Category Archives: Theodicy

Ethics 101 – They are still confusing legality and morality

The recent controversy over a leaked Supreme Court opinion perhaps overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision highlights how even Supreme Court justices, when blinded by sectarian religious fervor, can get Ethics 101 wrong. In a pluralistic society, issues of public morality may overlap with issues of legal practice, but only in places like Taliban-controlled Afghanistan do judges make… Read more »

Ron DeSantis and the rise of fundamentalist Christian thuggery

DeSantis-Bully

“You gotta put on the full armor of God. You gotta take a stand, take a stand against the Left’s schemes. You gotta stand your ground. You gotta be firm. You will face flaming arrows but take up the shield of faith and fight on.” — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, June 30, 2021 I had to view the video in… Read more »

Ukraine and the Constantine Bargain

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Trump with Bible

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has blown into the open the coalition of the political powers with the religious powers in Russia that I first wrote about back in 2018. The Constantine Bargain is the “deal” that a political power makes with a religious leader to legitimize the church’s dogma and dominance over “heavenly things” relating to the populace,… Read more »

“Sucks to Be You” ethics revisited

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Jimmy Swaggart: "I have sinned!"

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds declared the Covid pandemic over in her state yesterday, saying the state’s feeble measures to contain the coronavirus and address hospital needs are “no longer feasible or necessary.” Meanwhile, many Iowa hospitals remained stretched to the max, relying on “traveler” staff and “locums” to maintain services. Reynolds has no apparent plans for preparing for any future… Read more »

The American religious olio

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Helsinki Cathedral

The word olio survives in English usage, I suspect, because the New York Times crossword puzzle frequently resorts to using it when it needs three vowels, but not using an “e” as in the similarly-spelled synonym for margarine. The original olio was an Iberian stew consisting of “whatever’s around,” and thus today the word refers to any collection of barely… Read more »

The shape-shifting political gospel of conservative Christianity

The Peaceable Kingdom

Here is the curious thing: When it comes to the embrace of modern medical care. including, or especially vaccinations, there has historically been little difference between how members of conservative Christian denominations and their “mainstream” Christian or their secular neighbors choose treatment modalities — until Covid-19. Some conservative religious types have long championed “natural health” methods rather than conventional medicine…. Read more »

Dopesick, homelessness, and the casualties of culture

Junction

When faced with a friend who has succumbed to prescription opioid addiction, we commonly hear the expression, “There but for the grace of God go I!” But what if it is not divine grace at work here, rather simply the math of probability? I recently viewed the excellent Hulu television miniseries Dopesick, based on a book of the same name… Read more »

When good Christians disagree – part 2

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Good Christians Disagree-2

In Part One of this post I posited that “good Christians disagree” about important things for reasons heavily correlated to two 2000-year-old variants in the faith that still foster both diversity and division. When you envision God primarily as Michelangelo’s bearded white male on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and think of a mighty Christ “sitting on God’s right… Read more »

When good Christians disagree

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The leading Republican Senate candidate in Ohio, Josh Mandel, has already laid down a key marker for the 2022 election, saying on Twitter, “Evangelical Christians, Jewish conservatives and devout Catholics are our army.” I know so many people whom I would consider “good Christians” and they are of all denominational and political stripes. I also have met some really nasty… Read more »

When we become inured to death

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Petrarch's Triumph of Death.

In 2017 and 2018, when all eyes were on several horrific incidents of mass gun violence, the United States was averaging just under one incident of mass gun violence per day (defined by the excellent Gun Violence Archive as four or more people killed or injured in one reported incident). During the pandemic year of 2020, that number rose to… Read more »