Tuesday, June 2
Shadow

“Life” Issues

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 ...
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...
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 ...