The God Delusion

As readers of this blog should know, I’m no fan of the New Atheists. I’ve found them to be as dogmatic in their statements as any religious fundamentalists. And they don’t attack honest religion – they attack rhetorical straw men made up of the worst of religion. I have not criticized them in ignorance – I’ve read numerous articles and essays by and about them (most frequently Christopher Hitchens, but also Richard Dawkins and to a lesser extent, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett). I felt like I knew … [Read more...]

Amy Martin on Animism – January 24

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What Constitutes Persecution?

Via WitchVox, here's a list issued by a group calling themselves the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. They list the "Top 10 Anti-Christian Acts of 2009". Included in their list is the murder of Rev. Fred Winters (which was due to mental illness on the part of the shooter), the participation of Bishop Gene Robinson in Obama's inauguration, the new Federal Hate Crimes law, and a program on HBO they found offensive.This list is an insult to people of all faiths - including Christians in … [Read more...]


When I saw the trailers for Avatar, the first thought that went through my head was “I gotta see this one.” But when I read the early reviews (which can be summarized as “all effects and a predictable story”) I figured I’d save my money. Then after it opened I started reading some other reviews attacking its “religious content” and I knew I had to see it for myself. So Cathy and I went to see it today.It was awesome. Visually, it was beautiful. The effects were great, but they were woven into the … [Read more...]

The Case For God

Karen Armstrong’s new book The Case For God is billed as a rebuttal to the New Atheists. And a rebuttal it is, although anyone expecting Hitchens-like vitriol will be sorely disappointed. Instead, it’s a reasoned look at how we got to where we are in this fundamentalist shouting match currently going on in the Western world, and why both sides have it wrong.Armstrong begins with a description of the Lascaux caverns and their 15,000 year old shamanistic paintings, using it as an example of the int … [Read more...]

Than To Live With Fear in Your Heart

In the Denton CUUPS Yule ritual, Dolores (who was coordinating) included a Charge of the God that ended with this line: “Keep this ever full in your mind, it is better to fall upon my sword than to live with fear in your heart.” Though I’m familiar with this line, it struck me as inappropriate for a Yule circle. I started to ask her to use something else, then I decided that if Dolores (who is one of the strongest intuitives I know) put it there, it was probably there for a good reason.It was. It … [Read more...]

Before the Dawn

I have a strong interest in prehistory. Part of that is simple curiosity, but another part is a quest for the origins of religion. So, on a recommendation (that I’ve forgotten who or where it came from), I read Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade on our recent trip.Wade is a science writer for the New York Times, and it shows. He writes better than most scientists, and he isn’t writing to make a name for himself in academic circles. That leaves him free to argue both sides of unsettled issues, and t … [Read more...]

The City of Light and Illusion

The “Old World Elegance” of Bellagio (1998) on the right, the “Urban Sophistication” of City Center (2009) on the leftThere is perhaps no less spiritual city in the country than Las Vegas. So why did I just get back from a Solstice / Christmas trip there? Well, Cathy loves the slot machines. And after the past couple months at work, all I wanted to do was kick back, read a bit, and forget about things. Las Vegas is good for that: plenty of good food and drink, all kinds of distractions and divers … [Read more...]