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Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Convesation With Students

I had a long visit with some local college students the other evening.  It is not everyday students are interested in talking to an old guy like me. The event was attended by people of all ages.  After a little small talk one students ask, “Is it true you are with the Red River Freethinkers.”  That opened the floodgate. The … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Why Are There Still Atheists?

It is a wonder that there are atheists.  It is hard to be out of sight of a church steeple in any town in the United States.  That visual advertising is everywhere.  Children by the millions are carted off to Sunday School every week.  Presidents of the United States end every speech with “God bless you.  … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 41 Comments

Our Local Bishops are Comedy Material

Recently, our two local Catholic Bishops released a list of not-for-profit organizations that people should not give money to.  Among these were organizations which provide health services for women and food for poor people.  To get on the Bishops’ bad list they only had to have a whiff of  association with abortion or gay rights. The Bishops … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Christian Advocacy and Smoking

In my field of economics, the is a word called “externalities”. Externaities happen when there is a transaction between two people, or an activity by one person, and others are affected.  The field we call “pollution” is about externalities.  If we who drive cars actually paid for all the externalities we push onto others, it would cost far … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Christian Religion’s Shifting Sands

When discussing various “sins”,  I like to use the metaphone of the Leader Board in golf.  Golfers with lower scores do not make the Leader Board. In my lifetime, several sins that were on the sin Leader Board have slipped off, working in the farm fields on Sunday, playing cards, dancing and alcohol.  These perfectly good sins … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Atheists and Christians Have Different Senses of Community

What is it that makes a person part of what we call “community”?  Here I’m using the word as it applies to an area.  Wherever people live, there are individuals who take ownership of and feel connected to that community.    What is it that they do? The simplest thing is picking up a piece of trash … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Don’t Believe in Hell? You’re Fired!

I can’t remember ever believing in the concepts of heaven and hell.  So it is hard to understand the enthusiasm some folks have for the idea that others are going to hell.  They so love this notion of hell for others that they cannot tolerate suggestions that hell might not exist, or, that those they dislike might not go there.  This … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 34 Comments

The Old Rule on Race: Separate but Equal. Too Liberal for Anti-Gay Politics

I’ve referred often here to Albert Mohler, the President of the Southern Baptist Seminary.  While he is regarded by some as an intellectual, I sometimes find his political and religious views so primative it is chilling. During the last few decades of segregation, the segregationists argued that separate but equal was “fair”. They had come to realize that equal … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 33 Comments

What’s Your Religious Take on Japan?

From what I’ve read, these are heady times for people who insert religious meanings into ordinary events.  By ordinary events, I mean earthquakes and the resulting tsunami.  The nuclear meltdown is pretty ordinary too in that it has happened a few times before. The end-of-times preachers have been doing well.  They’ve been predicting the end for a long time … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 40 Comments

Serve Up A Plate of Generosity, Hold the Message

Perhaps some readers are old enough, like me, to remember that period of U. S. history called “The Ugly American”.  Perhaps there was a book with that title.  I do remember it was about U. S. behavior toward other countries and how that behavior resulted in an unfavorable image. I’ll be the first to admit … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments