Category Archives: Popular Culture

The Passion of the Christ: Torture, Anti-Semitism, and Ideological Fantasy

During the filming of Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie The Passion of the Christ, the actor portraying the character of Jesus (Jim Caviezel) was struck by lightning twice, in two separate incidents and in two separate places. Apparently the filmmakers, most … Continue reading

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Doing It Wrong: Addressing Common Anti-Porn Arguments

1. Introduction: Opening Up and Revealing Pornography has elicited at least as many heated words as it has orgasms. While the etymology of the word is clear and uncontroversial, defining pornography in a clear and unambiguous way has proven difficult. … Continue reading

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Rock ‘n’ Reverse: Skeptical Lessons from the Backward Masking Scare

“Just ‘cause you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s there.” ~ Radiohead, “There There” In the campy 1986 horror film Trick or Treat, directed by Michael Martin Smith and written by Rhet Topham, a devil-worshiping rock star named Sammi Curr meets … Continue reading

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Why the Devil Has the Best Tunes: Rock Music, Satanism, and Religious Fear

They say I worship the Devil / They must be stupid or blind / I’m just a rock ‘n’ roll rebel. ~ Ozzy Osbourne [1] In the summer of 1990, heavy rock music went on trial for murder. Five years before, … Continue reading

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part III)

The third and final part of Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist is by far the most fascinating – and perhaps the most delusional and paranoid – of the film’s three sections. Part III, titled “Don’t Mind the Men behind the Curtain,” takes … Continue reading

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part II)

Part II of Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist, titled “All the World’s a Stage,” describes the events of September 11, 2001 in a manner very similar to Dylan Avery’s 2005 conspiracy documentary Loose Change. In fact, many portions of Part II are … Continue reading

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Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part I)

The discussions on the origins of Christianity in Zeitgeist may sound very compelling to those “village atheists” who make a hobby of searching for that elusive single argument that destroys Christianity as a credible belief system in one fell swoop. … Continue reading

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