Patheos Topics: A look around

Patheos Topics: A look around June 5, 2020

We took a look at Patheos World Religion Columns.

Now were going to take a look at Patheos Topics and some of their Topical Columnists.

Patheos has a number of set topics set aside for curious readers to browse through.  These are common everyday topics that touch upon the heart and soul of mankind. Common rituals and customs that everyone has in common. To give the inquirer an idea of what topics flow from the fingertips of Patheos writers, here is a list of said topics with an example of each subject.

Today we have nearly 500 bloggers on Patheos and nearly 12 million unique visitors every month. We have created the largest website on religion and spirituality in the world, and every day there is new energy around the conversation. Patheos has become a place to learn, yes—nearly half a million people reference the Patheos Library resources every month—but it has also become a community of communities, gathering together people of every faith and no faith at all to discuss the pressing issues of our day.
The Patheos Way (October 13, 2015) @ Patheos Public Square

Fist up we explore the section titled…

Life Events


I never had a child biologically.  So therefore, I don’t know what to say about birth. Babies are cute but I hear there a lot of work.  God entrusts us with them, we may lead them to heaven. I’ve also heard that newborns have this really incredibly intoxicating smell that is equivalent to someone taking drugs. I guess God needed a way for the woman to naturally want to crave the child. – Catholic Bard

Even though millions women have been having babies for thousands of years, it still feels like a miracle. It’s bizarre and amazing that a human being can grow within me.  Equally amazing to know that this new creature will be a blend of me and my husband. I’m in awe of the whole thing.
Ambaa Choate, The Truth About Pregnancy: My Experience (February 16, 2016) The White Hindu @ Patheos Hindu


Marriage is where two become one in a bind that never be broken.  Yet somehow sadly enough, people find ways to unbind. But a true marriage ground solidly in God and sincere loving friendship should survive the storms of life. – Catholic Bard


Happiness, eudaimonia, is flourishing body and soul. Marriage is the union of male and female and so expresses in the oneness the fullness of humanity. Men and women have different voices and in marriage both can and must be heard.
Every day you are married you are both called to place I in subordination to We. This is voluntary, cannot be coerced, and must be the choice of love and not of power. If so, then a beautiful new community is born: family. We lose selfishness and gain love, martyrdom without blood, the voluntary laying down of self for the union.
John Mark N. Reynolds, On Marriage, Three Truths: To Jane on Her Wedding (July 22, 2017) Eidos @ Patheos Evengelical


Family is meant to be there for one another, as are friends. Families are meant to love one another unconditionally. When a family member cannot be taken care of by another or themselves, adoption is a wonderful option.  Adoption comes with its own set of challenges, but unconditional loves should always be there. – Catholic Bard

God opened my eyes to this truth: everyone who belongs to Him is part of my family. In fact, since then I’ve made life-changing relationships while renovating a church in Nome, Alaska; working in Children’s Ministry in Portland, Oregon and Cut Bank, Montana; and meeting our Compassion-sponsored children in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Places I never thought I’d go and people I can’t imagine my life without.

Apparently, there is more to family than just lineage. The blood of Christ is a powerful bond. I was lonely because I had specific expectations about what holiday celebrations looked like. Once God changed my perspective, I was free to enjoy a new chapter in our lives.
Guest Contributor, How God Used a Lonely Time to Expand My Understanding of Family (March 3, 2020) Hearth and Home @ Patheos Family

 Patheos Family and Relationship Columns currently has 24 Blogs


Finances are a way to get what you need and a way to ensure society stays functional because of the way our currency system is set up. It creates a fair-trade system. Unfortunately, thou, in our world today it’s not always fair. When it comes to finances our world is unevenly yoked. There are people who don’t have enough food and are dying and there are people who own lovely well-kept homes with nobody living in them. As St. John Chrysostom said , “The rich exist for the sake of the poor. The poor exist for the salvation of the rich.”– Catholic Bard

The central question, then, is whether Jesus wants the poor uplifted, the hungry fed, the naked clothed, and the prisoners visited, or whether he merely wants Christians to engage in these activities because they’re good things to do.

So would Jesus be happy with a government that spent its money (that is, its tax revenues) caring for the poor? Would God be happy with a government that redistributes unequal wealth to make sure that the poor aren’t poor?

I think engaging with scripture might get us further than an argument that “taxation is theft” – which is, perhaps, the first premise we should examine in the light of scripture. The better question, I think, might not be “Is taxation theft,” but…

Is Taxation Biblical?


