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The Spiritual Practice of Agnosticism

Wolf! The Aesop fable about the boy who cried wolf has long been viewed as a cautionary tale about lying. The boy knowingly cried “wolf!” merely to disturb the villagers. The boy eventually pays the price in dead sheep when the villagers stop responding. There is another and more dangerous way of crying wolf, however: [Read More...]

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Because it is the Faithful Thing To Do

{Editor’s Note: Due to technical difficulties, this post, originally scheduled for August 19th, was delayed – posting now!} I spent two weeks out of state, mostly away from the internet, TV, and newspapers – enjoying some much needed study leave.  Returning to the news of the world on Thursday, August 14th was, I confess, quite [Read More...]

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Ferguson: Cynicism and a Smartphone

I have to admit that the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have triggered mostly cynicism for me. In the US we have periodic paroxysms of piety triggered by events that happen every day but occasionally “go viral” in the media. Then, the outrage subsides . . . and nothing changes. Allow me to relate an [Read More...]

My Grandparents are from Ferguson….

by Susan Maginn, guest blogger My white family has been in St. Louis, Missouri for six generations. My grandparents met attending Ferguson High School in the early 1930’s. My grandfather’s childhood home was in Ferguson which back then was a bedroom community with a train stop leading to downtown St. Louis. After my grandparents married [Read More...]

Close to Home

It seems to me that the outpouring of emotion on the death of Robin Williams was not only for a beloved celebrity, although goodness knows he was that and more. His struggle with mental illness and addiction became an opportunity for the rest of us to talk about our struggles—with our own illness, or the [Read More...]

The Rise of the Totally Awesome ‘Whatever’ God

“Moralistic therapeutic deism.” That’s the term sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton coined to describe the religious beliefs of the average North American. Rev. Robert Vinciguerra calls it “egonovism,” a neologism constructed of “ego” and “novo,” new. Rev. Rob claims that most Americans are Egonovists, even though most don’t know it. http://revrob.com/society-topmenu-49/223-continued-observations-on-the-egonovism-of-american-society-and-dialogs-with-egonovists Why are [Read More...]

It’s Not Just Ferguson

When a toaster keeps producing burnt toast, we don’t blame the bread—we fix the toaster.  When a dishwasher won’t wash the dishes, we don’t blame the dishes—we fix the dishwasher. Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford (a young man in L.A. yesterday).  All African-American.  All unarmed.  And all dead.  The drum beat goes [Read More...]

Spiritual but not Superstitious (Mystical Without the Mumbling)

“Spirituality” is emotion. Sometimes the spiritual emotion springs from a consciously adopted attitude toward the world we see around us. Sometimes it hits us unexpectedly. A “spiritual experience” can be anything from the warm-fuzzy feeling we get singing a song we love to the inexpressible “mystical” experience of feeling one with all that is. Both [Read More...]

What to Say?

A plane was shot down over the Ukraine, but I didn’t blog about it because, what after all is there to say about the fact that hundreds of people were killed by a missile that was really only intended to kill a few people? “People are not only brutal, they are also stupid” is hardly [Read More...]


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