The Pokey Finger of God

meditations on religion and culture

The Pokey Finger of God header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'culture'

Irrational Animus

October 9th, 2014 · Comments Off on Irrational Animus · christianity, culture, media

In response to Damon Linker’s essay Why do so many liberals despise Christianity?: First off, it’s ludicrous to posit that all, or even many, liberals hate Christianity, simply because there are so many liberal Christians. From what I can tell, for every annoying, conservative, evangelical Christian, there are two liberal, mainstream Christians who simply don’t […]

[

Tags: ··

Fellowship: Keystone Point approaching

September 18th, 2014 · Comments Off on Fellowship: Keystone Point approaching · culture, fellowship, intentional communities, ritual

I was reminded about my Fellowship project last night when I saw that my birthday this year is the day Mercury is hidden by the Sun. It will remain invisible for 12 days. (It’s actually passing in front of the Sun from our perspective, but you can’t see it without special lenses, because Sun.) Two […]

[

Tags: ·····

Killing Jesus

September 4th, 2014 · Comments Off on Killing Jesus · christianity, culture, media

Recently, conservative media darling Bill O’Reilly wrote a book called Killing Jesus. Normally, such an event would go unremarked by me, but there was an awesome review of the book on Salon that I really got a kick out of. Richard Price starts out by propping up his conservative bonefides, insisting that he is actually […]

[


The Christian Persecution Myth

February 27th, 2013 · Comments Off on The Christian Persecution Myth · christianity, culture, media

One of my favorite myths of the “Early Church” has top billing in this new book by Candida Moss. I discussed this in some detail in my book, Janus in Nicea, but it was less of a key point than a reinforcing element. In retrospect, this is a better topic for public discussion as it […]

[


Evolution and Faith

August 25th, 2011 · Comments Off on Evolution and Faith · christianity, culture, media

Normally, this is a topic I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. I also don’t get into arguments with people who claim the world is flat, doomed to end, or cursed by demons. It’s simply not worth the bother: folks don’t come to these conclusions through logic, so logic isn’t going to dislodge them. Evolution, […]

[

Tags: ·······

Religion and Deity

June 21st, 2011 · Comments Off on Religion and Deity · culture, metaphysics

I posted a link to my Facebook page, with a snarky heading and comment, and this drew some attention. Particularly, it drew me into a brief discussion with my friend, Litch. The link in question was to an essay about what Atheists get wrong about religion. I said: “This essay clearly breaks out the fundamental […]

[

Tags: ···

At visit to St. Elias

October 2nd, 2010 · Comments Off on At visit to St. Elias · culture, ritual

I went to the Mediterranean Fest at St. Elias Church, in downtown Austin, this evening. The food was awesome. The DJ rocked. I got to tour the church. It is such a beautiful church, and such a jewel in the heart of this fine city. Roman churches are nice, but there’s something about the way […]

[



August 30th, 2010 · Comments Off on Nomenclature · christianity, culture, history

There has been some discussion of late about President Obama’s claim of being Christian. Besides the ones who obliviously presume that he must be Muslim, or parse out of unrelated texts the notion that a presumed birthright to Islam is obligatory, there are others who question whether his Christianity is ‘real’. However, many problems arise […]

[

Tags: ····

The Gods of Ancient Rome

August 20th, 2010 · Comments Off on The Gods of Ancient Rome · christianity, culture, history, ritual

Turcan starts by providing an exquisite view of the private religious expressions of the Roman patricians. The gods of the house, the gods of the family, and the patron deities of individuals, all became part of a complex of divinity – a web which each Roman had to carefully traverse daily. Any mistake resulted in obligatory compensation to the gods in order to salvage the future welfare of the house.

The strength of the ancestors was keenly felt by the Ancient Romans. There was not a clear distinction between gods and the honored dead, and both were frequently called upon and celebrated. The spirit of the family, which had kept it continuing as a potent force, was honored as a distinct figure. The spirits of the house were also recognized and respected. In short, everything in every part of the Roman’s life was connected to divinity, and the Romans actively sought out knowledge for how to satisfy every god.

[



October 11th, 2008 · Comments Off on Assertions · christianity, culture, history

Following are the assertions I currently use regarding the origin of Christianity. These will likely each be expanded upon over time. 1. Evidence: There is no physical evidence for the existence of a single, rapidly developed mystery cult whose theology or structure singularly informed the post 4th-century Christian church. There is no art, architecture, ritual […]

[

Tags: ·····