Sunday, 1/18/15

  1. BHO Proclaims Freedom From Religion Day
  2. Whodunnit ≠ Who’s Behind It
  3. Why not geocentrism?


Considering his wretched record and tone-deafness to religious freedom, I was curious to see how President Obama would proclaim Religious Freedom Day 2015. I have done no comparative study of Religious Freedom Day Proclamations, but this year’s was (a) really lame and (b) oddly and repeatedly focused on people who profess no religion.

I wouldn’t be surprised if most prior proclamations were lame, but the channeling of Freedom From Religion Foundation talking points just gotta be a Democrat exclusive.


During his British stay, [Martin Luther King Assassin James Earl Ray] offered none of the lengthy defenses and denials of the shooting that he would later maintain. Rather, he talked freely about the King murder, and he even suggested the culprits who might have arranged the killing. Instead of white supremacists, though, Ray’s main candidates for the principals in the conspiracy were the Black Muslims, the Nation of Islam followers of Elijah Muhammad.

Let me say immediately that the fact that Ray said this does not of itself constitute weighty evidence for the existence of any conspiracy, let alone its nature. Ray, who died in 1998, was anything but a reliable witness …

Odd as it may sound in retrospect, though, the Black Muslim theory is not ridiculous, and it is quite as plausible as the white supremacist angle. We need to think back to a time when the U.S. had been racked by escalating race riots for several summers. Even responsible observers were forecasting outright race war, with cities partitioned between armed black and white militias. Radical black separatists stood to gain from a sensational act that would polarize and divide the races still further. Enlisting a white man to kill Martin Luther King would be a lethally effective form of dissimulation, and it was also wholly deniable. Elijah Muhammad had a track record of involvement in violence, and he is widely held responsible for ordering the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965.

(Philip Jenkins, “False Flags,” Charlie Hebdo, and Martin Luther King: Knowing who carried out an act of terror doesn’t always tell us who was ultimately behind it)


If you’ve been ignoring Charlie Hebdo and such, fretting instead about the credibility of Christianity when the Bible writers seemed to have a whole different cosmology, I pass along this for what it’s worth:

[A]t some points at least we do still inhabit the universe of the Bible. For many practical purposes, the lived world is flat and that sky certainly does appear to be a hard dome over my head. I see the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening. I’m told that if I were standing outside the solar system, I’d see something different, but I’m not standing outside the solar system. So there seem to be many possible true descriptions of the world I inhabit, depending on the angle of observation: Who decided that standing outside the solar system is the only place from which to see reality as it is? Why does a scientific cosmology, whose proof I don’t understand, trump the evidence of my senses? (I could make the point more scientifically: We don’t believe in a geocentric universe anymore because we believe in a multi-centric universe; if any location can serve as center, why not earth?)

(Peter Leithart)

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.