Friday, July 10
Shadow

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Beauty for Ashes

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“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." Is. 61:1-3 This has always been one of my favorite Scripture passages. The first part talks about the call I heard from God when ...
A Vacation From Vocation

A Vacation From Vocation

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Yes, I do realize that I have already published what I really did think, at the time, was my farewell / ave atque vale “Skeptic’s Collection” column. But there is a matter that has been percolating in the back of my mind for some time:  the issue, and the very concept of, “religious vocation”. (I will deal only with Christian vocations in what follows, since Christianity is the religious tradition with which I am most familiar. But I would argue that the following remarks apply, mutatis mutandis, to all monotheistic religious faiths.) So … in styling my supposedly final column as my final column … mea culpa! … I lied. So let’s jump squarely into the middle of my heresy du jour, shall we? Over the past roughly 30 years, I have come to believe – based on bitter personal experi...
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 ...