Tuesday, August 4
Shadow

courage

Not Saying Farewell … Just Taking A Break

Not Saying Farewell … Just Taking A Break

"Life" Issues, activism, announcement, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, citizenship, civics, community, conflict, conservatism, constitution, courage, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Discernment, doubt, Education, Enlightenment, epistemology, Equality, Ethics, Evangelicalism, faith, faithfulness, Fascism, Freedom, Freud, Fundamentalism, God, Human Condition, John Calvin, law, Marriage Equality, memories, monotheism, Muslims, Mystery, Myth, Nihilism, postmodernism, Rationality, Religion, Religious War, Secularity, The BeZine, Theology, Trump, Uncategorized
In the immortal words of the country-and-western parody song “Wildwood Weed,” “All good things gotta come to an end”.  Well, so, too, do these “Skeptic’s Collection” columns. So please consider this “Skeptic’s” column my personal Ave atque vale to you, my faithful regular readers and fellow-skeptics. (Both of you?) I began writing this column, believe it or not, 'way back in October of 2013 with “Oil, Water, and Marriage Equality” back when the column was called “Thoughtful Thursday”. Terri Stewart, who at that time I had only ever met on Facebook, admired my snarky sense of humor in some of my Facebook posts, and invited me to join the embryonic (at the time) set of contributing editors to her nascent Beguine blog. (It was also through Terri that I became acquainted with the folks ...
Beyond The Bounds Of Realism With Hyper-Realism

Beyond The Bounds Of Realism With Hyper-Realism

"Life" Issues, activism, Art, awareness, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, community, Compassion, conflict, courage, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, Human Condition, mindfulness, progressive politics, Secularity, Uncategorized
One of the customary criticisms of what we may generically call “modern” art is that the bizarre distortions of the figures in the works – even music, e.g., the works of John Cage – render the art inaccessible to any but the most sophisticated tastes and temperaments. Such critics point to, e.g., Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” as examples of modern art’s alienation from the public. (The late evangelical Christian writer Francis Schaeffer even went so far as to argue that “Nude” was actually evil and sinful, because it was a form of pornography in that it encouraged the viewer to search the image for a picture of a naked woman!) Compare Picasso and Duchamp, et al., with, e.g., the great landscape artists of the Hudson River School and ...
Reason And Treason

Reason And Treason

activism, autonomy, awareness, betrayal, Challenge, Change, citizenship, civics, community, constitution, courage, Criminal Procedure, critical judgment, faithfulness, history, Impeachment, justice, law, political rhetoric, Politics, Presidency, Rationality, Secularity, Trump
I wish people, especially Bill Maher, with whom I completely agree on virtually all other issues, would stop playing fast and loose with the word “treason” when referring to Donald Trump. (Or course, Trump has been at least equally reckless. But I expect more of Maher.) Now, I have immensely greater respect and regard for the excrement I flush down my toilet every morning than I have for Donald Trump. (At least the former has served a useful and healthy purpose, which is considerably more than I can say of the latter.) So my purpose is not to defend Trump. My concern, rather, is to defend the Constitution, which I esteem as the civil / secular equivalent of Holy Writ. We should be meticulously careful about construing the words of the Constitution for the same reason that the Catholic...