Tag: Religion in America

Practical Zen: An Approach to Secular Ethics

[This is a talk more or less as I gave it at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture on October 23, 2016. It is based on a chapter in Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and

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The Latter-Day Dimwits of Televised Religion

E.J. Dionne recently wrote, Over the past several decades, those who view religion with respect regularly come back to the same question: What has happened to the religious intellectuals, the thinkers taken seriously by nonbelievers as well as believers? You

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Western Buddhism and Cultural Appropriation

Brad Warner reports getting this email from somebody: “No please white American dude tell me again what Buddhism is. He knows white Buddhism, he’s culturally appropriation, he makes money off defining a culture that does not belong to him –

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What’s With the War on Christmas?

The Christmas television commercials preceded Halloween this year, and I see some of my neighbors have their Christmas decorations up already. Yes, folks, the annual War on Christmas season has begun. At Patheos, Zen teacher and Unitarian Universalist minister James

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“Religious Violence” Isn’t Just Religious

I recommend Sean McElwee’s article at Salon, “What we really talk about when we talk about religion.” Citing the recent Harris-Maher-Affleck “debate” on the culpability of Islam in violence, McElwee writes, At the core of this debate is the extent

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The Christian Right’s Pitiful Rearguard Action

The cause du jour among some conservative Christians is maintaining their sacred entitlement to discriminate against people of unauthorized sexual orientation — LGBT — in public matters. And if they aren’t allowed to discriminate as they please, they honestly believe

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Have Some Fries With the McJesus

Victoria Osteen, co-pastor with her husband Joel of the massive Lakewood Church of Houston, is catching flack for something she recently said that was posted on YouTube. Here’s the juicy bit: When we obey God, we’re not doing it for

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Amazon Reviews!

Just announcing that my book is up to seven customer reviews at Amazon, three five-star and four four-star, which gives me, um, 4 and 1/3 stars, or something. I’m not good with numbers. Fortunately it’s not a math book. Please

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Religion Doesn’t Need Miracles

I recently read an online discussion of the intersection of science and religion. The discussion very quickly turned to talk of miracles and proposed that religion and science would be reconciled when science either acknowledges miracles or somehow verifies the

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Flaws and Zen Teachers

The death of Joshu Sasaki Roshi at the age of 107 was noted in several major U.S. newspapers, but I haven’t heard much about it in the U.S. Zen community, possibly because many would like to forget him entirely. James

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