Why our children don’t think there are moral facts

Link

Why our children don’t think there are moral facts

Video

Adam Ruben talks about his experience of being the only Jewish guy on an evangelical ski retreat (coincidentally, the very retreat I just got back from today). It’s definitely funny to see how some things never change (“Their trip is hot chocolate and board games”), but what I really appreciated was his ending comments – I think they’re quite deep.

The pluralist case for religious exemptions

Link

The pluralist case for religious exemptions

The Economist’s misguided view on state RFRAs

Standard

The Economist’s Democracy in America blog recently posted an article on the Atlanta dispute regarding the debate over the limits of religious freedom. Obliquely, at the end, it mentions concerns regarding the passage of state bills based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). I think it makes one really big mistake, however: it claims that one concern is that "freedom of religious expression is already protected by the US Constitution.“

Here’s the issue: how do we know what constitutes protected religious expression (e.g. worshipping at a church) vs. non-protected religious expression (e.g. smoking peyote)? For a long time, the Supreme Court employed a three-part test known as "strict scrutiny” (the core of this, for many religious expression cases, is the “compelling state interest” test referenced by the article). In 1990, the Court reversed this in Employment Division v. Smith. Congress passed RFRA to re-require the use of strict scrutiny for these types of cases.

So yes, some religious expression is protected by the Constitution, but that still doesn’t tell us how to determine what is protected and what is not. Debates over state RFRAs are really debates over the test for protection, not the protection itself.

The neo‐orthodox theology of the young John Rawls

Link

The neo‐orthodox theology of the young John Rawls

A dark Christmas for the Christians of the Middle East

Link

A dark Christmas for the Christians of the Middle East

Fine-tuning and faith

Link

Fine-tuning and faith

George on Wacker on Graham

Link

George on Wacker on Graham

Papal misunderstandings

Link

Papal misunderstandings