What is spirituality?

What does spirituality mean to you? Not everything has a precise definition. And that’s okay. So, what I offer is one perspective. Spirituality has a connotation of spirits—angels, demons, souls, ghosts. Or more generally, the unseen. And much is unseen. Concepts, thoughts, values, emotions. All is not as it seems I read a biography ofContinue reading “What is spirituality?”

"Turn the other cheek" doesn't mean what you think it does

Is Pope Francis a hypocrite who failed to turn the other cheek? The pope recently apologized for slapping a woman’s hand. She had grabbed the elderly pontiff’s arm, nearly throwing him off balance, and refused to let go despite a pained expression on his face. Despite his apology, online commenters chided the pope, reminding himContinue reading “"Turn the other cheek" doesn't mean what you think it does”

Is gay Jesus offensive?

Don’t take the bait. Being offended is a status symbol of sorts. And giving offense has always been a sport. We might feel offended when we think our social status is being challenged. Or when someone says something that contradicts our self-image. There may be other reasons too. Being offended creates a certain moral status.Continue reading “Is gay Jesus offensive?”

Does goodness really exist?

It’s a question of faith. What is “the good”? We’ve debated this question since ancient times. More to the point, is goodness objective? That is, does goodness go beyond personal opinion? The morass of opinion If goodness is subjective then it’s relative. There would be contradictory notions of goodness, negating the existence of goodness asContinue reading “Does goodness really exist?”

Stoic & Epicurean rivalry

Both can agree that a virtuous life is usually more pleasurable. Stoics and Epicureans were ancient rivals. And some modern followers of these philosophies may feel inclined to perpetuate that rivalry. But it’s unnecessary. Stoics and Epicureans have different answers to what it means to live a good life. There’s no objective answer to thisContinue reading “Stoic & Epicurean rivalry”

When Is It Okay to Criticize Religion?

A person’s religion is a huge part of their identity, so criticism of religion is often taken as a personal attack. Progressives claim it’s racist to criticize Islam, conservatives say liberals unfairly single out Christianity, and atheists criticize every religion (even Buddhism). Some people say we shouldn’t criticize religion. Yet, religious beliefs have an enormous impact onContinue reading “When Is It Okay to Criticize Religion?”

So Now Prayer Shaming Is a Thing

There’s a never ending list of things people are shamed for, which leads me to believe that we all need to lighten up a bit. It’s no big deal if someone does something that I personally wouldn’t do, if someone dresses in a way I wouldn’t dress, or if someone has opinions I disagree with. Unless they try toContinue reading “So Now Prayer Shaming Is a Thing”

Why Religion Evolved

Everybody’s looking for something.  I think the Eurhythmics sang that.  People look for the love of their lives, devote themselves to religion, become activists for a political ideology, and are spiritual seekers because they’re looking for something. But what is this something?  No one can quite put their finger on it. Some people even thinkContinue reading “Why Religion Evolved”

Religion, Secularism, & Atrocity

Religious atrocities are central to the atheist critique of religion. Christians often respond with a litany of atheist atrocities such as mass murder by communist regimes.  Even when religion or anti-religiousness is directly to blame, we must ask: What does this prove? That one is better than the other? If both sides are guilty of atrocities,Continue reading “Religion, Secularism, & Atrocity”

To Be or Not Be Catholic, and Atheist

The stonework of the vast interior, made to seem even larger by the emptiness of the high, rounded ceiling, creates a cavernous feeling. But the darkness of the stone is interrupted by colorful, translucent light, creating a sense of jeweled infinity beyond the opaque and impenetrable rock. It serves as a visual metaphor of ourContinue reading “To Be or Not Be Catholic, and Atheist”