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Why Watching Christian Blockbuster ‘Noah’ Is Like Sitting in a Giant Bathtub

noah_0[1]It would have been nice if Darren Aronofsky had found a way to work this line into his new Biblical epic, “Noah.” The film has just about everything else, including animals marching two by two, beards bushy enough to blot out the sun, giant transformers made out of boulders, divine smiting, and so much glowering Russell Crowe one might be forgiven for dampening one’s movie seat. The decision to make a movie about Noah and his big boat might seem a highly questionable enterprise, but bad ideas never seem to stop anyone lately. [Read more]

Noah: How Could a Movie This Boring Be So Controversial?

noah_movieposter-380x500[1]I’ve always been a fan of religious mythology and action movies, so when I first heard about Noah, I was ecstatic. Add to this the fact that one of my favorite directors, Darren Aronofsky of Requiem for a Dream fame, was making the movie, and my desire to see the film reached nearly hysterical levels. Unfortunately, Noah really just wasn’t a good movie. I sat in the theater thinking to myself that Aronofsky had decided to make a movie based on what he thought mainstream movies look like. [Read more]

The ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Is Real: What Now?

lead[1]Over the past two years, roughly a dozen scholars from Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and Australia’s Macquarie University have been focused on answering one question: Is the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife real? In 2012, historian Karen L. King announced her initial findings about a three-inch piece of papyrus, thought to be an eighth-century version of writings from the disciples of Jesus. [Read more]

Tests Reveal Papyrus Fragment Dubbed ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ is ‘Ancient’

The papyrus fragment named “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” has been mired in controversy since the day Karen King, a professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced the finding of the ancient text at an international congress on Coptic studies, in Rome, in 2012. [Read more]

Jesus and the Pagan Gods

Anastasis_Pio_Christiano_Inv31525-225x300[1]The Christian celebration of Easter has always been a good time to contemplate the nature of the gods and the relationships amongst the gods. As a Christian I was led to believe that the ministry of Jesus was a unique event in human history. To put it simply “Jesus was God made flesh,” and to have deity here on this planet as a human was a one-time only thing, never before written about or comprehended. Jesus-God was also able to overcome death, which becomes less shocking when your theology is essentially saying that Jesus is God, but as a kid that sounded pretty amazing. [Read more]

Pastafarians Rejoice as Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Granted Permission to Register as a Religion in Poland

A church that worships an invisible flying spaghetti monster can now apply to be registered as an official religion in Poland, after a 2013 court ruling was overturned on Tuesday. A Warsaw court rejected a ruling by the Regional Administrative Court because the it had not allowed the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) a two-month extension for submitting outstanding documents, Polskie Radio has reported. [Read more]

Supernatural Thriller ‘Jinn’ Features Creatures from Muslim Folklore

Eat your vegetables, Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad’s mother warned him when he was young. Otherwise, she said, you’ll be snatched by the “jinn.” Now these same jinn — mercurial beings that, according to the Quran and other Eastern traditions, were created by God — are chasing a Muslim hero and his family in Ahmad’s latest action and horror movie, which opened April 4 in more than 200 theaters across the country.

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Why People Exaggerate Religious Behavior

Social scientists have learned you can’t always believe what people tell you. An analysis of 3 places in the Muslim world examines whether peoples’ reports of religious behavior match what they do. [Download MP3]

How Hatred of Islam Creates Strange Bedfellows of Christians and Atheists

Politics is a funny game, for wedge issues often make for strange bedfellows. NSA overreach unites the far left with the far right. Libertarianism unites neo-confederates with black evangelicals. If you’re looking for an even stranger ideological matrimony, try this one on for size: mention the Middle East peace talks, and voila, you have atheists singing from the same song sheet as the Christian Right. [Read more]

Pope Says ‘Enough’ to Human Trafficking, Calls It Crime Against Humanity

Pope Francis said “enough” to human trafficking on Thursday, denouncing it as a crime against humanity as police leaders and religious groups from around the world pledged to work together to combat it. Francis addressed the final session of a two-day Vatican-sponsored international conference on human trafficking attended by top law enforcement officials, politicians and representatives of religions. [Read more]

Are Millennials Leaving the Church? What Do the Numbers Really Say?

So what is the religious life of emerging adults today like when compared to the last twenty-five years? What is it like when compared to other age groups? Are millennials really leaving the church? Do the number support the claim? [Read more]

Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an

On January 3, 2007, Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota, took his symbolic oath of office with his hand on a two-volume English translation (by George Sale) of the Qur’an. It was no ordinary copy of the Qur’an but rather the one owned by Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers and third president of the United States. [Read more]

Scientist Has No Clue How He Ended up in Holocaust-Denier’s Creationism Documentary

A new documentary titled “The Principle” is the latest from creationists and geocentrists.  The film perpetuates the long disproven notion that the sun revolves around the Earth. It is narrated by “Star Trek’s” Kate Mulgrew, who starred as Capt. Kathryn Janeway in both “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Nemesis.” From the looks of the trailer, this film is the antithesis of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s scientific look at the universe in “Cosmos.” [Read more]

Secular Group Rates Congress Members

The Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella organization of 13 nontheistic groups including American Atheists and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, recently issued a “report card” on members of Congress based on their votes on recent legislation involving church-state issues. [Read more]