Celebrating Life, Preparing for Death

Lligwy Burial Chamber

“How does your religion say you get to heaven?”I’ve been asked that question several times, at least once in those very words.  In answering, I begin by pointing out the unstated assumptions behind the question:  1) that heaven and hell are the only possible outcomes, and 2) that preparing for death is the most important aspect of religion.Christianity (at least in its more conservative forms) is a death-preparing religion – its primary focus is on holding the proper beliefs so the follow … [Read more...]

Religious Buyer’s Remorse

a offer is presented: choose

We who are living in 21st century America have more religious options than ever before in the history of the world.  Thanks to legal protections for religious freedom, a free flow of books and other information, and the connections made possible by the internet, if a religion is being practiced or has ever been practiced you can practice it here and now.That’s a good thing, right?  Isn’t “more choices are always better” a fundamental axiom of American life?  As someone who found the religion … [Read more...]

The Global Public Square


The Global Public Square by Os Guinness 240 pages, $12.80 from InterVarsity Press Not every good idea needs a book to promote it.Many of the best ideas are so simple and so self-evident that long explanations subtract more than they add.  That’s not universally true, but it’s definitely true with the idea of freedom of religion.The Global Public Square is the most recent entry in the Patheos Book Club.  When Patheos offered me a review copy I recognized Os Guinness’ name bu … [Read more...]

A Polytheistic Look at the Devil

Satan from The Temptation of Christ by Master L. Cz (ca. 1500).  Image via Wikimedia Commons

Patheos has a feature called “What Do I Really Believe?” It’s a series of common religious questions and all bloggers from all channels are invited to offer their thoughts. The questions are mostly posed with monotheistic assumptions, but they can still be of value to Pagans and others.Yesterday, Druid Nimue Brown tackled the question “Is There Really a Devil?” I encourage you to read her essay – it’s clear and concise. Here’s the key quote: I don’t personally believe in the Devil as a deity … [Read more...]

Box Pews

box pews in King's Chapel

Cathy and I visited three churches on our recent trip to Boston. Though none of them were thousand year old cathedrals, they were all fascinating places and quite old, at least by American standards.The Old North Church (properly known as Christ Church) is best known as the signaling point that began the famous midnight ride of Paul Revere (and also of William Dawes and Samuel Prescott). It was built in 1723 as an Anglican church and became an Episcopal church after the Revolution. Though it … [Read more...]

A Pagan Looks at Easter

afternoon sun 4

I wrote this for my old blog last year and it’s in the Patheos archives, but given all the uproar about Pagans and Jesus last week, and given that this is Holy Week in Christianity, it seemed appropriate to dust it off and post it again.********************************We live in a time and place where Christianity is deeply embedded in our culture. Even if we are happily committed to Paganism and to the old gods and goddesses – and I am – at some point we have to stop ignoring the relig … [Read more...]

Pagan Wishes For The New Pope

St. Louis Cathedral - New Orleans

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Catholic church.I grew up in a small country Baptist church. The building was plain, the pews were hard and the services were long. The preacher hadn’t graduated from high school and his sermons showed it. Well before I was old enough to realize what I was being taught didn’t match up with known science and history, with much of Christian theology and with my own core values, I felt like I was in a second-rate church.The Catholic church looked so... dif … [Read more...]