Agnostic Jewish Paganism—and Other New Religions

Yes, I am all three of those; how I define them makes them compatible. That is no stranger than Alan Watts’ being both an Anglican mystic and a Buddhist. I will discuss them one at a time. Agnosticism is philosophical. It consists of having to admit that there are important questions to which one can [Read More…]

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On Metamethodology in Religious Studies: For John Morehead

John, I very much appreciate your calm and well-informed response to my earlier blog entitled “The Gospels Are Inherently Anti-Semitic: Deal with It.”  That title is inflammatory, but accurate. The underlying social issue is what should be done, and by whom, about the problem. You and I know and agree that the Greek hoi Iudaioi [Read More…]

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The Jewish Cemetery in Paris, Texas

Two blocks from our house on Pine Bluff. Found by accident. Gravestones dated in the eighteen hundreds, not overgrown with weeds, protected by city law, maintained like a park as if to assuage a conscience.   There are no Jews in Paris now. Surrounded by Stars of David, I wondered if I’m Jewish enough to [Read More…]

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Some Instructions to Follow

When my Ethics class was about to get to the unit on Virtue Ethics, I began wondering what the interface or overlap with “Divine Commandment” theory might be. After all, both present a set of statements about what one should or should not do. The Jewish concept of “commandments” is that they are a gift [Read More…]

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On the Moral Implications of the Bell Curve

I spend about as much time as any other well-informed person being concerned about the problems America is facing and, like everyone else, not having a clue about what I can do to help ameliorate the situation. I feel that I should be doing whatever I can. I certainly agree with Edmund Burke’s observation that [Read More…]

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Why I Am Thoroughly Pissed Off at Jill Stein

It’s really because of my mother. I have told parts of her story before; I will tell them again. Her father, William Henry Kelly, was Jewish, because his mother, Kathryn Scheer, was Jewish. She was disowned by her family for marrying an Irish cop; so she raised her 18 children as Catholics, but she told [Read More…]

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Jill Stein, you are betraying the Jewish people—and the rest of humanity—because Trump is a Nazi.

Everything you are doing and saying makes it a little more possible that this pathological narcissist might be elected. After your enviable career as a doctor and college professor, where is your conscience? (Am I the first to say this? Why do I even have to?) Have you read what Stephanie Cegielski wrote about him? [Read More…]

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The Gospels Are Inherently Anti-Semitic. Deal With It.

Mark was a literary genius. He invented the “gospel” as a new literary genre. That is comparable to Aeschylus’ invention of drama. But, like Wagner, Mark was anti-Semitic. He despised “the Jews.” Please be aware that I am here boiling down almost 250 years of scholarship focused on the gospels. The history of that scholarship [Read More…]

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But When I’m Talking to a Nazi, I Have No Doubt that I’m Jewish

In response to a blog I posted a while back entitled, “So Am I Jewish?” in which I was speculating about what the rules are in the various branches of Judaism for defining who’s a member, one woman asked, “Are you willing to stand with us?” My immediate thought was “But I always have!” I [Read More…]

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So Am I Jewish?

In early December Melinda was on Ancestry.com, trying to track down her Cherokee ancestors, the Shellnuts. Her mother was born Lois Anne James (yep, related to Jesse). Looking at Lois’s maternal grandmother, she found that Alfred Shellnut had married a Rosa Salmat. Looking up that name, she suddenly yelled, “Oh, my God, I’m Jewish!” Yes, [Read More…]

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