No, Bishop Lipscomb, We Are Not Going to Shut Up

The recent call by Bishop John Lipscomb, Episcopal Bishop of Southwest Florida (a neighbour for the diocese I grew up in,) for a "40 day fast" from blogs will fall on deaf ears here at Positive Infinity. We don't claim to be high on the list of Anglican/Episcopal blogs. We do carry Virtue Online's news …

9/11: Learning Little, Forgetting Nothing

Last year, I documented some of my encounters with a Sudanese friend of mine who was a Sunni Muslim imam. We went back and forth on a wide variety of subjects in our conversation. One day, we reserved a graduate study room in the university library and covered the waterfront on a wide variety of …

The Bourbons, the Democrats, and the ABC 9/11 Series

Without a doubt one of the most hilarious pieces of literature ever written is Blaise Pascal's Provincial Letters. Written in the 1650's, it consisted of a purported series of letters written by a Parisian to his friend in the provinces. At that time the Jesuits (with the help of the French monarchy) were attempted to …

Ayatollah al-Sistani: Getting out of Muslim Politics is Easier Said Than Done

Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's decision to get out of politics reminds us of the closing poem from the Chinese author Wu Ching-Tzu's novel The Scholars: For love of the Chinhuai River, in the old days I left home; I wandered up and down behind Plum Root Forge, And strolled about in Apricot Blossom Village; …

There’s Nothing Like Conversion Growth

We find al-Qaeda's attempt to reach an American audience by convert Adam Gadahn interesting in one important respect: his appeal for Americans to convert. He tells us, "It is time for the unbelievers to discard these incoherent and illogical beliefs...Isn't it the time for the Christians, Jews, Buddhists and atheists to cast off the cloak …

The Dilemma of Islamic Civilisation: St. Thomas was Right

As the deadline for a proper response from the Iranians regarding their nuclear weapons programme passes, it probably behooves a few of us to step back and think: what is Islamic culture and civilisation all about? What would things be like if they actually achieved their objectives?  This is not an idle question. In the …

The Sad End of Mao Dun

During my first trip to China in March 1981, I had no idea that one of the great figures of twentieth century Chinese literature was passing away: Mao Dun, the pen name for Shen Yanbing, novelist and author of Midnight, the social realist novel of Shanghai in the 1930's. Long a place of interest, going …

Katrina Reflections, One Year Out

Last year, when Hurricane Katrina did her destruction on the Gulf, we spent a good deal time on the subject, as we had spent a good deal of time in South Louisiana in years past. Some of our postings were as follows: When Your Metairie is Wiped Out Prayer and the French Quarter Reflections on …

Throwing the Minstrels Out of the House

Without a doubt one of the strangest passages of the King James Version of the Bible is as follows: While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And …

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