Do rocks on the Moon and Mars have inherent rights? And what about Aliens, who aren’t human, and their livestock and pets? If not, can Earthlings own them, especially if there are no property laws on those planets? Some might consider these questions and issues far-fetched, but they are only as far-fetched as the aspirations of corporations and individuals considering claims to privatizing domains in outer space (They also reflect what has happened over generations on this planet). Take for… Read more

This was originally posted over at Northwest Dharma News, we are very grateful for the permission to re-post this piece here. (Northwest Dharma News Editor’s note: A year after the September, 2014 death of Portland Zen teacher Kyogen Carlson, evangelical Christian Paul Louis Metzger has published a memoir, “Evangelical Zen: A Christian’s Spiritual Travels with a Buddhist Friend,” about his own spiritual journey and his collaboration with Carlson. Metzger is professor of theology and culture at Multnomah University in Portland. Carlson… Read more

Think about it, if Jesus didn’t pass out when he ascended to heaven, what does that convey about his body? Was Jesus the first astronaut, an alien, a trans-human? The classic Christian view of divinization claims that he became what we are so that we might become what he is. But how are we to interpret the doctrines of incarnation, resurrection and ascension in the space age? If we are to become what he is, does that mean we will… Read more

WARNING: Contains Possible Spoilers for Disney’s upcoming movie, The Finest Hours! Is it easy to lose sight of human dignity and decency in the rat race to work in the morning, or when you consider the House of Cards-like drama of Washington, or mass shootings and terrorist bombs going off on the evening news? Last night, there was no time for the evening news, as my daughter and I went to see a screening of Disney’s The Finest Hours (The movie’s… Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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