The Holiness of OMGWTFBIBLE

I don’t know if you’ve realized, but by making fun of religion, OMGWTFBIBLE is actually serving a greater sort of holiness. In The American Scholar, Brian Doyle writes about the benefit of weaving humor into religion:

For all that religion has been a bloody enterprise through history, and for all that religious people seem often the most almighty easy people to offend, and for all that there are many people in my faith tradition who think I am an idiot to grin over the most colorful of our traditions, I think we should grin over the more colorful parts of our faith traditions. For one thing, they are often funny—imagine the wine steward’s mixed feelings at Cana after the miracle, for example—and for another, it seems to me that real honest genuine spirituality is marked most clearly by humility and humor. The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Meher Baba, Flannery O’Connor, Sister Helen Prejean, Pope Francis—all liable to laughter, and not one of them huffy about his or her status and importance. Whereas all the famous slimy murderers of history—Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, bin Laden—what a humorless bunch, prim and grim and obsessed with being feared. Can you imagine any one of them laughing, except over some new form of murder? Think about it—could laughter be the truest sign of holiness?

Who knew?

<h/t: The Daily Dish>

New York Not So Into the Bible

The American Bible Society has put together a list of the most and least “Bible-Minded” cities in the country. Topping the list is Chattanooga, Tennessee. The study also found that the Bible isn’t so well-loved in bigger cities. Only three of the top 25 Bible-loving areas encompassed more than a million households.

What about New York, where OMGWTFBIBLE happens? That’s all the way down at 89, only slightly more into the Bible than hedonistic Las Vegas. But you wouldn’t know it from seeing OMGWTFBIBLE live!

<h/t: Andrew Sullivan>

The Apocalypse is Coming, So Why Save the World?

One of my favorite pet theories about Republican opposition to action on climate change goes this way: many religious Republicans believe strongly in end-times prophecies and therefore has absolutely no incentive to do anything to stop climate change. After all, if God’s going to destroy the world eventually, who cares if we do?

This was something I’d sometimes tell friends if I had too many drinks. In a new study, David C. Barker and David H. Bearce actually put this hypothesis to the test through research and stuff. They found that, in 2006, a whopping 76% of Republicans stated a belief in the Second Coming. And what did that belief mean?

The study, based on data from the 2007 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, uncovered that belief in the “Second Coming” of Jesus reduced the probability of strongly supporting government action on climate change by 12 percent when controlling for a number of demographic and cultural factors. When the effects of party affiliation, political ideology, and media distrust were removed from the analysis, the belief in the “Second Coming” increased this effect by almost 20 percent.

“[I]t stands to reason that most nonbelievers would support preserving the Earth for future generations, but that end-times believers would rationally perceive such efforts to be ultimately futile, and hence ill-advised,” Barker and Bearce explained.

Yikes! Guys, we really have to stop taking this book so literally if we want to not drown to death.

<h/t: Andrew Sullivan>