Would Black and Brown Lives Matter More on the Red Planet?

In his sermon critiquing the Vietnam War, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted a strange inconsistency and hypocrisy. People lauded him for his stance on non-violence against white oppressors and denounced him for his opposition to the Vietnam War, which involved killing “little brown Vietnamese children.” There’s something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that will praise you when you say, “Be non-violent toward Jim Clark,” but will curse and damn you when you say, “Be non-violent toward… Read more

Space Exploration Helps Us Explore Our Gods and Ourselves.

Our deities make the world go round. They also make us go round the worlds in outer space. In one way or another, such exploration is bound up with our quest for deification. Space exploration tells us a lot about our deities. It also tells us a lot about ourselves. Augustine and Feuerbach wrote of how we often pay homage to gods we image, or that image us. Sometimes, to reference Feuerbach, they are one and the same. Here is… Read more

Situational Affairs: Is There Ever a Time When Having a Concealed or Open Affair Is the Right Thing to Do?

It has been have argued that a concealed affair can save one’s marriage and that an open sexual relationship may enhance one’s marital union. See for example the video “Is It Ever Okay to Cheat?”, an interview with Dan Savage, and the article by Mel Robbins “What’s Inside an Open Marriage?”. You can find both pieces at the following link. In his interview with Sanjay Gupta for “Colorful Conversations” at CNN, Savage offers the example of a marriage where one… Read more

How Strong Is Your Will to Live, to Love, and to Hate? Musings on the Movie “The Revenant”

SPOILER ALERT FOR THE NEW MOVIE, “THE REVENANT”!   I went to a movie theater in the Portland area last night for an advance screening of “The Revenant”. Here is the official trailer for the movie, which releases tomorrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wg72UQCJFEM. Conditions were bad on the roads by Portland standards earlier in the week. Schools had been closed because of snow and ice. So, it was a relief to be able to get out last night to see the movie. Talk about… Read more

Monogamous Sex Makes ‘Good’ Sense to Reason, or Does It?

In my last post titled “What’s Up with Monogamy? Reflections and Resolutions in a Time of Transition,” I noted the overriding sense in American society to look upon extramarital sex critically. Then I went on to ask: Why does American society, by and large, still look upon extramarital sex with disfavor? Does the disfavor point perhaps to the receding echo of an ancient divine decree? Vestiges of the essential nature of things, created and/or evolved?… Does the disfavor follow from… Read more

What’s Up with Monogamy? Reflections and Resolutions in a Time of Transition

2015 was a revolutionary year for defining marriage, to say the least. It has even been debated as to whether or not the legalizing of same sex marriage opens the door to the legalizing of polygamous marriages, among other things. See for example the following articles: “Beyond Gay Marriage;” “It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy;” “The Case Against Encouraging Polygamy;” and “Polygamy Is Not Next.” The purpose of this article is not to focus on this particular aspect of the debate,… Read more

Away in a Manger—Away in a Spaceship? How Should We View Jesus’ Incarnation and Human Life If There Is Extraterrestrial Life?

How will Christians worship on Christmas if scientists report this week that there is extraterrestrial life? Will we reword the title of the Christmas carol “Away in a Manger” to “Away in a Spaceship”? Would this suggest that Jesus would need to travel to other planets and become incarnate as a Martian or a Plutonian, or wherever else conscious life is found? Not necessarily. It is not a matter of our being inherently more special as humans than extra-terrestrials. Perhaps… Read more

Keep Your Eyes Wide-Open: Don’t Discount Donald Trump

Many people with whom I speak can’t get over Donald Trump’s ongoing ascendance in national polls. He leads the field of candidates for the Republican Party’s nomination by staggering numbers. Whatever you think of him, he is hard to dismiss as an outlier (See “Latest Polls Set Stage for Unprecedented Circumstances”). An African-American civil rights lawyer with whom I spoke on Sunday agreed. Keep your eyes wide open. Don’t discount Trump, for he speaks to our base passions. He makes… Read more

Be Patient with Patients: They Are Far More than Temporarily Animated Corpses

Is a patient near the end of life simply temporarily animated matter–a soon-to-be corpse that is turned to ash or locked in a box?[1] Is the patient a combination of material and immaterial substances, the latter of which is easily separated like a pound of flesh that lessens the body’s weight at death?[2] Or is the patient a relational energy (namely, a soul or spirit), who returns to the divine Spirit, the same Spirit who enlivens his or her bodily… Read more

Ban Nastiness and Naiveté, not Muslims

Donald Trump’s recent statements about banning Muslims from the States has met with a wide array of reactions—from total support to outright disgust. Some fear that Trump’s stance is counterproductive and will only benefit ISIS propaganda that the States and the West as a whole are anti-Muslim. Tribalism only intensifies conflicts rather than reduces them, as Steven Pinker argues in The Better Angles of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. While some dispute Pinker’s view that violence is on decline… Read more

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