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Tag Archives: Religion

Freud and the Future of an Illusion.


A friend recently lent me a copy of Clive James’ book Cultural Amnesia – now that is a good friend – which I devoured over the course of a little over a week. The book is excellent, and what is particularly lovely about it is that it filled me with the desire to read everything […]

Saint Augustine and Religious Empiricism.


There was a little bit of Facebook hullabaloo over this Tuesday’s march against gay marriage in D.C., which is being promoted by Catholic bishops.  As usual, the bishops going out of their way to prevent non-Catholics from getting things like hospital visitation rights is a good indicator of the general fact that if you want […]

Your God Isn’t Big Enough.


A first-hand account of a young woman leaving behind a limited idea of God for something more universal and true.  Like all things that feel real, fascinating. I have had this conversation with numerous people whose religious ideas have been tested in the furnace of the world: and the great question always remains, “After all […]

The God of Happiness.


There is an essay about this topic, and Dostoevsky its prophet: “For we are made for happiness, and any one who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, ‘I am doing God’s will on earth.’ All the righteous, all the saints, all the holy martyrs were happy.”

To the River.


I took I-10 away from Phoenix for awhile, and then turned off it onto Salome Road, which headed straight for the small town of Salome, a railroad town where US-60 runs.  Most of the housing was temporary or seasonal; large numbers of retirees spend winters here, in RV parks or small cottages.  Almost everyone I […]

Night in the Desert.


Feeling horribly contained by urban life here, I drove out of the city not really knowing where I was going and pulled my truck to the side of the road by a small shrine about fifty miles into the desert.  I pulled out my sleeping bag and found a spot where the rocks were a […]

The Odd Meandering of the Word “Religion.”

29-Jan-12 Language changes, and words take on new meanings in time, but this is an example of a meaning-shift a bit bewildering to me.  I’ve seen it enough so I should be fine with it; but the word “religion” is being used to mean “everything I dislike about religion” or “bad religion.”  Here in this […]

Christopher Hitchens, Flagellum Dei.


I see no particular reason to call Christopher Hitchens a good person – anyone, as I have said, who leaves his wife when she is pregnant with their second child is safely distancing himself from all the more benign forms of respectability – but I must confess that despite the obvious – despite Greenwald’s pointing […]

Bertrand Russell’s Atheist Essays.


There is a fine little collection of essays about atheism by Bertrand Russell, entitled Why I Am Not A Christian, which I read on subway rides about the city the past week.  It is light reading, and his mature essays are in a lucid style which offers no difficulties (some of his earlier essays, such […]

Into Eternity.


I saw the well-reviewed documentary “Into Eternity” last week, and was not too impressed, though I don’t quite regret the two hours.  There has to be some excuse for making a movie out of what might be a thousand-word essay; and “Into Eternity” does not offer that kind of visual or experiential payoff.  The facility […]