December

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
Cracked Christmas Carols — A Yuletide Musicological Post Mortem

Cracked Christmas Carols — A Yuletide Musicological Post Mortem

"Life" Issues, 14th Amendment, 5th Amendment, Abrahamic Traditions, Advent, awareness, bible, Christ Child, Christianity, Christmas, conservatism, critical judgment, culture, December, faith, Gospel of Luke, Holy Mystery, Ideology, misogyny, monotheism, Mystery, Myth, Numinous, praying with music, Religion, Secularity, Uncategorized, Women
Now that Christmas is over -- unless you celebrate Christmas from the first Sunday of Advent through and including the Feast of the Epiphany -- it might be a good time to examine the political and ideological questions raised by Christmas carols ... which I do in this week's "Skeptic's Collection" column in hopes of increasing the "woke-ness" level for Christmas of 2019. No reason to thank me ... ===================================================== Recently, the cultural outrage factory, never short of work, has managed to evoke a sense of high dudgeon about the allegedly sexist lyrics, amounting to an advocacy of date rape, attaching to the well-known Christmas carol “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. Before following the controversy on Facebook, I would have thought that this kerfuffle
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 awaken