The System of Dante’s Hell

images-2.jpgI highly recommend Amiri Baraka’s experimental novel from the ’60s, The System of Dante’s Hell. Written under the poet’s name at that time, LeRoi Jones, Baraka gives a highly personal, somewhat autobiographical, account of how the experience of being a black man can be related in terms suggestive of Hell as developed by Dante in the Inferno.

In fact, a modified version of Dante’s system is provided at the beginning of the book. But don’t get trapped into attempting to marry each section of Baraka’s narrative to Dante’s map of Hell.

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Noah’s Giant Boat

What makes Kentucky such a hotbed for religious theme parks and otherwise unscientific entertainment spectacles? First there was the infamous Creation Museum in Petersburg and now the forthcoming Ark Encounter theme park in nearby Williamstown.

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A life-size recreation of the mythical Noah’s Ark

Lindsay Tucker has written about the Ark Encounter in Newsweek Magazine, including a very interesting interview with Ken Ham representing the Young Earth Creationists. Here is the introduction to that piece:

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If You Are Religious, You Can Break the Law?

“Every magistrate has the right to recuse from performing all
lawful marriages under this Chapter based on sincerely held
religious objection.” — New North Carolina Law

MarxIt should be emphasized that this recusal is for “lawful marriages,” which makes religious beliefs sufficient to allow the law to be ignored in North Carolina. Furthermore, since it would have been blatantly unconstitutional to specify that this law is targeted at gay marriages, it leaves the door open to refuse to perform any kind of marriage that ruffles your religious feathers: Muslim marriages, Jewish marriages, interracial marriages, etc.

On the other hand, if there is such a thing as a progressive magistrate left in North Carolina who is, perhaps, Jewish, then that magistrate can righteously refuse to perform a lawful marriage between two consenting Christians.

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