Christianity

Going Steady With Buddhism

Going Steady With Buddhism

"Life" Issues, affirmation/s, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Buddhism, Challenge, Change, Christianity, contemplation, critical judgment, God, inner peace, liberation, meditation, Mystery, spiritual growth, spiritual practice, The Divine, Uncategorized, way of life
What follows is strictly and exclusively based on my experience and should in no way or to any extent whatsoever be interpreted as normative for others. I am speaking of and for myself here, no one else. Nor should anything I say be interpreted as a critique of Christianity, the tradition I was raised in and that I followed for about 55 of my 70 years. Whatever critique I have of Christianity is strictly and exclusively a critique of Christianity in relation to my thought, life, and experience, no one else’s. That said … I am pretty sure I am in the process – it is a process – of becoming a practicing Buddhist. I have been flirting around the edges of Buddhism for some time, studying Buddhist texts, reading books by, e.g., Alan Watts, D. T. Suzuki, Thich Nhat Hanh, et al. And all t
Shhhh! … Don’t Tell Anybody … But Art Is Fun!!!!

Shhhh! … Don’t Tell Anybody … But Art Is Fun!!!!

"Life" Issues, affirmation/s, Art, Artistic Afternoons, awareness, Change, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Classical / Baroque music, community, Creativity, culture, Discernment, Enlightenment, Fascism, humor, Ideology, jokes, Joy, Laughter, Play, postmodernism, praying with art, praying with music, Renewal, Secularity, Trump, Uncategorized
Would someone please answer the following question for me:  Why do Americans – actually, I think Westerners generally, but I will stick with Americans – believe art is something that must be approached so … well … seriously? With most art, most Americans seem to believe that, when looking at a painting or a piece of sculpture or seeing a play or listening to a piece of music, they are obligated, on pain of being branded as culture-phobic philistines, to wear a facial expression that announces to the world Pity me! I am dying of terminal hemorrhoids! Well, before anyone makes any cracks about that remark, I will back up a step or two and say that, yes, to be sure, some works of art are explicitly intended to evoke play, laughter, and light-hearted dalliance. A good example is
Pro-Life God? (Part 2)

Pro-Life God? (Part 2)

"Life" Issues, Abortion, autonomy, Biology, birth, Cherry picking, Christianity, citizenship, civics, Consitution, Creation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, First Amendment, God, Hebrew Scripture, law, monotheism, Rationality, Religion, Scripture, Secularity, Theodicy, Theology, Uncategorized, Women
Given my recent preoccupation with "life" issues generally and with the pro-life / pro-choice debate generally, I thought it might be advisable to reprint this column from several years ago for the sake of the statistics it contains about the incidence of spontaneous abortions / miscarriages worldwide, and the theological implications of these numbers. Debates about abortion tend to get lost in the intricacies of theologies and ideologies at the expense of appeal to actual hard data. My intent in reprinting this "Skeptic's Collection" column is not to ridicule pro-life people or their religious convictions. Rather, my intent is simply to make possible an appeal to empirical evidence vis a vis various theological reflections on abortion. Facts matter. Back in February of 2014, I publishe...