Originally published at the USU SHAFT site.
What a religious debate on Facebook would look like in the Mayan pre-Columbian America.
Sincere devoutness is sometimes indistinguishable from good satire. Case in point: this Stake President’s blog. I hope it’s a spoof, and I’m pretty sure it is. But wow, it’s a very convincing parodyand funny! My favorite post is his awkward and euphemistic discussion of oral sex. [Edit: I initially thought this was real, but some commenters convinced me otherwise.]
The Scientific American on why were suckers for stories of our own demise.
The Vatican released a strongly-worded report demanding decisive and dramatic action to curb the effects of global climate change. The Vatican also invited AIDS experts for a two-day symposium to discuss prevention methods, including condoms.
The Catholic Church has received incredibly negative press due to the priest abuse scandal (which is still developing). But I think the Catholic Church is due some credit for tackling substantive issues like global warming, poverty, etc. One of my long-standing complaints about the LDS Church is its focus on relatively petty concerns (double piercings and flip-flops come to mind).
Its time to reconsider graduation prayer in public high schools, writes Bruce Ledewitz for Religion Dispatches.
A survey of nearly 15,000 people suggests that atheists have the best sex lives. Perhaps were there more atheists in Utah, it wouldnt be the most stressed state. Relatedly, the US reports far lower levels of happiness than similarly developed but more secular nations.
Its easy to mock Harold Campings failed prediction that the rapture would occur on May 21st (Camping has rescheduled the rapture for October). But Jesus was also a failed doomsday prophet, and Joseph Smith believed that the Second Coming would happen in 1890 or 1891.
An Islamic theologian and scholar says the Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.
Santa Monica residents may vote on a ballot initiative in November 2012 that would ban circumcision.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans now support legalizing same-sex relations, a new record high.
The Mormon Chronicle writes that the public education system is antithetical to LDS teachings, and that Mormons must only be taught by other Mormons.
The far right has lionized Ayn Rand for decades, and Republicans are again giving her a lot of lip-service. What a strange bedfellow Rand makes for the Religious Right though, given how virulently anti-Christian she was.
A Saudi woman is arrested after campaigning for the right to drive.
Despite the churchs past with polygamy and its entrenched, traditional gender roles, there is a feminist strain within the Mormon traditionone that may be enjoying a resurgence. The Salt Lake Tribune recently published a piece about Mormon womens historical ability to administer priesthood blessings. And Mormon blogger Joanna Brooks suggests that the LDS concept of Heavenly Mother may be making a comeback.
Why people stick by scandal-plagued pastors.
Sam Harris sketches out a morality without free will and its implications.
Philosophy professor Andrew Fisher of the University of Nottingham contends that philosophy needs to be taught much earlier. He has started teaching at primary schools in disadvantaged areas, teaching kids the fundamentals of logic and critical thinking.
Seventy percent of science award finalists are the children of immigrants, showing that immigration is a boon to science and math.
Ive written at length about BYUs use of aversive therapies (including shock therapy) in its treatment of homosexuality. In the interest of fairness, Id like to share a more sympathetic view of this part of BYU history.
A recent neurological study finds that powerful religious experiences may actually contribute to atrophy in the brain.
A radical new birth control injection for men promises to be 100% effective for 10 years. Whats more, it has no reported side effects and is completely and quickly reversible.
After his mom won the lottery, an atheist converts to Christianity. Fox carries the story as news.
CNN compiles a list of popular Bible misattributionsphrases and ideas people think are in the Bible, but are not.
Is atheism just a sexed-up version of agnosticism, or are the two terms distinct? And if the latter, are they complimentary or incompatible? Talking Philosophy analyzes the competing definitions.
Newsweek calls 2011 the Mormon Moment. Two presidential candidates belong to the faith, the Senate leader Harry Reid is Mormon, and Mormonism is the subject of a critically-acclaimed Broadway musical.
The latest presidential election poll has Mitt Romney as the Republican frontrunner, with most not caring about his Mormonism.
BYU Studies identifies the many LDS themes in Stephanie Meyers Twilight saga.
Richard Dawkins and 13 other academics launch a new private humanities college.
American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi made up a guru character and a phony religion, then filmed a documentary as he developed a following. The documentary illustrates just how credulous our species can be.