‘There is no such thing as a real gnome so why should we have such unnatural creatures in churchyards?’… Read the rest
Archive for November 2008
He had presented himself as a figure who would never pander or betray his convictions.… Read the rest
James Wood on the defeat of a politics hostile to words by a victory speech eloquent in echo, allusion, and counterpoint.… Read the rest
The cliché goes that atheism is a form of theism; Tina Beattie writes:
A professor of theology (Denys Turner) tells of how he makes a bet with his students that, if they can tell him why they do not believe in God, he will tell them which Christian denomination they were brought up in. He says he usually wins the bet.
I’d love to make that bet with Turner: being a liberal atheist born to liberal atheists, I suspect it’d be easy money for me. (Admittedly my great-grandfather was a Glaswegian missionary, and I’ve always regretted that he died before I was born.) But in this critique of the ‘New Atheists’ Beattie often treats unbelief the way that Turner apparently … Read the rest
Hey don’t forget, if that smelly guy grabs your jacket, give him your cashmere sweater too. If somebody belts you in the face, say thank you. Forgive people seventy times seven. Be generous, and more than generous. Like those super-nice people who worry about art works.
Christians have warned of a backlash of art world vandalism, following a decision to halt a private prosecution of a Gateshead gallery which exhibited a statue of Jesus with an erection…Christian Emily Mapfuwa…said the show…was offensive to her faith and instructed her lawyers to seek a private prosecution against the gallery…Mapfuwa’s supporters warned [the CPS decision] could lead some people to destroy similar art works. Her solicitor Michael Phillips said: “Although it is
‘Christians won’t tolerate insults to Jesus Christ,’ threatens Stephen Green.… Read the rest
Stories of Europeans of Muslim background, believers and nonbelievers, threatened by Islamists.… Read the rest
Two monks from each side were detained as dozens of worshippers traded kicks and punches.… Read the rest
Palin says she won’t hesitate to run for the presidency in four years if it’s God’s will.… Read the rest
Runs a piece by a psychic about his excellent psychic adventure, no disclaimer in sight.… Read the rest
Earlier this month, the BBC reported that Pope Benedict XVI had opened a Synod of more than 200 cardinals and bishops from around the world to examine the modern lack of interest in the Bible. As in many of his recent pronouncements, the Pope took the opportunity to repeat the same tired old claim that because modern Western society is apparently turning away from Christianity and the Bible, we are seeing the growth of ‘destructive influences’. Once again, secularism is blamed for the ills of modern society, while the Pope proposes that a return to ‘Scripture’ will solve our problems.
I decided it was time to take the Pope’s advice and re-read some ‘Scripture’. Having previously come away from reading … Read the rest
If you’ve just accidentally swallowed some poison, this is just the ticket. Otherwise don’t bother.… Read the rest
‘The South Side of Chicago is what everyplace in America will be once the Democratic administration have etc etc’… Read the rest
Gay-rights advocates protested over Saddleback Church’s support of Proposition 8.… Read the rest
Both candidates favour expanding settlements.… Read the rest
Or rather, its absence.… Read the rest
Leading medical experts are warning patients against using untested remedies advertised on the internet.… Read the rest
The article by Charles Murray, discussed in a Note and Comment with a measure of disapprobation, raises awkward questions that need to be faced and which rarely are. The problem is that liberal-minded people, and I am one such, are not immune from falling into the trap of believing what we wish to be true rather than that which is true.
Let me first digress to tell a story. Almost twenty years ago, a senior colleague of mine became quite well-known for
writing highly regarded books on relativity and quantum mechanics (the `Uncle Albert’ series) that were targeted at
young teenagers. He gave our (physics) department a talk on the research that he did in preparation for writing
these books. … Read the rest
Of course one reason I was so pleased about the recent election is that it’s such a nice victory for elitism. About time.
Barack Obama’s election is a milestone in more than his pigmentation. The second most remarkable thing about his election is that American voters have just picked a president who is an open, out-of-the-closet, practicing intellectual.
Damn straight. A blatant, unashamed, undisguised, unapologetic intellectual, who doesn’t pretend to be thicker than he is in order to reassure the envious or the threatened or the hostile. Staggering, isn’t it?
Compare the ineffable Charles Murray, asked what he thinks of Sarah Palin:
I’m in love. Truly and deeply in love…The last thing we need are more pointy-headed intellectuals