May 15, 2019

The fry cook was old. He had been around since Noah was a sailor. He was a man of un-muzzled thoughts, and one day he asked the smoke-choked clientele this question:  “Which of ten thousand past, present, and future religions is the True Religion?”  The jangled assembly, having already burnt their cheeks flush by the monarch of the vine (plump Bacchus with his red eyes),  sang out in four distinct replies: Customer A:  “Only one religion is true and coincidentally… Read more

May 7, 2019

Humanists  often  say  nothing  when  they  should  rather  speak  up. Sometimes taciturnity is merely manners, perhaps thought of as good manners. There is no need to mar a dinner party with a sharp and disagreeable remark, right?  No need to set the table on a roar with a cutting witticism offered at a guest’s or a host’s expense. But how many opportunities are lost for the Humanist to offer Small Dissent? A Small Dissent would be a polite, short, and… Read more

May 2, 2019

The  Western  world  is  awash  in  moral  and  cultural  relativism. A Humanist may accept some features of moral and cultural relativism, but not all. Moral absolutism asserts that moral rules are always and everywhere applicable, without exception. If a moral rule prohibits murder, the act of murder is always and everywhere immoral, without exception. Moral relativism disagrees with this and affirms that no moral rule is always and everywhere applicable without exception. On the contrary, for every moral rule prohibiting… Read more

April 29, 2019

In centuries of Christian art, the adult Jesus was ever portrayed as a young man. Apart from Jesus’ purported divinity, isn’t it a little interesting that middle age men and elderly men idolize the Young Man Jesus? Is this like a 50-year-old man idolizing the prowess of a young male athlete?  Is it like a 60-year-old man idolizing the talent a young male musician? Is it like a 70-year-old man idolizing the handsomeness of a young male actor? Three of the… Read more

April 22, 2019

Let’s  review  twenty – one  options  on  God  that  are  afoot  right  now: Polytheists say there are many Gods, as many as you like, into the millions if you prefer, perhaps billions, one for every pair of human eyes. You may worship and adore all the Gods. Henotheists admit many Gods too, but you may only have time to devote yourself to one, and that’s okay because these are not self-doubting, jealous Gods. Kat-henotheists also acknowledge many Gods, but you… Read more

April 21, 2019

When  our  sun  explodes  in  ten  billion  years,  God  will  no  doubt  call  it  quits. A care-worn God will stand over the universes, folding up the fabric of time like a tattered quilt. Epochs, neatly creased and caressed in God’s fingers, will lay atop each other in the thickening bulk. God will sing a simple, sad melody with the words, nullum sine exitu iter est. There is no journey without an end. Will it have been worth it? All the… Read more

April 15, 2019

God  has  ever  been  rendered  in  human  form. How far are theists willing to commit to the anthropomorphic God?  How human-like is God? I asked a shade tree (an amateur, tinkerer) theologian I know in the Deep South to provide a tip to toe inventory of God and he said this: Hair: white Eyebrows: white Nose: Roman Visage: Fierce Facial Hair: Full beard, white Hands: Muscular Fingernails: Trimmed close Clothes: Toga, off-white Shoes: Sandals, brown leather Feet: Muscular Toenails: Trimmed close… Read more

March 29, 2019

It’s a good moment to remember Robert Ingersoll, born 1833 and died 1899. He was a humanist, an agnostic, a colonel at the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, and Lexington, a personal friend to three Presidents, hosting elaborate dinner parties for elites in literary, musical, dance, and theatrical arts, along with captains of industry, Senators, Justices, Cabinet members—all crowding Ingersoll’s Washington and Manhattan mansions. Ingersoll was an advocate for the women’s vote, a friend to immigration, a sponsor of low tariffs,… Read more

March 15, 2019

Evangelical  Christians  see  Jesus  in  Mr.  Trump. For instance, Evangelicals see Jesus in Trump’s threat of physical violence against opponents. Trump claims he can depend on the muscle of the military, the police, and tough biker gangs to set his foes in place. These groups can only be pushed so far, and after that, things could get pretty bad, Trump says.  (That’s an overt threat of violence, by the way.) And  Evangelicals  see  Jesus  in  this  threat  of  violence! When… Read more

March 6, 2019

In his recurring dream, the Pope was again seated in a ballroom where The Divine Comic was performing in front of a holy horde: Clerics, ministers, ecclesiastics, prophets, preachers, priests, mystics, monks, lamas, nuns, rabbis, powahs, yogis, imams, avatars, rishis, gurus, holy men, holy women, saints—spiritual models all, all in religious garb. They were seated at round tables: ten or twelve per table. All of them imbibed rolled tobacco or water pipes. All sipped spirits. A thick murky swirl of… Read more

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