Category Archives: Religion

Interesting threads on religion and hell

This one from Reddit, about things that people say are in the bible, but aren’t – particularly this nugget
I prefer:

Light a fire for a man, and keep him warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he’s warm for the rest of his life.

And this article about the many and varied definitions of hell, which I remember my dad talking about 30 years ago or so (short version, the fire is everlasting, the suffering isn’t – at the end of days the wicked are just erased from existence)

Thursday link roundup

  • Church Sign Wars – very good
  • What Russia Wants – written by my old Boss at Cato
  • The path to citizenship – it makes illegal immigration much more understandable
  • Making money twice – a very good read
  • Julian Sanchez put it very well with

    we’re perpetually told the fundamental cause of the ongoing meltdown is Wall Street “greed,” as though that somehow counted as an explanation. How, pray, would we describe it if mortgage lenders had rejected many more applications from lower-income folks, on the grounds that they were poor risks? Well, greed, of course. Pretty much whatever they did, they’d be doing because they expected it to maximize their profit; the issue is their judgement, not their motives. Or put another way: The problem isn’t that people were greedy, it’s that they weren’t very good at being greedy.

  • Ron Paul fades into further irrelevance
  • More Bailout – Yglesias posits what is hopefully a liberal dilemma

    Simply put, if congressional Democrats manage to acquiesce in a plan that spends $700 billion on a bailout while doing nothing for average working people and giving the taxpayer virtually no upside in a way that guarantees that even electoral victory would give an Obama administration no resources with which to implement a progressive domestic agenda in 2009 then everyone’s going to have to give serious consideration to becoming a pretty hard-core libertarian.

  • A nice article on Obama’s community organizing days – notices the lack of anything measurable.

Fifth Generation Warfare sighted in the wild!

Check out this interview on bloggingheads with the author of The Family, which is a book about a loose network of self dealing Christians in high placed.

From the interview (I haven’t read the book yet) it seems to match all of the definitions of 5GW (loose as they may be), and it’s been around since the 30s as well.

Thoughts from my fellow war nerds, which is to say Soob and Slog?

Monday night rapid fire

Nuking Mecca would be counterproductive and silly

I listened to the Republican Debate from Sunday and heard Tom Tancredo repeat his strategy of nuking Mecca if terrorists launch another attack on the United States. It’s just silly. Everyone is sold on the notion that religions are “of” something, like peace or justice.

Nuking Mecca is a way of fighting on technicalities and hoping that the other side believes in them as much as we would like them to. It’s like trying to fight LSD use by threatening to build a Starbucks on Jim Morrison’s gravesite.

Quick links while uploading

An assortment of things I’ve read while I’ve been uploading things today

  • The golden age of Chicago prostitution – The Everleigh sisters are respoinsible for the term “get laid”. An interesting read – the more things change…
  • Rifle Robots!
  • John Allen Paulos has a new book out soon, I think it’s going to a more civil (and knowing Paulos well written and interesting) version of the recent Richard Dawkins screed. My favorite blurb from the Amazon page “A Lifelong Unbeliever Finds No Reason to Change His Mind”
  • How to build your business without quitting your day job
  • Firefox tune-ups
  • Conan O’Brian hates my homeland – favorites

    Home to more than 800 species of unregulated breast implants.

    Burkina Faso
    In the traditional tribal language, that’s Burkina for “land of” and Faso for “people who want to get the hell out of Burkina Faso.”

    You’ll come for the enticing beauty of the Caribbean Sea. You’ll stay because you’ve been kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a Dodge Dart.

    East Timor
    It takes a lot to admit you live on the bad side of Timor.

The start of the Friday In Appreciation Series

I’ve decided to start a more or less weekly series about the people and forces of that don’t get enough credit in our society. I call it the Friday In Appreciation Series.

We live in age when sanctimonious piety rivals hydrogen as the most common thing in the universe. Be it suburbanites railing against city-dwellers not having children, Ultra-Calvinist urbanites railing against Bushies standing in the way of progress, or Muslims from loser countries blaming Danish cartoons for their crappy lives, it’s hard to walk five feet without getting smacked in the face by righteous outrage, backed up by the usual litany of reasons people have for telling other people to run their lives.

But there’s one group that not only walks the walk and talks the talk; they also handle the snakes. Yep, I’m talking about Snake Handlers. It’s refreshing to see someone use the fine print and not bother other people. They actually follow the fine print just because it’s there. They even keep going when their leaders die of snake-bite. Now that’s faith!

Thus I begin the series.

Two from Slate

  • Hitchens on Falwell – a nice vicious hit job, closing with

    It’s a shame that there is no hell for Falwell to go to, and it’s extraordinary that not even such a scandalous career is enough to shake our dumb addiction to the “faith-based.”

  • On Generals – An interesting piece on the lack of turnover at the Pentagon due to the Iraq war. Unmentioned is the lack of turnover as a result of 9-11, which should be the larger clue.