did St. Mark Read Plato / Did Plato Read Moses? (2/2) Did St. Mark Read Plato / Did Plato Read Moses? AND NOW, THE POST SCRIPT Truths today are usually understood as “facts” or things that are “correct,” information, and intelligence is therefore whoever has learned the most through rote and can do the best on Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit (note the name of the game, lol).  However, in teaching children we make a distinction in that if a child knows 3 X 2 = 6 this is true or correct but not yet made manifest or un-hidden (truth as a-letheia).  To unhide it, we need to model it for the child, such as counters in groups of 3, with 2 such groups, when totaled we get a sum of 6 counters. In the previous post, we saw that when the traditional definition of marriage encounters LGBTQI+ rights on the thought path of life that this meeting un-covered the hidden vileness/violence of the traditional definition.  This is analogous to the Christian idea of the Being of the ... Read Article
(2/2) Did St. Mark Read Plato / Did Plato Read Moses?
Above: Saint Paul delivering the Areopagus Sermon in Athens, by Raphael, 1515. LAST TIME: Did St. Mark Read Plato / Did Plato Read Moses? NOW, THE CONCLUSION. Let's consider the Unknown God Paul is preaching about in the above pictured sermon. Here is a brief, general introduction: In Athens, there was a temple specifically dedicated to that god and very often Athenians would swear "in the name of the Unknown God" (Νὴ τὸν Ἄγνωστον, Nē ton Agnōston).  Apollodorus, Philostratus and Pausanias wrote about the Unknown God as well.  According to the book of Acts, contained in the Christian New Testament, when the Apostle Paul visited Athens, he saw an altar with an inscription dedicated to that god and was invited to speak to the Athenian elite at the Areopagus. Because the Jewish God could not be named, it is possible that Paul's Athenian listeners would have considered his God to be "the unknown god par excellence". His listeners may also have understood the introduction ... Read Article
Did St. Mark Read Plato / Did Plato Read Moses?
The fact that we can detect Jesus' followers moving away from his more radical teachings is evidence that we can see a radical teacher/healer who existed, contra the Christ Myth Theory. It's remarkable that we focus so intently on personal salvation and what Jesus did "for" us, that we ignore corporate sin and what we did "to" Jesus. From that latter point of view, perhaps the gospel writers took the known wrongful death of John the Baptist as we find in Josephus, and rewrote it to make it more wrongful and humiliating to anticipate a superlatively wrongful and humiliating death of Jesus (like Elisha being the successor and superior of Elijah). In Josephus John's Death is: Jewish Antiquities 18. 5. 2 John the Baptist gained a large following. Herod Antipas feared the widely popular John the Baptist would incite his followers to launch a rebellion against his rule. Therefore, he had John the Baptist arrested and imprisoned at Macherus. Herod Antipas later had John the Baptist executed 'to preve ... Read Article
NO PROOF of a SOUL – Sam Harris & Matt Dillahunty This is an interesting brief new talk on how abnormal psychology gives evidence that there is no soul. ... Read Article
Pat Robertson Has Died
Probably the leading face of the religious right and televangelism in America for decades, Pat Robertson has died. For details of his life from CBN ministry, see here ... Read Article
NEW: Richard Dawkins’ Ex-Right-Hand Man Comes to Christ … Again This is interesting and new. Josh Timonen was one of Richard Dawkins’ closest companions from 2006-2010. He was even working for Richard Dawkins when Dawkins was publicly shaming Ray Comfort for videos that appeared as if Ray was saying that bananas prove the existence of God—which eventually culminated in Ray being known as The Banana Man. Over a decade later, Josh ended up coming back to Christianity and publically doing so through Ray Comfort's apologetic organization. The video details this. ... Read Article
(2/2) The Starry Heavens Above Me And The Moral Law Within Me: Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804)
(above) Kant with the ouroboros snake encircling him, the classical symbol for the mind turning back on itself. LAST TIME: The Starry Heavens Above Me And The Moral Law Within Me: Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) NOW, THE CONCLUSION I think it's sometimes overlooked how much Kant's Christianity figures into his philosophy.  Let’s consider his ethics. Kant says there are three a priori conditions for ethical systems: (1) God (2) Immortality (3) Freedom: Let's consider these: (1) GOD A large part of Kant's argument is redefining us in terms of our hardwiring and so with Kant man as the rational animal becomes man as the imperative/rule following moral agent.  Kant fits in precisely with the apostle Paul when Paul attributes ethical behavior to the way God created us: 14 When gentiles, who do not possess the law, by nature do what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves, They show that what the law requires ... Read Article
The Starry Heavens Above Me And The Moral Law Within Me: Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804)
As you may know, I do Philosophy for Kids over at the Secular Web Kids website, so I thought I'd do a little philosophy here that is a bit more compact and clear than what you might see on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy site . Ideal for the Intellectually Impatient, lol! Immanuel Kant above was a German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics have made him one of the most influential figures in modern Western philosophy. Kant is one of my favorite philosophers to study.  He is challenging to read, but after 2 undergraduate courses, 1 graduate course, and having researched him off an on for 25 years I think I have a pretty good sense of what he’s doing in that I can communicate his message in an accessible way. A good place to start is Kant’s distinction between appearance and thing-in-itself, in that we only know reality as it appears to ... Read Article
(2) LOVE: Jesus the Beloved (Agapetos) and Secular Theology
Last time: LOVE: One of the “True” Human Prejudices Now, the Conclusion What I try to do is take content rich theological ideas and reimagine them in a secular context without the superstition. One concept is that Jesus is the incarnation. Let's think about that in the context of the Greek notion of "theos" or God (like the word theological), and see if we can find any secular meat left on these ancient religious bones. Jesus is the agapetos, the love of God incarnate, and the gospel is this allegory of self-sacrificial love, like Plato’s allegory of the cave is a story of knowledge.  But what is “incarnate” and “theology.”  What is a “God” or “Theos?”  We read from Robert Calasso: Yet there was a time when the gods were not just a literary clich?, but an event, a sudden apparition, an encounter with bandits perhaps, or the sighting of a ship. And it didn't even have to be a vision of the whole. Ajax Oileus recognized Poseidon disguised as Calchas from his gait. He ... Read Article
LOVE: One of the “True” Human Prejudices “I don’t want clever conversation.  I never want to work that hard.  I just want someone I can talk to.  I want you just the way you are." (Billy Joel, “Just The Way You Are”) Kevin Iannucci shown above. The actor has starred in a number of films and TV shows. The title of this post is odd.  Perhaps it isn’t true, then, since truths should be observable and testable by anyone?  Certainly there are many human prejudices, so there is no big deal in singling out one.  But then, “TRUTH” is said in many ways.  There are "true" friends, "true" here meaning "genuine" or "exemplary." Conversely, I could say “1 + 1 = 2” or “The bed I’m writing this on is soft,” and those would be “true” in the sense of “correct,” though by moving to the chair in the other room my sentence about my bed is no longer true since it declares a state of affairs that is incorrect (I’m no longer sitting on the ... Read Article