6 ways Jesus is like the Easter bunny: Where Easter comes from and what it’s got to do with Christianity

What are your Easter celebration plans for Sunday, April 24th? Will you go to a church service? Will you paint and decorate Easter eggs? Aren't you curious about where Easter comes from, or how we went from the resurrection of Jesus to a magical, chocolate egg-bearing rabbit? The relationship is actually not as dissimilar as it first seems; in ancient times people would decorate, hide and find eggs which represented the body of vegetative gods like ...

Daniel Radcliffe crashes Prince Williams’ royal wedding dressed as Harry Potter, Rowling mortified.

For immediate release: Apr. 29th, 2011: Daniel Radcliffe seemed to take it in stride last week when he found out he was not invited to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. "I mean, I don't even know them," he told reporters, "Everyone thinks because we're rich and we have posh English accents that we must, like, hang out all the time. I'm happy for them, but I'm not that interested in the wedding." Apparently ...

Birds of a feather: religion, vegetarianism, and animal cruelty in religion

I just got my first feedback on my new site design; I was surprised however by the objection. I had to read it a few times to understand the criticism, and now that I have, I feel it is worth discussing in a post. Here's the comment: I was very interested in your proposal until I saw the photo of the guy clothed in the feathers of slaughtered, innocent birds. Where are the ...

How to spot an Atheist, a definition of terms: Richard Dawkins’ God and Sam Harris’ critique of Atheism

This is a combination of a few posts, which seeks unsuccessfully to grapple with my non-religious-identifier. I know many of you probably have strong opinions on the subject, so please leave your comments. What does it mean to be an Atheist? I don't know. Although I'm aware of the contemporary movement known as "New Atheism", I'm also aware that there is some discussion about what the word itself actually means. Some stick to a straight dictionary ...

My Cult Life: Cult Recovery Resources for Ex-Christians and Fundies

I found a great new blog today. Meet Lisa. At 17 she had a full-ride scholarship to university, and she gave it up to join a group of traveling ministry group. Several years later, disillusioned, she's given up Christianity and even started a cult recovery and resource website for others trying to recover from spiritual (or other) abuse at the hands of religious cults and move on with their lives. I understand the power of ...

Does JK Rowling’s “Deathly Hallows” Reveal Jesus as Literary Figure?

The Deathly Hallows Part 2 movie (Harry Potter Eight) is coming out soon. There's been talk that Harry Potter is a Christ Figure. They've got it backwards: Jesus Christ is a Harry Potter Figure. Harry Potter Refutes Historical Jesus? John Lennon once said The Beatles were more popular than Jesus, a claim that ignited a public relations firestorm. These days, one could easily claim that Harry Potter is also more popular than ...

Does God love Japan? The power of prayer against earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation.

First of all, let me start off by saying that the tragedies recently befalling Japan are horrific and terrible. Any and every human being should look at that sudden and powerful series of disasters and feel the depth of mortality and the unpredictability of life. I genuinely hope and wish that everyone in Japan and those with family or friends in Japan have their burdens eased in any way possible, and send them my love ...

Who will watch the Watchmen? God, Biopolitics and the secret truth of Christianity’s homo sacer revealed in the Watchmen movie

In Michel Foucault’s 1975 Discipline and Punish, he tried to trace the processes and effects of power as they relate to discourse; that is, the systems of power that extend not merely from above (as in an authoritarian regime) but also from below (power that is internalized, and thus less obviously perceived as an influence at all). The aim of power, in Foucault’s terms, is to exercise power “at the lowest possible cost (economically, by ...

Satan’s Moral Development: making sense of Milton’s Paradise Lost through the lens of modern theory

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ABSTRACT: Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost (1667), was originally interpreted as in line with traditional Christian themes; a moral piece of literature with the final conclusion that Satan (and man) must submit to the absolute authority of God. Near the end of the 18th century, William Blake challenged this view, relating Milton’s personification of Satan to Prometheus as a creature of nobility, righteously seeking justice and freedom. Later humanists followed Blake in claiming that Milton, ...

Is the Bible the Word of God? Biopolitics and Divine Intervention in The Book of Eli Movie

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Denzel Washington's "The Book of Eli" movie was an unexpected treat: I knew it had something to do with the Bible and religion, but I was unprepared for the complex theological statements, intense action scenes, and surprise ending (which may not have surprised you at all - but I'll tell you why it should have). More interesting, however, was the divine intervention that determined that the Bible would have a place in the newly reconstructed ...