Christians pray to Jesus, but get no reply. They pray to Jesus for parking spaces closer to the mall, to win the lottery, to make their boss disappear, to lose weight, to restore Donald Trump to his lost presidency, for their kids to win the little league game, for better business sales, and other really important stuff. And yet nothing ever happens. But would you respond if someone called you by another name? If your name was, say, Bob, or … click below for more!
In my part of Canada the “war on Xmas” begins in September when some local box stores start putting Xmas ornaments and decorations out, sometimes just after Labour Day. By mid-October there are whole store sections dedicated to pushing gaudy, offshore-made, increasingly tacky lights and displays. Then the canned Xmas music starts infecting shoppers through tinny ceiling speakers. Xmas tree lots spring up in mall parking lots. It’s a cultural virus being spread among us. The Resistance (aka me) comes … click below for more!
The Talibangelists (aka the Christofascists) like those on the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) or in the anti-abortion movement like to pretend they base their decisions, their politics, their morality, their education, their lives on their bible. But as we’ve seen so many times; they don’t like to follow everything in their bible. Christofascists only quote very selective passages that confirm their existing beliefs and can be used to promote their totalitarian ideology. There are too many inconvenient biblical … click below for more!
I imagine what I’m feeling now about the rise of the extremist, pseudo-Christian right (aka the Talibangelists, aka Christofascists) in the USA, Canada, and in other democracies is what my English father must have felt watching the events in Germany from 1934 on. He would have seen photographs and newsreels showing the brownshirts, the SS, the rallies of eager followers raising their arms in salute, the adoring crowds lining the streets to wave as their fuhrer drove by. My father … click below for more!
Are less-religious or more secular nations happier than religious ones? Studies suggest yes. Personally, I would certainly be happier in a more secular nation if it meant fewer angry, nasty, fanatic believers like the Westboro Baptist congregation (see picture, right), or the faux-faith anti-mask/anti-vaccine, pro-disease protestors,* or any of the frothing anti-choice, anti-abortion protestors who appear around medical clinics. I suspect many among us would also live much more happily without their disruptive, often vicious, pseudo-religious behaviour. But as a … click below for more!
While walking our dog recently, we encountered another couple “our age” (somewhere between 65 and 90) also walking their dog. While the two pets sniffed and frolicked, we chatted with them (at a safe distance, of course). And, as might be expected during a lengthy pandemic, one of the first questions we asked them was, “Have you had your shot yet?” Shockingly, they both answered, “No! And we’re not going to get one.” My first thought when I heard this, … click below for more!
Why doesn’t anyone ever think of the serpent as humankind’s liberator instead of some villain who got us kicked out of Eden? Why does Eve take the blame for listening to the serpent instead of being considered another hero for taking a bold step to ensure our collective freedom? Okay, I know the whole Genesis-Eden-Adam-and-Eve story is an allegory, and not meant to be taken as fact. But the story pervades Western culture (our literature and art are full of … click below for more!
Back in 2012 — several years before the 2016 US election that saw what many believe was an inept, incompetent, lying, Russian agent and con artist get elected to the US presidency — associate professor of philosophy Aaron James wrote a book called, “Assholes. A Theory.” It wasn’t about anyone in particular, although it was easy to see others — including many contemporary politicians and celebrities — in his definitions and classifications. It was somewhat satirical, but also a serious … click below for more!
Talibangelists (aka (aka the pseudo-Christian, far right) would love to force everyone believe in and obey their highly-adulterated pseudo-religion, and to punish those who don’t. Or won’t. Punishment is big on their agenda: unbelievers, those who stray, followers of a real faith, scientists, intellectuals, people of colour, gays, people with an “R” in their name — they love to punish anyone not among their small circle of authoritarian theocrats (aka theocons, because their pseudo-religious ideology is conservative-far right) and enablers … click below for more!
For a nation that allegedly separates church and state, Americans sure love to splash religion all over everything, their elections especially. So this week, Donald Trump made headlines by accusing the frontrunner, Joe Biden of being “against god.” Cue the angels with trumpets. Americans make big oompah sounds about their politicians having religion — Christian religion specifically and preferably protestant — although curiously, as Trump has proven, the voters don’t seem to give a rat’s ass whether that same politician … click below for more!
The answer to the headline’s question is no, at least according to the late Catholic priest Richard John Neuhaus in a podcast in the Socrates in the City series (Sept. 22, 2004; I came across it as one of the chapters in the 2012 book from the podcast, Life, God, and Other Small Topics. Neuhaus’ talk was actually based on a 1991 piece he wrote.) To which response I must respond: codswallop. Not that I expect religious employees like Neuhaus … click below for more!
In his introduction to Thoreau: Walden and Other Writings (Bantam Books, 1962-1981), Joseph Wood Krutch described Henry David Thoreau’s writings as having four “distinct subjects”, which I paraphrase somewhat as: The life of quiet desperation most men live; The economic fallacy that is responsible for their condition The delights yielded from a simple life close to Nature, and The higher laws which people intuitively realize from a gentle life in Nature. These appear similar in form to the ‘Four Noble … click below for more!
A series of ten Buddhist drawings make up what are known collectively as the Ten Oxherding Pictures or sometimes just as the Ten Bulls. Each one graphically illustrates a stage along the path to enlightenment or self-realization, but they can also be seen as a metaphor for a wider range of human development and growth. (they are not, as Lifecoach screams ungrammatically but histrionically in its headline, “The 10 Secret ZEN Steps Straight To ENLIGHTENMENT!” There is no secret about … click below for more!
I was startled by the simplicity of the forumla. Stephen Jay Gould, the late eminent paleontologist, biologist and historian of science, summed up Darwin’s basic theory of natural selection so eloquently and so succinctly that it rocked me back on my heels. It was something even a diehard creationist could understand (assuming he or she wanted to try…) First there are three basic facts Gould states about life and living creatures: All organisms produce more offspring than can possibly survive; … click below for more!