Gretchen Koch's Blog (14)

I’m tripping over you, God

In a Newsweek article grandiosely (to put it lightly) entitled Proof of Heaven: A Doctor's Experience With the Afterlife published yesterday, Dr. Eben Alexander recounts a story of what it was like to visit Heaven (apparently) and speak with God (apparently) which supposedly took place while he was in a coma due to bacterial meningitis.

Alexander's sole…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on October 16, 2012 at 4:01am — No Comments

“Bullshit.”

In today's news, we hear that a group of high school students were offended and walked out of a talk because they were told that they are too moral to do things like stoning women for being non-virgins on their wedding night or owning slaves. The person giving this talk called them cowards for doing so. When word of this event reached certain sources afterward, they loudly condemned the speaker for being a bully. The speaker then apologized.

Yes, I'm serious.

What, you want…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on May 1, 2012 at 1:25pm — No Comments

IIWAPBK and Privilege 101

I think Gene Marks has now been thoroughly excoriated for his column "If I Were a Poor Black Kid" on the Forbes web site last week. In his effort to explain how it's still possible for underprivileged kids to succeed, he succeeded only in displaying a shocking lack of empathy. By that I don't mean that he…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on December 23, 2011 at 12:18pm — No Comments

“Muscular Christianity” and the Penn State Scandal

University of Nebraska Assistant Coach Ron Brown prayed on behalf of his football team and that of Penn State prior to their game on November 12th, in the wake of the latter university's scandal regarding former head coach Joe Paterno. Which you already know about if you haven't been living under a rock for roughly the past week and a half, so you don't need any commentary on it from me. But Brown thought that God needed a comment on…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on November 22, 2011 at 9:12am — No Comments

What We Could Have Done

That the band R.E.M.'s break-up and Troy Davis' highly controversial state mandated execution would have taken place on the same day is probably an interesting coincidence to no one but me. You see, it was at an R.E.M. concert during their "Monster" tour back in 1994 that I, as a high school student, first lifted a finger to take part in a political cause-- opposing the death penalty. Someone had…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on September 23, 2011 at 12:53pm — 1 Comment

What Rick Santorum Doesn’t Get About Bigotry

The title of this post might sound a little obvious to many who have concluded already that Santorum is a bigot for his anti-gay sentiments. But I think it's important to take a look at why he was wrong, specifically, when he said this in an interview with Piers Morgan:

I think just because we disagree on public policy, which is…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on September 9, 2011 at 5:02am — No Comments

Demonstration Denied in Dearborn; Dawud Declares Doubts

Anti-Islam pastor Terry Jones takes his show to Michigan...or at least attempts to. In a bid to become to Muslims what Fred Phelps has been to gays and the military, Jones announced that he and his church would be protesting at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, the largest mosque in North America. But city…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on April 22, 2011 at 5:01am — No Comments

Afghans Attack U.N. Building, Murder Workers and Each Other After Qur’an Burning

Remember Terry Jones? Not the guy from Monty Python, but the Florida pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Qur'an last August in response to the building of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center a few blocks away from where the World Trade Center used to stand? And the president actually got on television to ask him not to do it? And Jones responded that he wouldn't, not ever?

He…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on April 4, 2011 at 11:02am — No Comments

Making Sense of Tragedy: Was the Earthquake a “Divine Punishment”?

Over at Religion Dispatches Levi McLaughlin, a professor of religion who specializes in East Asian traditions, writes about Tokyo's governor Shintaro Ishihara describing the tsunami that struck Japan as "divine punishment":

Ishihara, a prize-winning novelist, stage and screen actor, and a populist hero of the Japanese…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on March 20, 2011 at 11:16pm — No Comments

Sue Blackmore Decides That Religions Are Not, in Fact, Viruses of the Mind

Sue Blackmore is one of the go-to voices in the UK on matters of religious thinking and consciousness. She is, believe it or not, an atheist with a PhD in parapsychology.  Originally a firm believer in the paranormal, she reached the conclusion in the course of her study that it doesn't in fact have any scientific basis.  At that point, she decided to find out what the mind really is capable of doing, which resulted in a number of books including the excellent …

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Added by Gretchen Koch on March 10, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Westboro on Funeral Protests

The Supreme Court ruling on Snyder v. Phelps was issued this morning-- 8-1 in favor of Phelps, saying that the First Amendment protected the WBC's right to protest the military funeral.  I couldn't have imagined it going any other way, but there was still a niggling worry that it might.  …

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Added by Gretchen Koch on March 3, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

The Problem with “Jesus Chicken”

Those familiar with the Chik-Fil-A restaurant chain have known for quite a long time that the ownership is explicitly conservative Christian, which hasn't meant much for people who like to eat there except that they must remember it's closed on Sundays. But recently it has come out (pardon the expression) that the company also contributes significantly to anti-gay causes. The New York Times…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on February 6, 2011 at 1:19am — No Comments

The Problem With “Jesus Chicken”

Those familiar with the Chik-Fil-A restaurant chain have known for quite a long time that the ownership is explicitly conservative Christian, which hasn't meant much for people who like to eat there except that they must remember it's closed on Sundays. But recently it has come out (pardon the expression) that the company also contributes significantly to anti-gay causes. The New York Times…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on February 6, 2011 at 1:14am — No Comments

What Basis For Equality?

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

The true meaning, mind you-- not merely what is reflected in the law, but in how we see each other.  How we evaluate each other's worth, respectability, humanity.  Not by the color of each other's skin, but the content of our characters.  That, in turn, will reveal our…

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Added by Gretchen Koch on January 17, 2011 at 5:32pm — No Comments