A great crime committed against individuals and society is to be told what to think and not how to think, and where the tools of critical thinking allowing us to reason and make rational sense of the world are rejected. In particular, there are a multitude of institutions and people who follow and apply dogma, who discourage thinking and who discourage enquiry. This video by TheraminTrees describes how he was treated and how he managed to break free.
A short interview with Sarah Haider in which she speaks about Islam, her apostasy, and her work with the Ex-Muslims of North America.
I have also previously linked to another talk by Sarah at http://www.metalvortex.com/blog/2015/11/23/1778.html regarding the hostility of the left.
I was in Palmyra 11 years ago. It was one of those ancient places in Syria that projected the influence and power of Rome. This is the Temple of Baal (or Bel). It no longer exists. The barbarity and inhumanity of the Islamic State, in its self-congratulatory frenzy of wiping out monuments and people not representing the glory of Islam, destroyed much of Palmyra last year.
I’d previously posted a link to the wonderful online video lectures from Yale University, in particular the course on “Introduction to the Old Testament” by Christine Hayes. I’m now about half-way through the course on “New Testament History and Literature” by Dale B. Martin. This makes a good companion to the Christine Hayes videos. I’ve posted both videos below for your convenience :)
Do note that a significant time-commitment is required to go through all these videos, but the rewards are many. Go for it!
Introduction to the Old Testament With Christine Hayes:
New Testament History and Literature:
A brilliant talk from Sarah Haider on the hostility and bigoty of the left.
These are great reads:
- If you don’t speak French, how can you judge if Charlie Hebdo is racist?
- Charlie Hebdo: The literary indulgence of murder
Jeff Coyne’s blog post cuts through the BS of certain PEN members. Roll of shame indeed.
- Offended PEN members refuse to participate in annual gala because Charlie Hebdo got an award
I have said, and will continue to state, that religion deserves no special privilege, and that it is a right for everyone to criticise religion, to mock it. Those who deny others this right deserve no respect.
Don’t forget the Hebdo victims. Don’t forget the monsters that carried out the massacre. Don’t forget those support the massacre. Don’t forget those that refuse to condemn the massacre.
But Salman Rushdie, a former PEN president who lived in hiding for years after a fatwa in response to his novel “The Satanic Verses,” said the issues were perfectly clear. Mr. Ondaatje and Mr. Carey were old friends of his, he said, but they are “horribly wrong.”
“If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name,” Mr. Rushdie said. “What I would say to both Peter and Michael and the others is, I hope nobody ever comes after them.”
I love how certain universities make available a number of free resources such as lectures. One resource, in particular, that I’ve really enjoyed has been Yale University’s “Introduction to the Old Testament” by Christine Hayes. There are many hours of video material from this introductory course, and I would recommend that these are augmented through further personal research.
The course description:
This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical-critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.
According to Wikipedia:
Christine Hayes is the Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, and one of the foremost American academics focusing on talmudic-midrashic studies and Classical Judaica. She is also a specialist in the History and Literature of Judaism in Late Antiquity. Before her appointment at Yale, she served as the Assistant Professor of Hebrew Studies, Department of Near Eastern Studies, at Princeton University from 1993 to 1996. She has published several books and numerous articles in American and international academic journals, and has received academic accolades. Her class on the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) was selected for the pilot program of “Yale University Open Courses,” and has subsequently been one of the most watched online courses about Classical Judaica.
Brandon Fibbs describes his journey that led to abandoning faith. Very well done.