• Strange Notions Strange Notions Strange Notions
Joe Heschmeyer

About

Until May 2012, Joe Heschmeyer was an attorney in Washington, D.C., specializing in litigation. These days, he is a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, and can use all the prayers he can get. Follow Joe through his blog, Shameless Popery or contact him at joseph.heschmeyer@gmail.com.

   
 

Is Religion Responsible for the World’s Violence?

A few months ago, a “gun-toting atheist” and self-proclaimed “anti-theist” killed three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There's some question still about whether the killer was motivated by atheism or some other motivation. What there's no question of is that much of the secular response was predictably tasteless and exploitative. For example, the Daily Beast's Suzi Parker responded with an essay on how hard it is to be Muslim “in the most religious—and Christian—part... Read More

Stem Cell Research and ‘Science vs. Religion’

A 2005 New York Times article begins: "When Donald Kennedy, a biologist and editor of the eminent journal Science, was asked what had led so many American scientists to feel that George W. Bush's administration is anti-science, he isolated a familiar pair of culprits: climate change and stem cells. These represent, he said, 'two solid issues in which there is a real difference between a strong consensus in the science community and the response of the administration to that consensus.'" There's... Read More

Atheism and the Problem of Beauty

A lot has been said about the “problem of pain.” Why, if God is both loving and all-powerful, is there still suffering in the world? The question is a challenge for Christians, as for all theists.Christians have some sense of why a loving God would permit suffering. It's easy enough to see that love is a good (the highest good, even), and that love requires free will. And it's just a small step from there to see how that free will could be used in some dastardly ways. Likewise, it's clear... Read More

What Racism Reveals About God and Man

A day after Thanksgiving, with the turkey and stuffing settled in our stomachs, it's a good time to reflect on one aspect of the holiday often ignored: historically, this was a day in which Americans were encouraged to call upon God both in gratitude for His blessings, and to ask mercy for our sins. We see seeds of this in Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation, the source of the modern holiday, in which he reminded Americans of “the gracious gifts of the most high God, who while dealing with... Read More

How to Perfectly Know the Existence of God

It's common today to hear both believers and nonbelievers claim that the existence of God is ultimately unknowable, or at least unprovable. According to this view, we're left to take a leap of faith, or else to go with the option we think is more likely. Classical theism rejects this idea completely. It claims to be able to prove the existence of God - to be able to prove, in fact, that He can't not exist. And what's amazing is that these theists seem capable of following through on this promise.... Read More

What the Media Got Wrong about Pope Francis and Evolution

Have you heard about Pope Francis’ recent comments about God, evolution, and Creation? If so, chances are you’ve heard wrong. Here are four things you should know:   1. Pope Francis is Not an Atheist Amazingly, the popular news site Independent Journal Review (IJ Review) ran — and as of this writing, is still running — the following headline: “God is not a Divine Being”? We’re supposed to believe that the pope got up, denied that God was actually God, and that everything... Read More

Did the Accounts of Jesus Evolve?

Biblical skeptics often surmise that the earliest New Testament books tell a very different story than the later books: that the story of Jesus grew with time, becoming more and more incredible, and less and less historical. In other words, the New Testament evolved from history to religious mythology. Recently, I've seen this argument raised about both the Resurrection and the divinity of Christ. First, retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong (who denies the Resurrection) attacked the historicity... Read More

Demons, Playing Cards, and Telescopes

In 1949, Jerome S. Bruner and Leo Postman asked a group of 28 students at Harvard and Radcliffe to perform a simple task: identify playing cards. There were just two catches. First, these cards were shown very quickly: for 10 milliseconds at first, but increasing up to 1000 milliseconds if they struggled to identify the card. Second, the researchers were using a deck of four ordinary playing cards and six “trick cards” in which the card's color and suit were incongruous (red spades, black hearts,... Read More

Neurology and C.S. Lewis’ Argument from Desire

One of the most popular arguments for God comes from C.S. Lewis' argument from desire. Peter Kreeft explains it very well here, and structures the argument in a Thomistic fashion like so: Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire. But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy. Therefore there must exist something more than time, earth, and creatures, which can satisfy this desire. This something... Read More

4 Things You Probably Have Wrong About the Hobby Lobby Decision

Today I'd like to focus on the topic of religious liberty, a topic relevant to both Catholics and atheists. On Monday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the Hobby Lobby case (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.), siding with Hobby Lobby. It was a 5-4 decision, with Justice Alito writing the opinion (Justice Kennedy, who joined the majority, also wrote a concurring opinion). The Court's decision, holding that the HHS Mandate violates Hobby Lobby's religious freedom, has already been seriously... Read More

« Previous PageNext Page »