Should we ban all Mosques?

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lotfollah mosque, isfahan oct. 2007, originally uploaded by seier+seier. Freedom, for America’s Founders, meant that all Americans would have the right to pursue wisdom and truth for themselves, with no political or religious constraints imposed by the government. This is the basis of Freedom of Religion, among many other things. It’s what makes America special….
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Why Did God Bother?

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The Return of the Prodigal Son, 1667/1670,originally uploaded by leoncillo sabino. Spiritual teachings say that we are supposed to “find our way home again”: that is, we must seek spiritual Truth and become enlightened. But if we started at “home”, what was the point of sending us “down here” just so we can find our…
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Atheism

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Richard Dawkins’ Sunday Sermon,originally uploaded by jurvetson. Consider these two popular books about atheism, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris, and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. These books take an absolute stand against religion, bemoaning the link between fundamentalism and blind faith on the one hand,…
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Ways of Knowing

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Atom and hands machine drawing,originally uploaded by Bascom Hogue. When engaged in our scientific way of knowing, a human being stands in requisite isolation outside of the creation, as an inquiring, analytic, ‘onlooker’ — and from this standpoint it is reasonable that we can make nature subservient to our intellect and our will. From this…
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“Who Wrote the Bible?!”

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Moises y los 10 Mandamientos,Moses and the ten Commandments,originally uploaded by oseillo. Most scholars agree that the “Five Books of Moses” were actually compiled from various texts after the Babylonian Exile. I have no quarrel with this hypothesis, and I am certainly not of the opinion that God literally picked up a pencil and wrote…
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“Mengelberg and Mahler”: Episode 22 of ‘Spirit of the Berkshires’

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I just had the opportunity to interview Daniel Klein and Emille Faillaux, the writers and director of Mengelberg and Mahler, their new play that just opened at Shakespeare & Co. and runs through the summer. The play explores issues of moral ambiguity, personal responsibility, and the psychologically huge question: “What would I do if put…
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Sex and Cartoon Violence Festival

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Sex and Cartoon Violence!, originally uploaded by emilydickinsonridesabmx. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that television and internet programming and advertising assume an audience of morons who each have an attention span that can be measured in milliseconds. We evidently cannot control or reverse this, so we simply deny it. We throw money at…
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A Book for this 4th of July

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Alexander Hamilton, originally uploaded by cliff1066™. In The Never Realized Republic, Peter O’Lalor describes the great heritage of freedom and liberty that informed America’s Revolutionary generation, the fundamental intentions of the Founders when they gathered in Philadelphia to write the Constitution, and the way these intentions were in many ways thwarted by the single-minded efforts…
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The Fathering Instinct

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Can’t-keep-up-with-her,originally uploaded by Radio Nederland Wereldomroep. I remember one afternoon when I was a single man in my early thirties walking up First Avenue in New York City. A man walked passed me in the opposite direction, with a little toddler riding happily on his shoulders. As he passed, I felt a tinge of jealousy….
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