Politics driving theology

American Evangelicals have changed their mind on abortion. The clear, unambiguous, Biblical teaching on the subject is younger than the McDonald’s Happy Meal (even if they don’t like to admit that). It now seems that a similar shift might be coming on Evangelicals’ beliefs on contraception.

Just five years ago it would have been unthinkable for American evangelicals to rally against contraception. Religious opposition to contraception was strictly a Catholic thing and evangelicals, as Protestants, did not accept the baroque theological arguments supporting that Catholic teaching.

But that radical ethical and doctrinal reversal will not be the really amazing thing. Far more amazing will be the Orwellian aftermath in which, 10 years from now, white evangelicals will pretend that they have always unanimously opposed contraception and they will seem unable to remember that it was ever otherwise, angrily denying that any change has taken place.


Theology is strange: Positive Atheism (Jewish)

No, not the actual philosophical position of Positive Atheism, but a Jewish theological position that atheism can be a positive force.

Those who have faith sometimes make their peace with the injustices of this world by claiming that they are the will of God. Therefore God created atheists to protest and fight every injustice.

Jewish theological reasoning can be quite fascinating at times. Also quite arcane.


What sort of weird keyboard do the developers of PHP use?

Recent versions of PHP have introduced support for namespaces. This isn’t a feature I’ve actually used, yet, but it could be handy at times. The thing is, namespaces need a separator, and the PHP developers chose \, which is almost universally described as ugly. They did have their reasons, though. Other separators considered were **, ^^, %%, :>, :), and :::. These were all rejected for various reasons, but the strangest thing, to my mind, about their decision-making process is that they thought that ^^ and %% were more difficult to type than  :> and :). That’s just weird.

On the US, UK, and Irish keyboards,:, ), and > all require the use of the Shift key.


Elemental Children

Small children singing Tom Lehrer’s song “The Elements“.

Well, that was the original idea, and then I got a bit carried away and added some older schoolkids doing it in class too. Anyway, enjoy! Interestingly, quite a few of the older ones sing along with a recording of Tom Lehrer, while the younger ones go it alone.


And finally,