Archives for February 2009

Ash Wednesday – a Pagan perspective

Christians have Lent, Jews have Yom Kippur, and Muslims have Ramadan. All are seasons of prayer, fasting, and introspection. At their best, their purpose is purification and simplification; they are a time to set aside the mundane and focus hearts and minds on the spiritual and the sacred. Does Paganism need its own season of [Read More…]

The Meaning of Unitarian Universalism

“The Meaning of Unitarian Universalism” is the rather ambitious (but appropriate, on a couple of levels) title of yesterday’s sermon by DUUF Minister Emeritus Rev. Don Fielding. And while I don’t intend to review or critique Don’s sermon, he did have a couple good ideas that I want to expand on. Don is a Religious [Read More…]

Religious Freedom and its reasonable limits

Via WitchVox, here’s an amusing story from my hometown of Chattanooga. The bad news is that some Pagans were behaving in a rather irresponsible manner. The good news is that the cop who responded had some knowledge of what he was dealing with and wasn’t interested in a religious argument. Some of the comments on [Read More…]

The Prayers of Presidents

Most of us don’t know about it or choose to ignore it, but each Saturday the President gives a radio address, a fairly short speech on what’s going on in Washington and what he thinks the priorities should be. Last Saturday, President Obama ended his address with a quote from President John F. Kennedy: “Do [Read More…]

The Dangers of Sacred Texts

Gus diZerega keeps a Pagan blog on Beliefnet. In an entry inspired by a wider debate on abortion and the Bible, he discussed the limitations and dangers of sacred texts. As always, I encourage you to go read the whole thing for yourself. diZerega basically says that sacred texts have two flaws. The first is [Read More…]

How Your Brain Creates God… or Maybe Not

New Scientist magazine has an interesting article titled “Born believers: How your brain creates God.” I encourage you to go read it – it’s not particularly long. Here are some excerpts with my commentary: It seems that our minds are finely tuned to believe in gods. Religious ideas are common to all cultures: like language [Read More…]

The First Word

I just finished reading The First Word by Christine Kenneally, which was a birthday present last month (thanks, Cynthia!). It’s an excellent summary of the state of knowledge and the on-going debates in the study of language evolution, a relatively new field where most of the work has been done in the past 15 years [Read More…]

Metaphorical Gods vs. Reality/God

Rev. Michael Dowd Evolutionary Evangelist Michael Dowd has a very good essay titled “Metaphorical gods vs. Reality/God” and I encourage you to go read it. Understand that he is mainly writing for Christians and he is primarily trying to show that evolution is not incompatible with their religion (unless, of course, you’re a fundamentalist who [Read More…]