How to Instigate a God Debate

Last week I had the chance to catch what was probably the biggest God debate of the year, in this genre of blockbuster, YouTubed, college-campus bouts. The topic was “Is Good from God?”—is religion necessary for objective morality? The debaters were William Lane Craig, the evangelical philosopher, and Sam Harris, who launched the New Atheism…

The Holy Bible, King James style.

Richard Dawkins Loves the Bible

Richard Dawkins, the supposedly angry New Atheist constantly accused of knowing nothing about the religion he rails against, couldn’t even wait until January 1st to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible—”warts and all.” He riffs, in the New Statesman: The King James Bible occupies nearly 42 pages of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations,…

Photo by Rainer Ganahl.

The Protests of Zizek and the Spirit of Communism

Last Tuesday night, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek waged a fight on two fronts, against both God and capitalism. The theater of battle was the New York Public Library’s basement auditorium, a grand room whose marble and polished wood glowed under tastefully dim lighting. Zizek dressed for the occasion in a brown t-shirt and blue…

"Saving God" by Mark Johnston.

The God of This World

Isn’t it obvious that God, or at least our idea of God, needs saving as much as we do? He—forgive me if necessary for saying “He”—has been run through the mud by terrorists, televangelists, New Atheists, and grandmothers’ guilt. The rest of us are supposed to have a relationship with this guy? Or even just…

From the Godblock website.

What’s the Web without God?

We all wish we could block out some things we see on the internet. No matter how carefully you try to tailor a search query, you’ll often find yourself with stinging eyes at the various dreadful things that populate the electronic collective consciousness. And often those examples of violence, sexual degradation, bigotry, and racism come…

"Each war is different, each war is the same," by kevindooley, via Flickr.

Vive la Différence

Stephen Prothero on why all religions aren’t, deep down, all the same.

Killing the Buddha

Varieties of Atheism

Garrett Baer’s interview with Stephen Prothero, “Vive la Différence,”

"Croik Church, pulpit" by Lee Carson, via Flickr

Faithful Apostasy

What do the “preachers who are not believers” not believe?


Atheists Bank on the Rapture

Never mind friends and family who’ll be left behind when you’re Raptured—what about those you really love? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, “The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World,” promises “to step in when you step up to Jesus.” Purchase a ten-year Rapture insurance plan for just $110, and rest easy, knowing…

Image from Series Seating promotional materials.

Middle Ground with Jerry Falwell?

An interview With Gina Welch, author of In the Land of Believers.

"First God Sighting" by Leland Paul via Flickr

You Call That God?

Why Karen Armstrong’s Case for God isn’t one.


Theology for Atheists

At the Guardian today, I’ve got a short bit about secular, mainly Continental philosophers who, in recent years, have turned to theology: [Slavoj Zizek] is one of several leading thinkers in recent years who, though coming out of a deeply secular and often-Marxist bent, have made a turn toward theology. In 1997, Alain Badiou published…

Killing the Buddha

Bill Gates vs. Baby Jesus

Kids! Get back over here! Look, it’s Albert Einstein. The father of relativity! And Eleanor Roosevelt! She kick-started feminism! Yes, the donkeys are very cute,Tallulah. The baby? Well, some people think— Here, want a free-thinkers’ coloring book and some soy crayons? What’s that, Milo? Yes, their lights are very pretty, but you know what? They’re…

Killing the Buddha

The Varieties of Unbelief and the Ghost of Richard Dawkins

When the City University of New York’s Graduate Center decided to convene last night’s session of its Great Issues Forum around the question, “What Are the Varieties of Unbelief?” they seem to have tried as best they could to avoid a New Atheist-style foodfight. The name itself gestures to the title of a 1964 book…

Killing the Buddha

Some Advice from Your Auntie Anchoress

Caleb Wickersham, 17-year-old atheist speaking of constitutional rights in the midst of a glorious Georgian explosion of football for Jesus! cheerleaders for Jesus! and fans for Jesus! Go to Brown and clean up, my boy @


Can We Be “Good without God”?

A billboard erected near Chicago’s loop posses this question “Are you good without God?” with the answer, “Millions are.” Also, on Monday, October 26, 2009, Manhattan commuters will be greeted at twelve subway stations with posters asking “A Million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?” These ads sponsored by the United Coalition for…

Killing the Buddha

“Only a Semitone from Faith”: Is KtB What James Wood Dreams Of?

We were struck by the concluding paragraph of James Wood’s excellent recent essay in the New Yorker, “God in the Quad” (August 31 issue). It finishes a discussion of literary critic Terry Eagleton’s recent book Reason, Faith, and Revolution, a reply to the new atheists. Brace yourself; this is great: What is needed is neither…

Killing the Buddha

The End of the Atheists’ Road

GOP presidential musing is turning toward Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana. Given the C Street affiliation of two now-former contenders, Senator John Ensign and G Order Cheap Cialis overnor Mark Sanford, I thought it worth a google to check Daniels out. Is he a C Streeter? I don’t know. Is he confused about First Amendment…