A simple test of your courage, freedom and humanity

Scenario ONE: A technologically advanced alien race attacks the earth. It wants to brand and kidnap humans to be used as slaves on their home planet. Anyone who refuses is destroyed. The aliens are very powerful and ruthless. Rather than simply kill those who rebel, they punish them by inflicting torturous pain, loss and suffering. However for those that agree to become slaves, the aliens' technology can extend your life for a very long time. Your ...

Preparing for my first Ayahuasca experience: Moses, Parmenides and Aliens

Ayahuasca is a Peruvian vine that has traditionally been used to send visionaries into "the world beyond" for shamanic and spiritual rituals. Although I was in Peru this summer, I didn't have the opportunity to join a ceremony. Imagine my surprise when I returned to my semi-permanent home in Taiwan and found a couple of different organizations that practice Ayahuasca use. First off, let me be clear that Ayahuasca is not a "recreational drug." The purely ...

Center for un-intelligent design: creationism vs. intelligent design vs. evolution

A common response to atheism and defense of Christianity is "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist." In other words, looking at the beauty and order of the universe, it seems mind-boggling and impossible that everything just "happened" to come together in the precise perfect combination to produce the astounding variety of life on this planet. There must be a creator, and that creator is God. This is often called the intelligent design argument, or ...

Bart Ehrman: Did Jesus Exist? Is there evidence for a historical Jesus?

When asked in a recent interview (The Infidel Guy Show) about the evidence for the historical Jesus, Bart Ehrman threw out the tired line "No Serious/No Reputable Scholar doubts that a historical Jesus existed." Ehrman's support of the historical Jesus is used by apologists to show how even extremely liberal theologians like Bart cannot bring themselves to doubt a historical Jesus (the title of one blog post is "Atheist Stumped by Overwhelming Evidence for Jesus' ...

Online religion quiz results: Jews, Atheists and Agnostics score the highest on the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

My buddy over at Think Atheist posted a link to a quiz on religion from the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey. It's pretty fun to test your knowledge and see how you measure up against the rest of America. Jews and Atheists/Agnostics scored the highest. Interestingly the questions vary from legal to comparative religion; you'd have to be very familiar with lots of different cultures, literary history and Supreme Court laws on religion to get them ...

Dionysus, Hades and Jesus: Marriage in Death to Lords of the Underworld

One of the literary threads I hope to investigate in the future is the tie between vampirism and the ancient tradition of linking death and marriage together; many religions deal with death as an intimate reunion or marriage with a god of the underworld such as Hades or Dionysus. Much of this symbolism was later preserved in Christianity. The following is a paper I wrote recently for a PhD course on Antigone (by Sophocles) Death, Marriage ...

The “real” Samson and Goliath discovered in Israel? (Does archaelogy prove the Bible as history?)

An article that caught my attention this summer is suggestively called "In Israel, diggers unearth the Bible's bad guys." The article continues to detail the archaeological discoveries by a team in Southern Israel, of what used to be the Philistines city of Gath. Although fairly objective, the article mentions the discovery that names similar to "Goliath" existed, as well as a temple with two pillars - which is reminiscent of the one Samson tore down ...

Migraines and God: A Brain Wider than the Sky Review

This summer I had the rare experience of sitting around and reading great books in a log cabin by log Tahoe (unlike Thoreau, I didn't build it with my hands). One of the books I enjoyed was "A Brain Wider than the Sky" by Andrew Levy. As a migraine sufferer myself, I was looking for confirmation (which I found) that many famous writers and artistic geniuses suffered from migraines, and that in fact the pain, ...

The truth about CS Lewis, Tolkien and Pagan Christs: Christian Parallels in Mythology

Last Month Chuck Colson - Christian leader, cultural commentator, and former Special Counsel for President Richard Nixon - commented on my book, Jesus Potter Harry Christ. His central criticism of my book is weak, desperate and unfounded - in fact I write quite a bit about CS Lewis and Tolkien in the book so I doubt Colson has read more than the introduction or summary. But I'd like the opportunity to address the issue, which ...

Harry Potter and Christian Theology: Jesus and Harry in Deathly Hallows Part II

Danielle Tumminio, the Author of "God and Harry Potter at Yale" has posted an article at Huffingtonpost.com about Harry Potter and Christianity. I'm jealous, because the article is basically a timely tease for her book - and I'd love my own Huffpost article but haven't figured out how to exploit the system for self-promotion. (With the release of Deathly Hallows 2 next week, I think a lot of people will be searching for more info ...

Prayer, God and Alien Invasion: Is Falling Skies a Christian Show?

Today I watched the fourth episode of Falling Skies, a new series created by Robert Rodat and movie legend Stephen Spielberg. I'd already been intrigued by the character "Lourdes" played by Seychelle Gabriel, who talks about how her faith is "stronger than ever" and the importance of prayer, giving thanks, etc. In episode four, she leads a group prayer, concluding with the Catholic/Episcopalian creed, "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy ...

What does it mean to be a Christian? The difference between Atheism and Christianity.

Because I am anti-religious and speak out against the fallacy of Christendom, many people accuse me of being many things that I am not. Generally, Christians usurp everything positive as being under the umbrella of Christianity. So when I say I am "Anti-Christian", they hear, "anti-morality, anti-kindness and goodness, anti-wanting to be a better person, anti-inspiration, anti-joy, anti-love, and anti-hope". And actually, I'm not against any of those. In fact I'm a passionate believer in and ...