Building Better Primates

I always enjoy reading columns by New York Times Op-Ed writer David Brooks. His opinions are not of the usual “conservatives say the darnedest things” variety, and his 3 February 2015 column “Building Better Secularists” is no exception. (See the link below) First off, Brooks admits some inconvenient truths that most apologists for religion won’t, [Read More...]

The Bigness of our Littleness: Humanism and Individualism

  Late in his life the philosopher Richard Rorty—well known to be an atheist—was asked by an interviewer if he could define “holy.” I suppose the interlocutor thought Rorty would be stumped by the question, or even perhaps show some sympathy for one religion or another. Rorty was not stumped by the question. He responded, [Read More...]

Selma: Death of a Meta-narrative

OK, I admit it—I love it when postmodernism calls it right. And the screeches and whines that have emanated over media since the film appeared are the sound of metanarratives dying. It was the French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard who postulated that the essence of postmodernism is “incredulity toward metanarratives.” A metanarrative is a big overarching myth [Read More...]

Darn the Luck: Truth is Everywhere

  Truth is power. I don’t think many people disagree with that statement. Truth is power. Yet we often miss that little “is,” functioning as an equal sign: Power is truth. That’s an equally “true” statement. As the old proverb goes, “Until lions have historians, tales of the hunt will glorify the hunter.” I pondered [Read More...]

Covenant: Broken Promises, Dumb Ideas, and Ways Forward

Captain, We’re Out of Beer! When those adventurers we now call the Pilgrims realized they weren’t going to make it to Virginia on their beer supply, they did what most idealists do, they jumped ship. But first they wrote up a little agreement for themselves that nowadays we call the Mayflower Covenant. This was 1620. [Read More...]

Religion: It’s What You Do

Seriously, No Joke Have you ever noticed how pointless it is to ask someone, “What’s your religion?” The answer is likely to be a proper noun, such as Baptist or Hindu. But what does that designation mean to the person answering the question? Does such an answer really tell us anything? Beyond, perhaps, an origin [Read More...]

The ‘Ol Heave Ho Ho

You’ve seen them spilling off the paved trail into the woods; you’ve seen them in parks; across sand dunes; wherever people go. There’s no standard English phrase for them. A couple of terms are “desire paths” and “goat trails.” In another era they were called bootleg trails. They are those paths that steadfastly ignore the [Read More...]

Heartbroken in America

This week my guest blogger is Jim Foti, the assistant minister at the congregation I serve. He delivered a version of this reflection over the weekend. We hold in our hearts the United States, as our country continues to fail to extend to all the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. [Read More...]

White Privilege: Kumbaya Won’t Cut It

How Sad A sad fact: Many things that are good for society or the earth itself are not good for me, me, me. Higher taxes hurt people like me. A livable minimum wage costs people like me. Fair trade costs me money. Carbon cap and trade hurts the pocket books of people like me, me, me. [Read More...]

Could That “Riot” Be an Uprising?

Let’s face it, the last several days have been hard on White Power. Despite a setup to essentially force a riot with the announcement in Ferguson, the city did not burn. Even clever editing on Fox News just didn’t make anything look all that riot-ish. Makes you think that maybe some of those protesters were [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X