Here’s an extremely interesting NPR interview with Bart Ehrman, a biblical scholar and former “fundamentalist” (his word) who wrote a book about how the Bible was significantly changed by the scribes who made copies of it back in the day. He has a lot of insight about the Bible’s origins and about the meaning of the Bible today (he thinks it is important to the religious and non-religious alike, and I agree). His basic point is that while the Bible can be important and insightful, it cannot be seen as the monolithic and authoritative Word of God – because it’s neither monolithic (it was written by many authors who had many and conflicting messages) nor authoritative (we don’t have the original text).
The Onion AV Club has their list of 2005′s least essential albums – which would be worth reading anyway, but is especially worth reading for this:
… Distort Yourself by Institute, Gavin Rossdale’s post-Bush band. It sounds a lot like, well, Bush. And [if] that weren’t an unfortunate-enough flashback to the mid-’90s, there’s also a song called “When Animals Attack.” And what do you need when animals attack, Gavin Rossdale? “When animals attack / you need fire.”
When animals attack, you need fire.
Maybe I should try getting a restraining order against Kirsten Dunst. I mean, it couldn’t hurt my chances, could it?
Nestler — who lived in Nevada, New Jersey, New York City, Maine and Santa Fe during that period — requested that Letterman, who tapes his show in New York, stay at least 3 yards from her and that he not “think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering,” according to the application.
Nestler’s application was accompanied by a typed, six-page , double-spaced letter in which she said Letterman used code words, gestures and “eye expressions” to convey his desire to marry her and train her as his co-host . Her story also involves Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelsey Grammer, whom Nestler says either supported or attempted to thwart her “relationship” with Letterman, according to the letter.
Here’s an informative article about the history of Christian sects in America that declined to celebrate Christmas (and on one occasion, banned it).
Observance of Christmas, or the lack thereof, was one way to differentiate among the Christian sects of Colonial and 19th-century America. Anglicans, Moravians, Dutch Reformed, and Lutherans, to name just a few, did; Quakers, Puritans, Separatists, Baptists, and some Presbyterians did not.
On the subject, Andrew Sullivan has a very sane article on the current WAR ON CHRISTMAS, while Christopher Hitchens has a very funny, slightly mad one.