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Posted inReligion

The God of the seismologists

Reading Time: 3 minutes Natural tragedies naturally elicit religious questions. If there is a God, what kind of God permits death by earthquake, as we have seen recently in such catastrophic proportions in Turkey and Syria, with 50,000 dead? This question on suffering and the good God is ancient, but the question on earthquakes and the good God arose […]

Posted inCrime and Punishment

NXIVM: Why are we so endlessly in thrall to deadly cults?

Reading Time: 6 minutes They’re all of one twisted mind. Donald Trump. Scientology. People’s Temple. Branch Davidians. Heaven’s Gate. NXIVM. Every personality cult that ever existed. They all weaponize charisma, weaponize it ruthlessly against innocent people’s often fragile, vulnerable, gullible psyches. Without remorse. ‘The Vow’: A disquieting plunge into the abyss I reacquainted myself with the dangerous, routinely tragic […]

Posted inReligion

Interfaith work needs to include the nonreligious

Reading Time: 4 minutes New York mayor Eric Adams recently objected to the idea of the separation of church and state at an interfaith breakfast event at the New York Public Library. Library President and CEO Anthony Marx offered a welcome that celebrated libraries as places of inclusion, diversity, and freedom of thought. In his speech, the mayor acknowledged […]

Posted inDeep Dive

Top five questions for presuppositionalists

Reading Time: 2 minutes Christians defend their belief in a number of ways. One of these is called “presuppositional apologetics”. Any attempt to discuss religion with these people in any conventional sense of the term is almost impossible. The upshot of their opinion is that only the existence of a god enables the logic and reason we all use. […]

Posted inMeaning & Purpose


Reading Time: 5 minutes People born with privilege like to believe that their good fortune is deserved, whether by divine favor or by superior work ethic. It’s difficult to accept that our blessings are due to chance, but that acceptance is essential to building a fairer world.

Posted inHistory

‘I thought it over and believed it by myself’— Sharing doubts with the Inquisition

Reading Time: 11 minutes “The year of our Lord 1320, the 16th of July. Whereas it came to the attention of My Lord Jacques, bishop of Pamiers, that Guillemette said in front of diverse persons that the human soul is but blood, and that when the man dies, only wind comes out of the body; that after death, the human soul ceases to exist, and is neither good or evil in its merits or faults, but that it dies at the death of the body; whereas My Lord Bishop had received information on these points, he summoned her to his presence.”

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