RELIGIOUS REALITY CHECK
Catalyst May Issue 2011
We recently came across five news stories that we just had to address. After going through them, we decided that the time had come for a reality check.
Bart Ehrman doesn’t believe in God, which is why he is just the right guy to teach religion at the University of North Carolina. It’s not as though he is uninterested in religion—he likes to study the Bible, he just doesn’t believe it to be the inspired word of God. Above all, he wants us to view the Bible with great skepticism. But not his writings—we should all swallow his dogmatic convictions. His latest book contends that large parts of the Bible are a forgery, though he does not say who the cheaters are. Unfortunately for Bart, Biblical scholars believe they recently uncovered a collection of ancient texts in a Jordanian cave that may constitute the earliest Christian writings.
Patrick S. Cheng is a seminary professor who also needs a reality check. His brilliance was on display in a Huffington Post article in which he argued that “Christianity is queer because radical love lies at the heart of both Christianity and the queer experience.” Perhaps he should read Leviticus.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois has had three years to recant his opposition to the Church’s teachings on criteria for the priesthood. He has stated that he will not do so, leaving the Maryknolls with no choice but to kick him out. This will no doubt please him, which is why there will be no reality check.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act supposedly protects more than just Indians, but not according to a 10th Circuit Court ruling. They say unless a believer belongs to a government-designated tribe, he can be prosecuted for possessing eagle feathers. Looks like this court could use a reality check. And how do they prove who is an Indian?
If a Christian or Jewish teacher needs a day or two off for religious observance, the request is granted under the legal banner of religious accommodation. If one of these teachers were so bold as to ask for three weeks off—right before final exams—it would be denied. But a Muslim woman made this exact request. She was denied, sued, and now is backed by the Obama administration.
Is there any more proof needed that they all need a reality check?