I finished that audiobook by Bruce Lawrence, Qur'an: A Biography. It was interesting in its way. The book was a collection of short bios that described how interpretations of the Koran have changed over time, and the influences on those interpretations, from Mohammed himself to W.D. Mohammed, the son of the founder of the Nation of Islam in the U.S. Some of it offended my feminist/modernist/rationalist sensabilities (not too surprisingly). The diversity of belief surrounding Islam is almost more insane than I could have realized. Some of the superstitious practices described reminded me so much of Classical Roman magical beliefs.
I'm still waiting on my next books, though they've been shipped. Not sure which I'll listen to next, but they'll be things I can post about here.
What else has been going on? Well, Ohio has been doing mental gymnastics. They passed an amendment to the state constitution in '04 that enshrines discrimination against gays, by refusing to recognize any legal privileges of marriage for any non-married persons, including, of course, gays and lesbians. Trouble is, the amendment was worded in such a way that it not only banned any legal recognition of gays and lesbians, it also claimed to ban ALL such legal recognition... prompting those accused of domestic violence against their unmarried (straight) partners to demand to be released from prison. Somehow, the Supreme Court has claimed that the (desired) domestic violence wording referring to someone living as a spouse was not referring to a legal definition of privileges of marriage. Thus, it was still enforceable for the unmarried, and the law only bans recognition of gay/common law marriages. The ruling rather reminds me of several rulings against atheists in the U.S. Supreme Court that only "mental gymnastics" could possibly make work: either by declaring the claimant lacked standing, or by referring to the bizarre concept of "public deism".
I also had another reminder today that high intelligence and rationality do not necessarily go hand in hand...