Your daily digest of relevant news and links from Paul Fidalgo
Here’s hoping you survived the spookiest holiday of them all this weekend. Speaking of which, Easter brought about some interesting opining in the media on attitudes toward religion, and the Sunday shows did their usual parading of a bunch of religious pundits to talk about faith and whatnot. Let’s have a look.
The president lays the religion on thick in his weekly address, speaking as though resurrection of Jesus is an historical fact, claims even nonbelievers can appreciate how Jesus’ story emphasizes “triumph of faith over doubt.”
The well-meaning Nick Kristoff dusts off the eye-roll-inducing “secular fundamentalism” canard
Ross Douthat laments the passing of a less-diverse, yet somehow “centrist” American Christianity:
“It was the hierarchy, discipline and institutional continuity of mainline Protestantism and later Catholicism that built hospitals and schools, orphanages and universities, and assimilated generations of immigrants.”
Keep in mind, though, that as I have previously noted (plug plug) when Douthat talks about “assimilation of immigrants,” he has also written that xenophobia in America’s history has also been good for immigrant assimilation.
On Face the Nation, Cardinal Dolan complains of an effort to put “duct tape” over the mouths of religious folks, and that the president is “intruding” on religion. Yeah, can’t religion just be left a lone, which is all it really wants???
Later, FTN has roundtable discussion on the question of what church-state-separation means (spoiler: almost every answer is self-serving)
CFI’s John Shook: There’s not even a glimmer of benefit to prayer before an exam
Hey, it’s not intentional fraud by fake psychics! It’s my protected religious belief!
Big Think helps you figure out how atheistic you actually are (I’m about as close to a 7 as you can get and still be intellectually honest)
Neil deGrasse Tyson: “I’m not an -ism”
Katie M. Baker in Jezebel on how to do Passover for a Jewish atheist
Skeptoid on the “flippant” coverage of neuroscientific findings in the media
Asheville Citizen-Times puff piece on growth of “naturopathic” practices
HuffPo: Acupuncture combined with psychotherapy for “energy psychology”
Ovular UFO filmed from airplane window, scares baby
CFI-LA’s Jim Underdown smacks down alleged teen exorcists
FDL: Rick Warren “un-dorses” Romney?
Taslima Nasreen begins a stint at Freethought Blogs
NYT: Matthew Hutson on the psychological benefits of superstition
Quote of the Day
Alexandra Petri in WaPo, having attended the Reason Rally, on the plight of the “somewhat religious:”
Why go to ch
urch anyway? All I had to do was show up at a campaign rally in order to be prayed over and occasionally exorcised. I got more than enough religion as it was from my state legislatures.
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