Kings David and Solomon are said to have ruled over a huge kingdom that stretched from the Euphrates River to as far as the border of Egypt (according to the Bible). Archeological confirmation of the existence of such an expansive kingdom is inconclusive, however. Some apologists hold that evidence for their reign would not have survived some three millenia later. In this essay, however, Robert Shaw considers a similarly sized civilization, contemporaneous with that of David and Solomon, to explore what remnants of a three-thousand-year-old polity can reasonably be expected to be discovered today.
The story of Moses and the Exodus continues to be seen as a historical fact by many Americans, and its events are commemorated with a 'Seder' meal in over a million households every year. In this article, Robert Shaw considers whether or not the story can be placed comfortably into the timeline of Egyptian history as we currently understand it.
The argument that 20th century atheist regimes are responsible for the worst massacres in history is often put forth, especially by Christian apologists bent on showing what happens when we "turn away from God." But what are the facts?
In his twilight years, unknown to his adoring public, the venerable Twain spewed relentless venom on his Maker.
Although the church's animosity toward the concept of moral relativism has achieved a great deal of press coverage, there has been reluctance by the media to state the obvious: the Catholic Church has engaged in moral relativism repeatedly throughout its history. Calls for moral absolutism will only slow the increasing sexual and social freedom of women, the recognition of equality for homosexuals, and the advancement of science. If history is any guide, the church will eventually be forced to reinvent itself once more and embrace modern moral judgments regarding these issues. At which point, no doubt, the church will pretend it never believed anything different, and insist that its current moral beliefs are absolute and represent the unchanging truth as given by god.
Considering humankind's technological developments, war now has the potential to totally destroy life on our planet. Historically, Christianity has had three broad attitudes on war: pacifism, the just-war, and the crusade. Does present-day Christianity provide a viable system of guidelines for war and peace?
"We should separate God from civic life in every way. 'Individual liberty is the essential characteristic of free government,' writes Constitutional historian Melvin Urofsky. Allow religious beliefs to take precedence over democratic liberties and we're finished. Freedom of speech, Freedom of the Press, Right to Assemble, Habeas Corpus, Due Process--forget it. History, Thomas Jefferson reminds us, 'furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.'"
Somewhere along the line, our founding fathers dumped hundreds of years of religious influence and went secular. How do we know? Historical documents prove the case. Aside from the Declaration of Independence and Constitution there were numerous other state and federal documents that support the principle of separation of church and state.
Atheists, agnostics and humanists have longed for their own "Stonewall," the rebellion in New York in 1969 which is said to have begun the gay-rights movement. The Godless Americans March on Washington of November 2, 2002 might prove to be that kind of historical event.