The Easy Courage of Mocking Christianity

Comedy Central—the origin of the South Park program that had its references to Mohammad censored— has apparently announced that it is developing a new cartoon about Jesus Christ, the premise of which will be that God, preoccupied with playing video games, loses track of Jesus, who moves . . . . Continue Reading »

The Times and the Church

A sign that the New York Times will not be halting its seemingly daily effort to link the Vatican to the priest scandals: today’s article on Cardinal Levada, written by Michael Luo , who has been covering economics and the recession for the newspaper. In the middle of a dangerous economic . . . . Continue Reading »

FT Blog Fundraising Continues

The First Things fund raiser to help pay for the technical support it provides gratis to the several FT blogs, continues.  It is seeking to raise funds in a way that offers real value for the buck.  If you go to this link, you can subscribe to First Things magazine for only $19.95 a . . . . Continue Reading »

Cardinal Pell to Rome

The Italian press is reporting that Cardinal Pell will be leaving Australia and heading to Rome to become prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. When the official announcement comes, it will mark a loss for Australia and a gain for Rome—say I, who probably shouldn’t, since I am an . . . . Continue Reading »

Wright the Failed Moralist

Writing about morality is dangerous because you might reveal that you don’t have a very good grasp of the subject. In Ethics for Extraterrestrials , Robert Wright asks what the morality of aliens might be like and answers the question by imagining man meeting another being in space. He thinks . . . . Continue Reading »

A Scholarly Critique of Gilligan’s Island

Almost every American who owned a television from the late 1960s to the early 1980s has watched an episode of Gilligan’s Island . And if you were a child during that era—in a time before cable and console video games—you probably watched all 98 episodes more than once. It shames me . . . . Continue Reading »


There are moments when I think Terry Pratchett is the funniest writer alive. Funny, that is, the clever sense of funny. It is very important to be sober when you take an exam. Many worthwhile careers in the street-cleansing, fruit-picking and subway-guitar-playing industries have been founded on a . . . . Continue Reading »

Does Prayer Shut Off Your Brain?

According to a  study released by researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark, the brain’s executive network—the portion of our neural circuitry devoted to complex problem solving and truth seeking—is less active during certain modes of religious experience, especially those . . . . Continue Reading »