EppsNet Archive: Religion

A Tolerant and Diverse Society

Read more →

Have a Coke!

Traditional religion turned the consciousness of sin into a condition for salvation, but the tortured sense of nothingness qualifies us now only for miserable extinction, for merciful release in lonely death. That said, why not enjoy an ice-cold Coca-Cola? Read more →

The sinner is at the very heart of Christianity. Nobody is so competent as the sinner in matters of Christianity. Nobody, except the saint. — Charles Peguy

Charles Peguy

Foot of Pride

Yeah, from the stage they’ll be tryin’ to get water outta rocks A whore will pass the hat, collect a hundred grand and say thanks They like to take all this money from sin, build big universities to study in Sing “Amazing Grace” all the way to the Swiss banks Well, there ain’t no goin’ back when your foot of pride come down Ain’t no goin’ back — Bob Dylan, “Foot of Pride” Read more →

How You Should Think Of Me

A disciple came to Maruf Kharki and said: “I have been talking to people about you. Jews claim that you are a Jew; Christians revere you as one of their own saints; Muslims insist that you are the greatest of all Muslims.” Maruf answered: “This is what humanity says in Baghdad. When I was in Jerusalem, Jews said that I was a Christian, Muslims that I was a Jew, and Christians that I was a Muslim.” “What must we think of you, then?” the man said. “Some do not understand me and they revere me. Others do not either, so they revile me. That is what I have come to say. You should think of me as one who has said this.” — The Way of the Sufi Read more →

An Atheist Falls Into a Swamp . . .

[David Hume] once fell into a swamp near the house he was building in Edinburgh. Owing to his reputation among the locals as an atheist, a woman refused to pull him out of it until he recited the Lord’s Prayer and the Belief, which, being practical-minded, he did. But not before he argued with her about whether Christians were obligated to help their enemies. — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan Read more →

To Be a Believer

You probably seem to yourself to be a believer, even if you are a believer in disbelief. But you cannot really believe in anything until you are aware of the process by which you arrived at your position. Before you do this you must be ready to postulate that all your beliefs may be wrong, that what you think to be belief may only be a variety of prejudice caused by your surroundings — including the bequest of your ancestors for whom you may have a sentiment. True belief belongs to the realm of real knowledge. Until you have knowledge, belief is mere coalesced opinions, however it may seem to you. Coalesced opinions serve for ordinary living. Real belief enables higher studies to be made. — Attributed to Ali Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: Middlemarch by George Eliot

George Eliot is a transgender author whose work was previously unfamiliar to this reviewer. Ha, kidding! It’s hard to think of new things to say about old books, but if you appreciate the novel as an art form, or you think you might appreciate the novel as an art form if you gave it a chance, you should read Middlemarch. What it is about? At 800+ pages, it’s about a lot of things: life in rural England in the 1830s, the status of women, the bonds of matrimony, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy and politics. It’s about the heroism of ordinary lives. It’s about, in the character of Dorothea Brooke, “the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion.” Here’s the conclusion of the novel,… Read more →

And That’s the Truth: Me Too

[And That’s the Truth is a feature by our guest blogger, Sojourner Truth– PE] If women want any rights more than they’s got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it. I have as much rights as any man, and can do as much work as any man. And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman? That little man in… Read more →

Theological Question

I hear people say that bad things happen to kids in schools because God isn’t allowed in schools. Why do bad things happen to kids in churches? Read more →

He Was in No Other Place

Cross and Christians, end to end, I examined. He was not on the Cross. I went to the Hindu temple, to the ancient pagoda. In none of them was there any sign. To the uplands of Herat I went, and to Kandahar. I looked. He was not on the heights or in the lowlands. Resolutely, I went to the summit of the fabulous mountain of Kaf. There only was the dwelling of the legendary Anqa bird. I went to the Kaaba of Mecca. He was not there. I asked about him from Avicenna the philosopher. He was beyond the range of Avicenna . . . I looked into my own heart. In that, his place, I saw him, He was in no other place. — The Way of the Sufi Read more →

