Nothing New Under the Sun

Gothenberg
Photo Credit: Adam Ihse/TT News Agency via AP

Last night, a group of men hurled Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden. The attack is supposed to have come in connection to a protest march responding to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. No one was hurt, and so far three men have been arrested. The only people present in the synagogue at the time of the attack were a group of children having a party. Someone noticed a “ball of fire” approaching the building and rushed the children into the basement as security guards called police.

The majority of reporting on this attack has been to brand it as a response to Trump’s decision. I’ve even some takes on Twitter (obviously not official sources, but it just shows that the sentiment is out there) that the people in the synagogue deserved this and more because of what Trump did. For one thing, if you think that anything justifies attempting to burn down a place of worship, especially a place of worship with children cowering terrified in a basement, then there’s really nothing I can say to you. But, further, if you seriously believe this sort of violence is because of Trump, then you just haven’t been paying attention.

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What Did Karl Marx Really Think About Religion?

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I took a Sociology of Religion final yesterday, but rather than the usual post-exam attempt to purge everything I learned over the semester, I’ve actually just been thinking about Karl Marx a whole lot. I’m sure this is something everybody does, right?

We all know about Marxism and its relationship with religion, or at least we think we do. Communism and socialism are all about atheism and the removal of religion. Billy Graham really rose to national fame by establishing the dualistic relationship between us God-fearing democratic Americans and the godless freedom-hating communists.  That quote from Marx about religion as the “opium of the masses” gets bandied about all the time. But, I think we mis-read him a bit.

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Teaching Islam in Schools (or an Ode to Coach Landau)

So, I’m back. I forgot I had a blog for about three years, but I’m back. Why am I back? Well, let me tell you…

I love Sunday mornings. Sunday mornings are my chance to sit down with a cup of coffee and just read the paper in the quiet of my apartment. I get to catch up on the latest in politics or read up on the latest loss for my Braves/Titans/Demon Deacons. This is normally a quiet and almost meditative experience, giving me the chance to step away from technology and the world for a little bit and just slow down.

The quiet was shattered this morning as I found myself engaged in an argument with the paper in my hands. My anger was directed toward an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution titled “Lessons about Islam stir mixed feelings in parents.” School districts in Georgia have been teaching their students about religions, including Islam, as a part of the social studies curriculum, and some parents are not thrilled.
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