Tag Archives: Judaism

Dr. Shaul Chorev is Worried that the Arab Spring Could Turn into a Nuclear Fall

Dr. Shaul Chorev is head of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, and the Jerusalem Post, reporting on a speech he gave this week in Vienna, had a couple of paragraphs toward the end of the article that are quite unnerving: Chorev also called … Continue reading

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The Religion Tree

Using the metaphor of a tree, in the following poem I try to boil down the essence of the human predicament (which I take to be suffering, change, and death) and the response of each major religion to it (including the atheist … Continue reading

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Terry Eagleton Asks: What Does It Mean to Live in a Secular Society?

Terry Eagleton, in a recent essay for the New Statesman, suggests a sure-fire method for determining just how secular your society truly is. It has to do with the degree to which universal compulsion on matters religious has been abandoned (both in law and cultural … Continue reading

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Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris Debate Two Rabbis

The following was a recent debate on religion in Los Angeles. Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris assume the atheist prosecution of God and rabbis David Wolpe and Bradley Artson take up the burden of God’s defense. In the genre of public … Continue reading

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When Gay and Anti-Gay Teddy Bears Dialogue

To my mind, this imaginative dialogue between two teddy bears perfectly exposes the intellectual incoherences of the anti-gay rights movement.   

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The Internet: Where Religions Come to Die?

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Adam Sandler’s “Happy Hanukkah” Song

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An Agnostic Interviews an Imam: Kamal Tells a Non-Retaliation Story from His Tradition and Discusses the Prayer Rug

In the below clip, Kamal al Khatib offers an anecdote from the life of Muhammad that illustrates (for him) Islam’s general commitment to non-retaliation. I’ve actually heard the story that Kamal tells from another Muslim. I recall the previous telling of the … Continue reading

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The God Conclusion v. The God Delusion: Keith Ward Tries to Tackle Richard Dawkins

Philosopher Keith Ward has probably written the best book attempting to counter the antitheist claims in Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion  (Houghton Mifflin 2008). Ward’s book is titled Why There Almost Certainly is a God: Doubting Dawkins  (Lion 2008), and on page 11 … Continue reading

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A Muslim Rises to the Existential Occasion, Protecting a Jew from Some “Christians”

A little reminder about making hasty generalizations about people:

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Love’s Labours Scorned: Robert Wright on the Quran

A careful student of religious texts, Robert Wright, in the New York Times this week, offers his considered judgment on the what the Quran is: [I]f you’re curious as to the reason for the Koran’s seeming ambivalence toward Christians and Jews: … Continue reading

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Saudi Woman Links to International Have a Meal with a Muslim Day (Sept 17, 2010)

At her Twitter feed, the brave Saudi feminist, Eman Al Nafjan, who blogs at SaudiWoman, linked to International Have a Meal with a Muslim Day, which I take as an endorsement. And I’ve also been informed that an imam in Baltimore … Continue reading

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September 17th, 2010: International Have a Meal with a Muslim Day

In response to the Florida pastor who recently called people to an “International Burn a Koran Day,” I thought I’d set my own International event, a siren call, not to hate, but to love and dialogue: September 17, 2010: International Have … Continue reading

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The Human Bones Discovered at Masada: An Example of Religion Hindering Science

At the academic web magazine, Bible and Interpretation, anthropologist Joe Zias complains about ultra-orthodox Jews hindering archaeology and anthropology: For several decades self-appointed groups of the ultra-orthodox have been waging an all out cultural war against the archaeological community in general and … Continue reading

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Islam is Not a Religion of Peace, But Cordoba House Should Be Built Anyway: Leon Wieseltier on Islam’s Responsibility for 9/11

At the New Republic today, Leon Wieseltier, the magazine’s literary editor and one of my all-time favorite essayists, makes an excellent distinction that I would endorse: he writes that, while he is prepared to release Muslims of collective guilt for 9/11, he is not prepared to … Continue reading

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Collective Guilt for 9-11: The Ground Zero Mosque and Muslim Americans as the Enemy Within

In a recent blog post, Andrew Sullivan writes that the whole dust-up surrounding the Ground Zero mosque has been a revelation to him: conservatives, even the intellectual ones, really do make no distinctions between your average walking around Muslim American and Osama Bin Laden; they … Continue reading

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Maybe God Wants to Be Left Alone

Here’s a little double bind to contemplate: if we do not know the will of God, or whether he exists, and yet we nevertheless seek to discover answers to these questions, we might be annoying God. Why? Because God may not like people … Continue reading

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David Wolpe Succinctly Explains the New Atheist Moment

Rabbi David Wolpe, in the Washington Post this weekend, on what triggered the New Atheist moment: After Sept. 11, 2001, religion seemed to many to be less a consolation for suffering than a cause. Science, not spirituality, offered the promise … Continue reading

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Question for a Sunday

Some people, indeed a lot of people, believe that not just humans, but animals, possess souls, and so should not be eaten. Is it thus religiously insensitive for public secular institutions, like college cafeterias, to serve hamburgers? And should professors … Continue reading

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A lesson in growing up: I know that you are offended—and no, I won’t be apologizing or adjusting my language to match your sensibilities

I’m here. I have unorthodox views. I’m expressing them directly. Deal with it. Philip Pullman asserts his right to set the rhetorical tone and intellectual content of the messages that he sends and the right of people to give them attention … Continue reading

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