April 3, 2015
A DUCK walks into an Indiana bar and asks for a drink. The bartender refuses to serve him. The duck says, "It's that damn religious law, right? You have something against poultry, right? You're such a bigot, you know?" And the bartender says, "Me, I'm an atheist. It ain't got nothing to do with religion. You just smell foul. " And the duck says, "See, I told ya!" The above will explain several things, not the least of which is why I was never expected to have a brilliant career in standup comedy.
July 12, 2013 |
The federal judge who threw "intelligent design" out of public schools has been named to hear the challenge to Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage. Judge John E. Jones III was assigned late Tuesday to handle Whitewood v. Corbett . The case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, pits 10 same-sex couples and one widow against Gov. Corbett and other officials, and aims to force the state to allow gay marriage. A former chairman of the Liquor Control Board, Jones was named in 2002 to the federal bench in the state's middle district by a fellow Republican, President George W. Bush, with the support of U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.)
January 31, 2012
THE Pennsylvania House has declared 2012 "The Year of the Bible. " An official government resolution now calls the Bible the "word of God" and defines a "national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures. " The vote: 193-0. If 2012 is the Year of the Bible, that means it can't be the Year of: God, Jesus, America, patriotism, jobs, puppies wearing flag bandanas, babies, and, of course, babies with jobs wearing flag pins. Jokes aside, this sort of pandering is a problem.
January 22, 2012
By Robert Wuthnow Princeton University Press. 488 pp. $35.00 Reviewed by Alexander Heffner In the 2008 election, to the surprise of many political analysts, Barack Obama made remarkable inroads in deeply entrenched Republican majorities, winning in North Carolina and closing the gap to five points in Georgia. But not in Kansas, where the Obama campaign took a 15-point defeat. Indeed, Kansas is possibly the most conservative-blooded state in the union. It also has voted Republican more consistently than any other state.
April 2, 2011 |
GOD IS not dead. But he might just be sick with worry about us. If a team of respected scientific researchers is right, religious belief is headed for extinction in at least nine nations. This projection, somber to some and soothing to others, got a lot of play during the recent annual meeting in Dallas of the American Physical Society. First reported by the BBC, the findings came in the form of a highly technical account of group dynamics based on a mathematical model. They would spark little public interest if the subject were bowling leagues or bocce enthusiasts.
October 9, 2010 |
Next week, PBS will spend six hours examining one of the major underpinnings of the American experience: religion. With the straightforward title God in America , the coproduction of Frontline and The American Experience airs at 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday on WHYY TV12. Frontline executive producer Mike Sullivan told TV critics at their summer meeting in Los Angeles that people at Boston's WGBH, which produced the monumental show, settled on the idea after recognizing that Americans, the majority of whom say they believe in God, had a "religious illiteracy problem.
November 7, 2009
Blizzard of paper hides true intentions The Declaration of Independence is one page. The U.S. Constitution is four pages. The Bill of Rights is one page. Combined, these six pages of clear writing established our nation's independence, defined our national, state, and local governance structure, and outlined our rights. Six pages. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 1,990-page House of Representatives health-care bill is far too long, will not be read by the congressmen who will vote on it, cannot be clearly explained by its proponents, and certainly doesn't tell an American where to get a flu shot.
October 2, 2009
My yoga teacher likes to say, as she eyeballs my unlimber limbs, straining to contort in comical ways, that "it's the journey, not the destination," and those wise words might also serve as the message of this moving documentary film about one family's experience with autism. The Horse Boy - which won the Audience Award at SXSW '09, under the more sonorous title Over the Hills and Far Away - documents the day-to-day struggles of an Elgin, Texas, family to cope with their 5-year-old son Rowan's autism.
March 21, 2006 |
He was born 300 years ago but would have felt at home in today's cultural tug-of-war between America's secular and religious camps. Benjamin Franklin lived through a similar battle himself and was conflicted about his own faith. What would he say about the government display of the Ten Commandments and the use of "In God We Trust" on coins? Where would Franklin be in the debate over the phrase "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance or the teaching of intelligent design in the public schools?
July 4, 2005
The power of symbols The Supreme Court, in its split decision on displaying the Ten Commandments, satisfied none of the interest groups. Still, the justices, and The Inquirer, may have gotten it right. While the founders' intention was not to create a state religion, they did not banish religion from the public square altogether. The court recognized that the effect of religious symbols, like other visceral emotional images, is often in the eye of the beholder. Publicly reading the names of soldiers killed in action can honor their memories or represent abusing the fallen for political protest.