Friday, December 4
Shadow

Creator

Scrooge, “A Christmas Carol”, And … Sorta-Kinda … Keeping Christ Out Of Christmas

Scrooge, “A Christmas Carol”, And … Sorta-Kinda … Keeping Christ Out Of Christmas

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Advent, Anticipation, awareness, Challenge, Change, Christ Child, Christianity, Christmas, Church, community, Compassion, Creator, critical judgment, culture, December, Discernment, forgiveness, God, Gospel of Luke, Holy Mystery, Human Condition, Ideology, Imagination, Jesus, Jung, Myth, Numinous, Pain and Suffering, Poverty, relationships, Religion, Scripture, Secularity, Spirituality, Theology, Uncategorized, Waiting, Wholeness
I suppose there are still people around here and there who complain about the creeping secularism of the Holidays and who in consequence admonish others to “keep Christ in Christmas”.  I well remember such exhortations from the time of my childhood, growing up in Wichita, KS. Such hortatory rituals were often accompanied by carols, religious services, and – I would argue, curiously enough – by a reading of Charles Dickens’ perennial A Christmas Carol. I say “curiously enough” because I have just finished reading Carol for the few-hundredth time and for the first time, I noticed the absence of Christ in Carol, except in a very "thin", allusive sense. Carol without Christ, or with Christ in the background of the background, is a much more universal, even “archetypal”, story of the awa...
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...
Joy And The Absurd — A Meditation On Buridan’s Ass

Joy And The Absurd — A Meditation On Buridan’s Ass

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Advent, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, book review, C. S. Lewis, Challenge, Change, Character of God, Christianity, Christmas, contemplation, Creator, critical judgment, culture, December, existentialism, Ezra Pound, faith, God, Holy Mystery, Human Condition, Jim Cowles, Kierkegaard, Literature, Numinous, Religion, Secularity, Skeptic, Spirituality, T. S. Eliot, Theology, Thinking, Uncategorized
Full disclosure:  as I have said elsewhere, I never got the “hang uv” being a Christian, and consider the multiple decades I spent beating my head against that particular brick wall as time merely pissed away. I still believe that. But that is only half the truth. The other half is that it is equally true that I could never get, have never gotten, the “hang uv” being an atheist. I am no more successful as a “creedal” atheist than I was as a “creedal” Christian. My admiration for, e.g., Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, Julia Sweeney, and Daniel Dennett is undiminished. Nothing I say in what follows should be interpreted as disagreeing with their contention that religious statements should be subject to the same critique as other statements. Religio...