Things get ugly when permission to speak depends upon whether the hearer agrees with what is said
A recent keynote speaker at the Harvard University Art & Science Faculty Conference on Diversity told his Twitter followers in 2015 that people who base their spiritual beliefs on the Hebrew scriptures should be “locked up.”
Author and speaker Tim Wise went on in that tweet, saying “people basing their beliefs on the fable of Noah and the Ark, or their interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah … rather than science or logic … If you are basing your morality on a fairy tale written thousands of years ago, you deserve to be locked up … detained for your utter inability to deal with reality … NO, we are not obligated to indulge your irrationality in the name of your religious freedom …”
Wise undoubtedly thinks everybody else — including those who accept the Hebrew scriptures and all other “fairy tales” — absolutely are obligated to respect his spiritual beliefs or lack thereof.
If you’ve been paying even casual attention to the news in recent months, you have undoubtedly heard that authoritative research surveys show an accelerating pace of growth in the “Nones.”
These are people who check the “None” box when asked what is their religious affiliation. News articles on this theme have become a familiar part of the journalism landscape, thanks in great part to, just to cite one source, the Pew Research Center.
Roman and Judean officials are having a hard time Sunday explaining how or why the body of Jesus, the 33-year-old itinerant Galilean preacher crucified Friday for claiming to be God, has disappeared from a sealed tomb guarded by an elite unit of Legion soldiers.
Reports of an empty tomb began circulating throughout Jerusalem shortly after dawn today when two women who said they were hoping to complete the man’s burial preparations told friends the heavy rock that had been rolled in front of the entrance late Friday was removed a distance away and that his body was nowhere to be found.
Roman and Jewish authorities on Saturday face persistent but unverified reports that the crucified 33-year-old man from Galilee who claimed to be God actually survived the brutal experience and escaped late Friday.
“What I heard was that the man didn’t die, what really happened was he swooned, or passed out, and was thought to be dead but he really wasn’t,” Andrew the Mason, a Bethlehem resident visiting in Jerusalem for the Passover Festival this weekend, told HillFaith.
In a rare display of political and judicial cooperation between leaders of the occupying Roman Empire and the conquered land of Israel, authorities in Jerusalem today condemned, flogged and crucified a carpenter-turned-itinerant preacher who claimed to be the Messiah.
Jesus Christ, 33, of Nazareth in Israel’s northern province of Galilee, was pronounced dead Friday following approximately nine hours of in extremis suffering as a result of being whipped and then nailed to a cross in the Golgotha district just outside of Jerusalem’s walls.
Believe it or not, early in the decades following Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection, His followers were considered unpatriotic atheists by the most powerful government in the world, Rome.
As Ryan Leasure writes on The Poached Egg on this Palm Sunday, Roman Emperors expected subjects to bow down to the Roman pantheon of gods in an act both of loyalty to Caesar and religious piety.
Christians — in a dramatic act of separation of church and state —refused to worship the Roman gods and were thus viewed officially and by many Romans as atheists. But there was also an economic angle involved, as Leasure explains: