July 31, 2016

It’s really because of my mother. I have told parts of her story before; I will tell them again. Her father, William Henry Kelly, was Jewish, because his mother, Kathryn Scheer, was Jewish. She was disowned by her family for marrying an Irish cop; so she raised her 18 children as Catholics, but she told them they were nevertheless still Jewish and taught them the traditions, which Willy passed on to his three daughters as best he could. He took… Read more

July 30, 2016

Everything you are doing and saying makes it a little more possible that this pathological narcissist might be elected. After your enviable career as a doctor and college professor, where is your conscience? (Am I the first to say this? Why do I even have to?) Have you read what Stephanie Cegielski wrote about him? After working directly with him on his early campaign, she began to observe him objectively, as a voter would, and this is what she saw…. Read more

July 17, 2016

Soon after my abrupt and spectacular expulsion from being a Catholic at age 14, I found Leland’s Aradia. I was fascinated by the concept that the ultimate deity was a Goddess, specifically, Diana. Later I wondered why Apollo’s sister, the Virgin Huntress, came to be considered the Queen of the Witches. A clue lies in the myth of Actaeon, killed by his own hounds as punishment for spying on Artemis; the clue is that Artemis was bathing to renew her… Read more

July 11, 2016

Mark was a literary genius. He invented the “gospel” as a new literary genre. That is comparable to Aeschylus’ invention of drama. But, like Wagner, Mark was anti-Semitic. He despised “the Jews.” Please be aware that I am here boiling down almost 250 years of scholarship focused on the gospels. The history of that scholarship is one of liberals beating the literalists back step by step with a wand of reason, showing that the gospels are works of theology, not… Read more

June 21, 2016

I am here entering the URL for the article. My essay is beneath it. California Bill Would Ultimately Erase Religious Schools This is very important story. I had not known about this California bill. It is intended to protect not just LGBTQ people, but everyone, from being harmed by false beliefs. A belief cannot be falsified by the scientific method, if it is a genuinely nondisprovable hypothesis, but it can be falsified by Wm James’ pragmatic test: if it harms… Read more

June 14, 2016

Leslie White predicted this back in the 1950s. He could already see it happening, because the pressures had been building since the Renaissance. He was one of the great Cultural Historians, along with Toynbee and Kroeber. He was a Marxist—of a school that consisted of him and Karl Marx. We’ll get to the churches—but first you need to understand the historical forces at work. White took seriously Marx’s insight that history is driven not by abstract ideas, as Hegel thought,… Read more

June 13, 2016

In response to a blog I posted a while back entitled, “So Am I Jewish?” in which I was speculating about what the rules are in the various branches of Judaism for defining who’s a member, one woman asked, “Are you willing to stand with us?” My immediate thought was “But I always have!” I began thinking about why I felt that way and realized the story goes back to my great-great-grandfather, Jacob Scheer. My mother, Marie Cecile Kelly, told… Read more

April 23, 2016

I am willing to entertain the nondisprovable hypothesis that our religions are inspired by the Gods, but if so, the Gods always employ one or more of us to do the actual writing for them—and we are fallible. If they do send us messages, we rarely understand all of the message or manage to not contaminate it with our own unexamined assumptions, wishful thinking, or simple ignorance of what we would need to know in order to understand such messages… Read more

March 28, 2016

In early December Melinda was on Ancestry.com, trying to track down her Cherokee ancestors, the Shellnuts. Her mother was born Lois Anne James (yep, related to Jesse). Looking at Lois’s maternal grandmother, she found that Alfred Shellnut had married a Rosa Salmat. Looking up that name, she suddenly yelled, “Oh, my God, I’m Jewish!” Yes, she is, and so are her sisters and all three of our kids. She has been chatting with a Rabbi who could see the whole… Read more

February 29, 2016

Recently a brilliant woman doctoral student picked me, apparently by intuition, out of the hundreds of editors available online, to edit her research proposal. Having hired me, she then googled me, learned much more, and sent me a long enthusiastic email about her psychic talents and experiences. She is immensely well informed and is what I might call a “natural-born Witch”—but she had never met another Witch face to face. We have been having long, advanced chats about many things;… Read more


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