Religious Odds and Ends

Gunning for God:  Over at the Atlantic Wire, Heather Horn reports on a new Louisiana law that allows concealed carry permit holders to bring their guns to church, but only if they receive an additional 8 hours of training.  No word on whether this additional training includes doctrinal or theological instruction on who may be shot and under what circumstances.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité:  Despite this heady motto that begins with liberty, the French enact additional laws banning the wearing of Muslim garb by women.  Over at Religion News, Alfredo Garcia explains the differences between the burqa (full body/face veiling), the niqab (full body/head covering but with a tantalizing eye slit), and the hijab (head scarves, which are quite fashionable these days).  While the casual observer may deem these measures to be anti-Muslim (and to a certain extent they are), the French have a long and complicated history of secularism and bans on religious symbols.  Over at Foreign Policy, Ruth Harris recounts this history.

“Religion, Science, and the Ultimate Nature of Reality”:  This is the title of a post by Marilynne Robinson over at HuffPo Religion and it is typical of the kinds of pabulum one often finds there.  I have read the piece several times and cannot find any science in it.  I did, however, find this mystifying statement:  “To my mind we are the heroes of Creation if only because we think to pose such questions [about the ultimate nature of reality]. This is as close as I come to allowing myself a theological ‘proof.’ I don’t claim to know what it means to say that we are made in the image of God, but I profoundly and instinctively believe it and all that it implies.”  Sounds great but where is the science?  Are we to suppose that Robinson’s personal convictions and beliefs say anything about the ultimate nature of reality?

Christian Consternation over Spectacular Chinese UFO Video:  On July 9, 2010, several people captured video of something really weird in the sky over Hangzhou, China.  The Chinese authorities closed the nearby airport and are investigating.  This is worth a complete watch:

When Kepler, Copernicus, and Gallileo established that the earth was not the center of the universe and was just one of several planets in our solar system that orbit the sun, Christendom experienced a fairly severe crisis of faith.  One can only imagine what will happen if aliens make contact.  Anticipating this theology crushing possibility, a writer for The Christian Post comments:

Astrology, Horoscopes and the phenomenon of UFOs are examples of modern obsessions typified by inconclusive discourse and which God consistently warns not to give attention. The scriptures were not written to instruct us in astronomy, or in any of the physical sciences, but that we might have the certainty of life eternal.

The Bible teaches that God is the great controller of all our sight, hearing, speech, touch, taste and also other senses of balance, direction, motion and temperature etc. He is able to cause us to sense whatever He wills for His purpose.

Inconclusive discourse?  Sounds like he has been reading Foucault.  If it seems like the writer is suggesting that this video is an illusion created by God and the senses cannot be trusted, this would be correct:

God may not be against science but we cannot trust our detection apparatus or the logic of valid observations over simple truths of scripture. Indeed, God only needs to send an appropriate imagination, perpetuating a continued delusion – with the objective to punish peculiar rebellion against His already revealed word.

So this is a heavenly joke — designed by God to mislead us, much like all those hominid fossils he cleverly buried in order to test our faith in creation.

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