Unlike about 99% of other topics, the Bible is univocal regarding taxes: “Pay them.” The Bible does not speak to whether taxation is theft at all.
David Schell, Is Socialism Biblical? A Guest Post March 12, 2016 The Pickled Pencil @ Patheos Faith and Work

Patheos Faith and Work currently has 16 Blogs


The older you get the closer you get to eternal life. You can’t eat the same way at 49 as you did when you were 19, although that hasn’t stopped me yet.  – Catholic Bard

In 2016 Americans are living, on average, nearly eighty years. Of those who’ve already reached their 65th birthday, one in four will live past age ninety, and one in ten will live past ninety-five. This dramatic increase in longevity is largely due to advances in public health that occurred during the past century: vaccinations, sanitation, recognition of tobacco as a health hazard, safer food, safer highways, and safer workplaces.

Even more fascinating is how many people are on track to live longer. Those born during the baby boom era (1946-1964) began turning sixty-five in 2011. By 2050, there will be 83.7 million Americans age sixty-five or older. More Americans than ever before will be living longer than ever before. This looming, unprecedented increase in the older adult population has been dubbed the “silver tsunami.
Deborah Barr, Bracing for the Silver Tsunami (November 16, 2016) @ Patheos Public Square

End of Life

The end of your life is just the beginning of your new life. Hopefully you’re not in hell. Don’t forget to wear your brown scapular. –Catholic Bard

As a Catholic, not only am I religiously obligated to have no fear of Death, but I’ve prayed a rosary in a Roman chapel constructed from the bones of martyred Capucins. Only an acceptance of death as dark, mysterious, awful, terrifying, and yet the precise road by which we attain the fulfillment of our infinite desires really allows us glorify death. Only the Church proclaiming that through death all men attain new life really allows man to pile skulls and mean it.
Marc Barnes  Death Metal Ain’t Got Nothing On Us (September 19, 2011) Bad Catholic @ Patheos Catholic Past

2018 Midterm Elections

We really don’t have anything to contribute to this past event. – Catholic Bard


Neither of the “Big Two” parties are thinking beyond winning the next election. With no real vision, of course you’re going to get nothing better than constant hammering at each other, with no cooperation or consideration for the people at home, waiting for them to do something positive.
Susan Wright Senator Ben Sasse Explains Why Both Major Parties Lack “Long-Term Vision” (September 10, 2018) Susan Wright on the Right by Susan Wright @Patheos Politics Red

Patheos Politics Red currently has 10 Blogs

2020 Election Coverage

Oh my Gosh!!! This is the most unique situation we’ve been in, in my life.  We have two old men running president and everything has been upset by the coronavirus.  – Catholic Bard.

Obviously, the thing that scares so many people off the Bernie train is that controversial word associated with him: Socialism. Many people see that word and are immediately frightened off because they don’t understand that there is a difference between the Socialism they are thinking about from their history books and the Democratic Socialism that Bernie Sanders represents. They fail to understand that our nation is already built, to a large degree, on socialist-like programs without which we’d be in desperate trouble. Perhaps Christians would do well to consider how much socialistic ideas are rooted in their faith, whether they are cognizant of it or not.
Shane Phipps, Christians, If You’re Planning to Go to Heaven, You Should Learn to Embrace a Little Democratic Socialism (February 24, 2020) Empathy Mining @ Patheos Politics Blue

Patheos Politics Blue currently has 3 Blogs

Here we explore More Topics listed in the Patheos website as relevant to everyday life for everyday people.

More Topics

Mark: Now, were making progress.
Kristin: If you think this is progress you should be on the carousal.

The Spirituality of Children

Kristin: Young children believe what they are told and have beautiful imaginations. So their own ideas about God and spirituality are wholesome, simple, and faithful, if they are brought up believing in a loving God.  When I was a child I wanted to be famous like Jesus, so I figured that when I died, I would put out a wooden cross in our backyard, and tape myself to it so I could die and be famous like Jesus. I was going to nail one hand and my feet if I could and tape my final hand to the cross with duct tape, which I would have already put on the cross. I have since changed my mind.
Mark: What a holy and very misinformed child.  If you did it and rose again from the dead, you may have accomplished your task.

As a children’s book author and a creative writing teacher for kids, I have the honor — and challenge — of spending my days both digging for the submerged sunrise in myself and basking in the blazing sun of others. It is a perilous adventure at times, fraught with ninja-kicking dei ex machina and discombobulated spelling

You need only take a close look at the inhabitants of planet Earth — at aardvarks and aye-ayes, dugongs and star-nosed moles, naked mole rats and proboscis monkeys — to know that their Maker has a fantastic sense of humor, that divine creativity (like the creativity of a child) is playful. The fact that he expressed that creativity by squishing, stretching, and swirling species in a vast evolutionary stewpot isn’t in the slightest bit threatening to my image of the biblical Creator; it’s delightful. It’s hilarious, in fact. What fun he must have had all these eons, like an impossibly prescient toddler squeezing his play dough sculpture over and over again through a cosmic noodle-maker.
Jennifer Trafton, The Secret of Our Hope Lies in the Imagination of Children (May 11, 2016) @ Patheos Public Square

Politics and the Globe

Why can’t we all just get along? You should love those who are different then yourself, from all over the world. If God acted as everyone’s king and made all the rules and enforced them and we had no other government besides God, what would our world look like? Of course, some people’s idea of God ruling has been less then loving towards others. But true belief in God would have us loving other people, as well as honoring God. It would have us looking out for and providing for the benefit and welfare of other people.  This is why Politics are important. This is why we should not elect un-loving idiots to positions of power. In an ideal world we would all sing WE ARE THE WORD. WE ARE THE CHILDREN in perfect harmony and buy everyone a Coke. –Catholic Bard

Hispanics will never rubber-stamp any one political party because we are a diverse and varied group with values that reflect aspects of both party platforms. Republicans and Democrats must address Hispanics with sophistication and work hard to earn our votes because we are not a cheap political date.
Samuel Rodriguez Latinos Aren’t A Cheap Political Date (February 2, 2017) Hispanic Evangelicals and The Lamb’s Agenda  @ Patheos Evengelical   Categorized under Patheos Partner Columns 

Patheos Partner Columns currently has 2 blogs

The Arts Culture & Entertainment Section

Arts and Culture can bring out the beauty of God’s created world.  An example of this is ‘The Sound of Music’, which brings together faith, love, music and history, even thou it is not exactly what happen in real life.  I used to watch this movie a lot with my daughter. We would sing together and find reasons to laugh. One of the reasons I like this movie and can watch it over and over again is because I like movies with children in it, but I don’t like Nazis.  One final thought, if I twirled around like Julie Andrews at the beginning of the movie I would lose my balance and then fall down.  We also watched Mary Poppins a lot and sang the songs.  For years I never made the connection that Julie Andrews is both a problematic Nun named Maria and a mischievous nanny named Mary.  And just now as we are writing this, I realized that the names are similar in both films.  Same names. Different language.  Same Occupation as they are both caretakers of children who live in Europe.  I have a friend who loved Julie Andrews so much, she named her daughter Julie Ann and her son Andrew.  The children don’t magic powers though. – Catholic Bard

Movie sets often feature archaeological remains, but how often do they become archaeological sites in their own right? Parts of Cecil B. DeMille’s first version of The Ten Commandments were filmed on a massive set built in the sand dunes near Guadalupe, California. To prevent competitors from shooting their own films on the site and beating him to the box office, DeMille buried the set under the sand once he was done, and there it lay undisturbed for 60 years.
Peter T. Chattaway, “Let My Actors Go” (February 1, 1999) Filmchat @ Patheos Entertainment

Patheos Entertainment currently has 12 Blogs

Patheos Entertainment has these sub-groups…

Patheos Movie Club

Featured Movie: Harriet

The exceptional 2013 film 12 Years a Slave, set in the 1840s and based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography, also looks at this period before the Civil War when many blacks lived in freedom in the North, but were never entirely safe from the threat of slavery a few hundred miles away.

As our nation struggles to face its legacy of slavery with clearer eyes, Harriet offers to fill in a powerful piece of that history. It does so consciously, but without being preachy. And there is perhaps no better character on which to focus than Harriet Tubman.
Phil Fox Rose “Harriet” Shares the Story of an Untold American Hero (October 18, 2019) Backstage Pass: Inside the Movie and Music News @ Patheos Entertainment

Patheos Book Club

Featured Book: Sacred Liberty: America’s Long, Bloody, and Ongoing Struggle for Religious Freedom by Steve Waldman

Description: Sacred Liberty: America’s Long, Bloody, and Ongoing Struggle for Religious Freedom offers a dramatic, sweeping survey of how America built a unique model of religious freedom and why this may be America’s “greatest invention.” Steven Waldman, the bestselling author of Founding Faith, presents both a bracing history of the persecution of evangelical Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Quakers, Muslims, Native Americans, and slaves—as well as an exploration of how we moved beyond divisive approaches to build a dynamic and pluralistic system that is the envy of the world.

Book Excerpt: Today, most nations still have not found the right balance. More than three-quarters of the world’s population lives in countries with limited religious freedom.14 Most countries still have an official or government-preferred religion.15 Varieties of oppression have flowered: Eastern Orthodox Christians harass Protestants (Russia); Muslims persecute Coptic Christians (Egypt); Buddhists attack Muslims (Myanmar); Muslims assail Protestants (Somalia); Protestants clash with Catholics (Northern Ireland); and Hindus agitate against Pentecostals (India). Even Western nations committed to liberté have stumbled—for example, in 2016 when French policemen forced female Muslim beachgoers to strip off their head scarves and burkinis because of the disrespect their religiously mandated clothing ostensibly showed to secularism.
Steven Waldman, Sacred Liberty (2019) HarperOne


Featured Movie: Three Identical Strangers

The emotional story of Eddy, David, and Robert

Science and Technology

Kristin: If you didn’t have a TV, you wouldn’t get frustrated if the TV was broken.
Mark: If you didn’t have a TV, you would be frustrated you didn’t have one.

“In the beginning Elohim (God) created sky and earth,” (Genesis 1:1). The beginning as Torah understands it was less than 6000 years ago (I am writing this book in the Jewish calendar year 5774). The beginning as I understand it was 13.8 billion years ago. The creation of the earth was a little over 4.5 billion years ago. So Torah is a bit off here. But it doesn’t matter. Why? Because Torah isn’t a science book, Torah is a storybook. The value of our story isn’t in its science (or history for that matter) but in the insights it yields when we turn Her.
Rabbi Rami 11 Elohim: Not God the Creator but God the Creating (April 22, 2014) Rabbi Rami’s Guide to Judaism @ Patheos Jewish

The Health and Wellness Section

If life is so fleeting, why does the western world spend so much on health and wellness protects? You can be the healthiest person in the world and get struck by lightning.  You’ve seen people live into their 90’s who smoked 5 packs a day and people who died much younger who never picked up a cigarette in their life. But regardless of how healthy or unhealthy you are, laughing is good for everyone, it releases endorphins in your head. Accept if your laughing at someone who is upset at you laughing at them causes it raises their stress level and you have a seizure. –Catholic Bard

The oxygen that we take in through the air that we breathe is absolutely essential to health, so it is sometimes called “Vitamin O” by nutritionists. But, actually, it is even more important than the other vitamins. You can live for a few days without water, and you can live without food for about a week. But without air to breathe, you’ll be dead within a matter of minutes.

Also, oxygen, which saturates our blood through our lungs’ bronchia, is necessary for most of our other bodily processes, such as digestion and immunity. Your brain is especially sensitive to oxygen depletion, and even a very short time without oxygen can cause life-long brain damage.
Ilchi Lee The Breath of Life: Using Breathing and Belly Button Healing for Optimal Health (August 11, 2016) Living Tao with Ilchi Lee @ Patheos New Visions

Good News: What Good Is Religion, Anyway?

It creates a general moral compass and lifestyle and teaches right from wrong for the most part. Most religions are peaceful and if they’re not peaceful, their more like a radical group or cult- Spencer Goodrich (the Catholic Bard’s housemate)

Reading about wisdom traditions and spiritual practice offered only momentary solace, and often I didn’t have the strength or support to live out the insights I was finding.

On my own — without a formal tradition — I discovered to my very great chagrin that I was doomed.

I was rescued by a community of faith in east Austin, Texas, who were acting out their core religious beliefs. They saved me because their beliefs called them to practice love and compassion, not because they sought to convert me to those core religious beliefs. And they did more than just perform a rescue mission, important as that would have been for me. The good people of St. David’s Episcopal Church offered me purpose, taught me that I was called to help rescue others, and supported me as I went out to teach, to write, to do the work for peace and justice that they inspired (and still inspire) me to do.

Religion saved me.

It’s just that simple.
Greg Garrett What Good Is Religion, Anyway? Why I Am Spiritual — and — Religious (April 01, 2015) @ Patheos Progressive Christian

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