Category Archives: Religion

The Business of Being Pope

Pope Francis has continued to encourage my pope-crush today as he chided Vatican bureaucracy of a catalog of illnesses, including Feeling immortal or essential; lacking self-criticism Susceptibility to worldly profit Rivalry and vainglory Mental and spiritual petrification Disease of over-planning Spiritual Alzheimer’s Existential schizophrenia Gossip and chatter Deifying the leaders; focusing on superiors in the hopes of promotion Indifference to others Hoarding Closed circles Once more the pope’s actions have gone viral as people from a variety of walks of

Thou Dost Protest Too Much; or, Neopagan Backlash Again Time Magazine

Avertisement poster for Salem TV show

On October 28, 2014, Time magazine published Jennifer Latson’s “Why Witches on TV Spell Trouble in Real Life,” a look at why the witch has become so commonplace in pop culture, as well as the long-standing morality lesson taught by studies of the historical witch-trials, which gave us the phrase “witch-hunt” to mean a search for and persecution of a perceived enemy with little regard to guilt or innocence. Neopagans, particularly modern witches, come out in force protesting how the

My First Ouija Board

Pink Ouija board saying "because making it pink makes the possibility of summoning a demon OK"

This product offends me. Not because I think Ouija boards can accidentally (or deliberately!) summon demons.  If we could accidentally summon supernatural beings they’d be everywhere.  Moreover, of all the things that might accidentally bring forth the powers of darkness, a mass-produced printed piece of cardboard seems pretty far down the list. However, belief in divination is at least quasi-religious, and marketing religion as a toy is pretty insulting.  Marketing it to kids is reprehensible. Marketing Religion Hasbro has been

Writing About Religion, Mine and Others

Multiple religious symbols

A few days ago, the following comment showed up on my being-retooled Wicca site: One thing I find very interesting to observe about your postings is that you’re very much a defender of Christianity. And I’m uncertain why that religion gets so much face-time on a site dedicated to Wicca. I get the impression that you’re trying to send a message to Christians of, “Hey Wiccans aren’t all haters of your religion. See I defended you here.” It’s just…kinda weird

Christian Wicca; or, Forcing Square Pegs into Round Holes

This article was originally written for my Wicca website, currently undergoing updates. To my knowledge,  there is a single book and website written by a Christian Wiccan. That website has changed multiple times, rendering my original footnotes useless.  As of May 25, 2014, the website’s domain is expired, leaving nothing at all to be referenced.  This is why most quotes here have no source notations. There is also an article about it at ReligiousTolerance.org, which lists my original article on

Wars of Non-Religion; or, Religion is Not the Root of All Evil

The Great Miseries of War

I cross paths with fair amount of people very angry and jaded about religion, not merely non-religious but actively hostile toward it.  One of the very common arguments is if we’d get rid of religion we’d get rid of excuses to go to war. I’m calling anthropological bullshit. War is a product of civilization.  In cities, you have thousands of people from which to draw.  Pre-civilization cultures have far fewer people.  To lose a soldier is to lose a valuable

When History Goes Bad: Perverting Religious History

Fragment of Scripture

Studying both history and religion, I cross paths with a fair number of people angry and jaded about both specific religions and religion in general, and they support their position with history.  Rather than simply being non-religious, these individuals are actively against it, calling it manipulative, fraudulent, and/or violent. Sometimes specific examples get conflated into tremendous generalized accusations.  Other times, the information is just wrong. Christianity, being the majority religion in the U.S., bears the brunt of ill-informed objections. It’s

Love, Marriage, and the First Amendment

Tweasure Your Wuv: Princess Bride Clergyman

People are passing the following meme around thinking that it is arguing for the legalization of same-sex marriages. It’s not, although I’m confident Rev. Joe Hoffman would also like that to happen. The law in question, part of Amendment One, makes it a crime to perform a marriage ceremony for a couple who doesn’t have a marriage license. North Carolina does not issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, although ceremonies can be performed for people who have such licenses from

It’s Eostre Time Again, or a Parade of Logical Fallacies

19th Century illustration of Eostre

Back when I worked for About.com, I made a blog post debunking some of the common myths about Easter’s connection with pagan beliefs.  It gained, by far, the most comments of any post, and every year the post must show up in search engines, because I always got a new crop of complaints around this time of the year. After a couple of years, one commenter asked If I regretted writing the post, which I don’t.  I did regret continuing

A Religion of Ignorance, also Geocentricism is Apparently Still a Thing

abecedarians

This explains an awful lot about certain members of deeply conservative religious right who tout such winning ideas as: Creation science Women not being able to get pregnant by legitimate rape (Rep. Todd Akin) Windmills using up non-renewable wind resources (Rep. Joe Barton) Carbon dioxide not being a harmful substance (Rep. Michelle Bachmann) Geocentric universe Seriously, geocentricism.  Galileo Was Wrong is an entire website devoted to it, written by a man who “obtained a Ph.D. in religious studies from the

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