The Passion of the Christ: Torture, Anti-Semitism, and Ideological Fantasy

During the filming of Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ, the actor portraying the character of Jesus (Jim Caviezel) was struck by lightning twice, in two separate incidents and in two separate places. Apparently the filmmakers, most of whom were Catholic, did not take the hint. The movie was finished and released to the public on Ash […]

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I Was a Teenage Apologist: My Journey from Christianity to Atheism

“Do not demand that your belief [in a personal God] be reasonable. You will be threatened with the loss of your faith. You may well lose your faith. Those who have lost their faith in God are generally those who have felt the need for good reasons, for evidence, for argument. Better that you should take as your slogan ‘credo […]

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Why the Devil Has the Best Tunes: Rock Music, Satanism, and Religious Fear

They say I worship the Devil / They must be stupid or blind / I’m just a rock ‘n’ roll rebel. ~ Ozzy Osbourne [1] In the summer of 1990, heavy rock music went on trial for murder. Five years before, two young adults named James Vance and Raymond Belknap of the small town of Sparks, Nevada spent a winter evening […]

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part I)

The discussions on the origins of Christianity in Zeitgeist may sound very compelling to those “village atheists” who make a hobby of searching for that elusive single argument that destroys Christianity as a credible belief system in one fell swoop. But any such easy argument is bound to be an oversimplification of historical or philosophical complexities. The main thesis presented […]

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (5): Biblical Pornography

The wild popularity of the Left Behind series demonstrates the extent to which evangelical culture has become proficient and competent in adopting secular standards to dramatize the Christian message. This is made all the more fascinating when one considers the extremely literalist standpoint with regard to theological doctrine that the authors of the series assert and from which the storyline and concept is derived.

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (4): Left Behind 2000 Years Ago

[M]ainstream “orthodox” Christians ironically criticize preachers like Harold Camping (who predicted that the Second Coming of Christ would occur on May 21, 2011) and fringe denominations like the Jehovah’s Witnesses for doing exactly what Jesus himself did, namely setting dates for end-times that never happen at the promised time. Why is it that Jesus’ own words debunk Christianity in the same way and for the same reason?

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (3): Tribulation Farce

“You must be certain of the Devil ‘cause he knows your name / You must be certain of the Devil ‘cause he’s counting on your shame / You must be certain of the Devil ‘cause he’s master of the game / You must be certain of the Devil right now.” ~ Diamanda Galás, ‘You Must Be Certain of the Devil’ (1988) In the Left Behind series, […]

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A Critical Analysis of the “Left Behind” Series (2): The Characters

The Protagonists The first book in the Left Behind series introduces the four primary characters who form the inner core group. Rayford Steele is a well-to-do, upper-class, all-American airline pilot. His nineteen-year-old daughter Chloe Steele is a college student and a natural-born skeptic of religion and supernatural phenomena. Cameron “Buck” Williams is an award-winning, globe-trotting journalist. Bruce Barnes is an […]

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