Bad Santa – Day 4

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Santa shouldn’t look put out.  Obviously this guy is a fake! PS. this unhappy little lad is my son. ======================== Bio: Catherine Dunphy, is the Associate Humanist Chaplain, at the University of Toronto, and the former Executive Director of the Clergy Project. She was trained as a Roman Catholic Chaplain and is currently writing a [Read More...]

Oh Crismas Tree – Day 3

Editors Note: Frequent blogger Mason Lane is philosophical, funny and — who knew — he’s a poet too! ============ “Oh Little Crismas Tree”   By Mason Lane   This is our little Crismas tree With the lights and presents beneath It sets up in just two minutes And saves us tons of grief We’re perplexed, [Read More...]

It’s a Merry Myth-Making Time of Year – Day 2

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This is my Myth Corner which incorporates the precious ornaments given to me by family and friends over the years. When my beliefs changed, my first inclination, when unpacking my Christmas decorations, was not to display the overtly religions things that no longer held religious significance to me.  But, you know, I love the Virgin [Read More...]

12 Days of Atheist Christmas Extravaganza – Day 1

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Editors Note: Atheists love Christmas too, and we’ll prove it, with our  first Annual Twelve days of Christmas Extravaganza!  Today, December 21st or the Winter Solstice is the first day of our celebrations, in honour of this Catherine Dunphy has modified the words of “the twelve days of Christmas.  You will find the lyrics below, [Read More...]

Christ is Born(e)

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(IN THE MINDS OF BELIEVERS RITUALLY ENGAGED IN RELIGIOUS SECTS) Editor’s note: Professor Shults helps us explain the meaning of Christmas to ourselves and to people we find ourselves in conversation with over the holdiays. ========================== Where do babies come from? Why do parents keep them around? Although adults can get annoyed or embarrassed by [Read More...]

A Brief Diversion to Dog Heaven

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The recent journalistic screw up on the Pope’s remarks on dog heaven got me thinking about role of human error in belief and wondering how many clergy and others who no longer hold supernatural beliefs have pondered this issue. Briefly, an article that conflated the thoughts of two popes (Paul VI and Francis) caused several [Read More...]

The Road to Agnosticism

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Editor’s note:  As a Catholic kid, I learned a lot about catechism, but nothing about philosophy.  I guess that would have come later, if I’d been more dedicated to my faith after confirmation.  Steve Uhl, in contrast, was  dedicated long enough to be ordained, to teach, to say the mass and to contemplate St. Thomas Aquinas [Read More...]

Climbing (not Cutting) a Christmas Tree

Editor’s Note: Tis the season to enjoy the cheery holiday decorations that are all around town. They brighten up the darkest days of the year. Here is a unique perspective on Christmas trees by a former Presbyterian Chaplain. He has an unusual personal connection to the day on which Christians celebrate the birth of their [Read More...]

From Isolation to New Family

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Editor’s Note: My Patheos Colleague, Catherine Dunphy, celebrates her first face-to-face meeting with her Clergy Project family member, Jerry Dewitt. I knew them before they knew each other, having interviewed them for the Dennett-LaScola study. Catherine contacted me directly after seeing our study and Jerry contacted me after hearing about the study and the newly [Read More...]

Praise Worthy

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Editor’s Note: Neither my Catholic upbringing nor my Episcopal adulthood exposed me to the repetitive “praise” singing typical of Evangelicals.  Still, my eventual reaction to the words to religious songs is similar to the description below written by a former pastor.  Once I started really listening to the words, I realized how gruesome they could [Read More...]


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