Category Archives: Skeptical Sal

Sober Second Thoughts on Warming Up Winter

Just the other day, I was excitedly posting about a crafter who knit a bunch of hats and then hung them up all around her downtown core so homeless people could take them and use them to warm up over the winter months. I was psyched about the possibility of bringing a similar project to the nearest big city to me (that’s Toronto, Ontario, Canada). And I wrote that post calling on all my crocheting and knitting friends to join me in yarn-bombing downtown Toronto.

Mittens over her eyes

Image via Makool Loves You.

But after I finished it, I didn’t feel quite so good about it. It gradually dawned on me that the whole idea seemed to be all show and no substance.

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Considering Humanism

Ariane Sherine and Richard Dawkins at atheist ad launch.

Ariane Sherine and Richard Dawkins at atheist bus ad launch. Image via Timothy Ministries' Dictionary of Theology.

I’ve been pretty interested in atheism lately. I’m not an atheist. I’m pretty sure I’m not even agnostic; I believe in God.

But I just keep listening to what the secular humanist community has to say . . . and I think maybe I might be a humanist.

Is there any such thing as a religious humanist? Are there other people who actually think of themselves this way? I’m not really sure. Most of the people I’ve heard speaking about their embrace of humanism are pretty strong in their denial of God’s existence. But I’ve learned that the God they don’t believe in is the same one I reject.

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My Common Ground with Christian Fundamentalism

The Bible, which may or may not be inerrant, according to some fundamentalists.

Image via NewsBiscuit.

I thought that might get your attention. There’s a certain way of thinking about Christian fundamentalism – essentially, if a fundy says it, it must be insane. This stereotype (as far as I can tell) grows out of belief in the Rapture, collective hoop-jumping to deal with contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible, and popular support for Sarah Palin.

But today I was surfing Answers in Genesis (mostly because fundamentalism amuses me) and I found a statement that I deeply agree with. It was buried in the testimony of a student who is “not ashamed to be a Creationist”. On Biblical inerrancy and its role in his choice of college, this unashamed student  had this to say:

“Without a commitment to biblical authority (that the Bible’s teachings must be the final, absolute authority to which we defer), a Christian simply has no true basis for discernment on essential doctrinal matters and morality.”

I’m not agreeing with this as an absolute – that the Bible is the only truthful way to discern reality. But it is true that, if you don’t put faith in the Bible, your reasons for being a Christian start to crumble away beneath you.

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