Author: Nicholas Knisely

Remarks at the Providence Jewish Community Vigil following the Tree of Life Shootings in Pittsburgh

Current Affairs / Religion / Rhode Island

It is written in the Book of Proverbs (Chapter 16) that:     The mind of the wise makes their speech judicious, and adds persuasiveness to their lips.     Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. And a little further it is written that:     Scoundrels concoct evil, and their speech is like a scorching fire.     A perverse person spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.     The violent entice their […]

Please join in prayer for those murdered in Pittsburgh

Reconciliation / Religion / Rhode Island / Sermons and audio

Today we are reeling from the news of the senseless and evil violence done to the innocent worshipers at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Our elder sisters and brothers in Judaism are God’s Chosen people and nothing will separate them from the Covenant their ancestors made with Holy and Living One. I ask Episcopalians across Rhode Island to please add this prayer to God asking for rest for the departed (El Maleh Rachamim) to […]

Jesus, the Parables and social media. “Is Facebook evil? Everything bad about Facebook is bad for the same reason — Quartz”

SOSc / Web/Tech

In an article that examines the root cause of the problem with most of all of social media, but particularly about Facebook, Nichil Sonnad makes the following observation: Arendt [the Israeli psychologist who analyzed Nazi Adolf Eichman] concludes that it was neither sadism nor hatred that drove Eichmann to commit these historic crimes. It was a failure to think about other people as people at all. A “decisive” flaw in his character, writes Arendt, was […]

Artificial Intelligence Shows Why Atheism Is Unpopular – The Atlantic

SOSc

Fascinating article in the Atlantic that shows the key factors that control the rate of societal secularization: Using a separate model, Future of Religion and Secular Transitions (forest), the team found that people tend to secularize when four factors are present: existential security (you have enough money and food), personal freedom (you’re free to choose whether to believe or not), pluralism (you have a welcoming attitude to diversity), and education (you’ve got some training in […]

The Faustian bargain of a cyber connected world

SOSc / Web/Tech

Our hyper-networked world has given us super-human powers. Sometimes this has been beneficial. But of late, there is a dangerous side to being able to communicate quickly and without the need to reflect. At least two dozen people have been killed in mob lynchings in India since the start of the year, their deaths fueled by rumors that spread on WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service. In Brazil, messages on WhatsApp falsely claimed a government-mandated yellow-fever […]

End the Family Separation Policy Immediately.

Current Affairs

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 The Trump administration’s new policy of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents is morally wrong, not in keeping with the teachings of Christianity or other world religions, and should stop. Jesus, reiterating the witness of Hebrew and Christian scriptures, calls on us to treat others as we would want to be treated. Jesus commands us to love our neighbor. Christians are called, with many others, to welcome the stranger in our […]

Anne Lyon Knisely Canon – may she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Religion

On Monday morning my extended family gathered to say goodbye to my Aunt Anne. She was a mother, a sister, a clergy spouse, a friend and so much more. I was planning on being the preacher and the celebrant at the memorial service, but the weather in Baltimore on Sunday night caused my flight to be canceled and meant that I was not able to be with the rest of my family. Thank you so […]

If Jesus comes back now, what should we expect?

SOSc

Cara Rockhill, a priest here in Rhode Island (and a member of my staff) just posted a wonderful piece on her blog that’s an extended reflection on the easy to foresee violence that has erupted in the Holy Land. Her piece centers on what it would mean for all us right now if Jesus were to return to the Earth – a thing greatly to be desired, and my regular fervent prayer… If Jesus comes […]

The deeper we go, the less we understand.

SOSc

This: The modern-day theoretical physicist faces a taxing uphill climb. “As we learn more, reality becomes ever more subtle; the absolute becomes relative, the fixed becomes dynamical, the definite is laden with uncertainty,” writes physicist Yasha Neiman. via New math bridges holography and twistor theory

The problem of Facebook is only a small part of a much larger issue

Current Affairs / Web/Tech

The Original Sin of the Internet is that it pays its bills by selling our attention to the highest bidder. We’ve been focusing on Facebook at the moment, but as Ethan Zuckerman points out in an essay on the Atlantic.com site, Facebook is a symptom, not the problem. I’ve referred to this bargain, in which people get content and services for free in exchange for having persuasive messages psychographically targeted to them, as the “original sin” […]