Sam Harris

1 02 2007

Here is a working link for the video.

Sam is one of my favorite public atheists. He makes some really salient points amongt Steve’s brilliant humor (which supports Sam’s thesis btw). I like Sam, and he definitely is not the enemy. We Christians who do not live up to our creed our the problem. I think that if the Christianity that Tony is talking about below was the one most clearly followed and demonstrated, that Sam would not have a problem with us.


Tony Campolo on the Colbert Report

1 02 2007

Here is a working link for Tony and Steve on the Comedy Central’s Colbert Report:

Haggard and Dawkins

31 01 2007

Very disturbing video. I don’t want to beat up on anyone, but I was not surprised by Haggard’s fall. There is something wrong with the kind of Christianity that tries to force everyone to believe the way you do, and makes Christianity look like one big show that you put on every week. When you amass that much power and influence, I bet that it is tough to admit your weaknesses to someone else. I think that this video proves that the megachurch model simply is not the healthiest one, especially for the ones who are in charge. Mind you, I have not decided that all megachurches are bad, there are some I like, with pastors I really look up to, but it is not for me.

Rick Warren on Hannity & Colmes

31 01 2007

The video is of rather poor quality, but I like how Warren represents both himself and the faith.

Does God Need a Bodyguard? Notes on Religious Violence

18 09 2006

Iraqi Muslims burn an effigy of Pope Bendedict IV.I cannot comment on Pope Benedict XVIrecent comments that set off such a firestorm in the Islamic world the last couple of days because I have not heard his speech in its entirety. I cannot even comment on his apology because I have not heard it in its entirety either. So I will choose to believe that he probably misspoke, and that he did not intend to cause harm. Yet I do hold him responsible because he must realize that there are certain people in the world who do not need much to set them off. And there has already been some grave consequences: at least 7 churches have been firbombed or vandalized because of his speech. And an Italian nun and her bodyguard were shot to death in Somalia.

That said, this in no way justifies the behavior and anger of Islamic extremists all over the world. My main beef with Islamic extremism in particular, and relgious extremism of any stripe, is with their sense that somehow, God needs their protection and that any disrespect shown their faith must be dealt with through intimidation and bloodshed.

My view is drastically different. I believe that everyone is made in the image of God, and as such, everyone is “holy ground”. To harm another human being is a grave sin and an affront against God, even if they are an “infidel”. I think that God is big enough to handle people who think and talk badly about Him. Those who think it is there duty to “defend the faith” do not really have a true faith in my opinion.

Finally, I really think that it is incumbent upon Islamic people of deep humanity and sensitivity to step up and make their voices heard concerning religious violence done in the name of Islam. Shia and Sunni alike must put a check on this immorality and nihilism. This sordid violence is making a mockery of religion and creating even more “infidels” who are tired of religious violence and the religious zealots who commit them.

My New Hero

31 07 2006

Greg Boyd preaching to his congregationMy wife sent me a New York Time’s article about a pastor named Greg Boyd from St. Paul,¬† Minnesota. He has both preached and written against the Christian Right and their insistence on politicizing our faith to the degree that we have alienated and demonized gays, people who support abortion, and everyone who is on the left side of things politically in this country. Frankly, I have been fed up for quite of how some Christian¬† leaders have demagogued on these issues.

What I like about Greg, is that he clearly is not “for” homosexuality and abortion, he just does not think politics is the best way to confront these issues. I wholeheartedly agree. I have said for a long time that we should find other ways to confront issues like abortion and homosexuality outside of politics. Our conversations on these important issues should certainly be public and out in the open, but not tinged by politics. I really think that the approach of Dobson, Falwell, Robertson, Bauer,, is wrongheaded and has only caused the people we want to engage with the gospel of Jesus Christ to distance themselves from us because they think that we are their enemies.¬† Well, I don’t want a gay man seeing me as a homophobic bigot. I want him to see me as a follower of Jesus and fellow sinner who loves him right where he is, even if he never comes out of homosexuality or accepts Jesus.