I Love Freedom More Than Most People and Now I Know Why

This is from a new survey of American adults by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Also: 37 percent couldn’t name a single right protected by the First Amendment. While 48 percent of those surveyed were able to name freedom of speech, far fewer could identify other rights accorded, including freedom of religion (15 percent), freedom of the press (14 percent), right of peaceful assembly (10 percent), and right to petition the government (3 percent). I’m a freedom-loving guy. I find that my love of freedom exceeds that of most of my countrymen and now I know why . . . because cherishing the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution presupposes that we know what they are, and most people don’t know what they are. P.S. I learned to remember the First Amendment rights with the GRASP acronym: freedom to petition the Government, freedom of Religion, freedom of Assembly, freedom… Read more →

One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: Margaret Court Edition

Margaret Court is being vilified and stigmatized this week — “racist,” “homophobe,” ‘blood on her hands,” name should be taken off the Australian Open arena, etc. — because she opposes gay marriage and homosexuality in general. If you want to position yourself as a champion of inclusion, diversity, respect, tolerance, you’ve got to extend those things to other people as well, and not just people who see the world exactly like you do. You want tolerance and respect for sexual preferences? What about religious preferences? Margaret Court is a Christian pastor. A lot of people believe that God frowns on homosexuality. I don’t believe that myself but it’s not a weird fringe opinion. Yes, Margaret Court introduced Satan and Nazis and Communists into the conversation, but Margaret Court isn’t presenting herself as an advocate of inclusion and tolerance. She’s saying this is right and that is wrong. You can’t position… Read more →

The Blindness and the Wretchedness of Man

hen I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and, as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death, and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island, and should awake without knowing where he is, and without means of escape. And thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. I see other persons around me in conditions of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them, and seen… Read more →

Praised Be Blindness

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, published in Rome his spiritual exercises. There he wrote this testimony of blind submission: “Take, Lord, and receive all my freedom, my memory, my understanding, and my will.” And as if that were not enough: “To get everything right, I must always believe that what I see as white is black, if the Church hierarchy so determines.” — Eduardo Galeano, Mirrors Read more →

Happy Birthday, Pope Urban VIII

Pope Urban VIII, the most recent pope to use the pontifical name of Urban, was born on this date, April 5, 1568. He is probably best remembered for his demon-killing exorcisms used to chase from the head of Galileo Galilei the devilish notion that the earth revolved around the sun . . . Read more →

Arguments of the Faith

For six centuries and in several countries, the Holy Inquisition punished rebels, heretics, witches, homosexuals, pagans . . . Many ended up at the stake, sentenced to roast over a slow fire fed with green wood. Many more were subjected to torture. Here are some of the instruments used to extract confessions, modify beliefs, and sow panic: the barbed collar, the hanging cage, the iron gag that stifled unwanted screams, the saw that cut you slowly in two, the finger-stretching tourniquet, the head-flattening tourniquet, the bone-breaking pendulum, the seat of pins, the long needle that perforated the devil’s moles, the iron claw that shredded flesh, the pincer and tongs heated to fiery red, the sarcophagus lined with sharp nails, the iron bed that extended until arms and legs got pulled out of their sockets, the whip with a nail or knife a the tip, the barrel filled with shit, the… Read more →

Defend your right to think. Thinking wrongly is better than not thinking at all. — Hypatia of Alexandria, murdered by a Christian mob in the year 415

The Stick Works Better Than the Carrot

Six days may work be done; but on the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whoever doeth any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. — Exodus 31:15 He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall surely stone him. — Leviticus 24:16 I will send out against you the beasts of the field . . . I will chastise you sevenfold for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat . . . I will draw out after you the sword; and your land shall be a desolate wild, and your cities shall be a waste. — Leviticus 26 Read more →

Fake News?

According to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Herod the Great died in the year 4 BCE. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Herod was the ruler of Judea who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents at the time of the birth of Jesus. Which would mean that Jesus was born at least four years before the birth of Christ . . . Read more →

Next Page »