Fiction, Reality, and Minimal Counterintuitiveness: The Truth of Festivus

In my recent piece on Santa, belief, and the violation of “slow epistemology” in traditional religion, I briefly discussed how, in his work De Carne Christi or On the Flesh of Christ, third-century CE Christian Church Father Tertullian sought to defend the Bible against claims mounted by Greek philosophers of his day that it propagated [...]

The politics of pee on the 4th of July

This fourth of July, 2017, found my little nuclear family back for the third consecutive year in Arlington, Texas, for what is billed as the largest fourth of July parade in the state and one of the largest in the nation. As luck and a morning spent at home sipping on more than three large [...]

Not Today, Santa: I Have Seen the Father of Lies, and He is Us

“You sit on a throne of lies.” —Buddy the “Elf” It being the Christmas season and all, this past Friday Family Movie Night found my little nuclear family all huddled in obeisance before the flat-screened iconostasis, watching the 2003 Will Ferrell flick Elf.  Part of what makes the movie so brilliant to me is its [...]

Free Your Mind

A little known fact from my former Mormon days is that I had a calling in two separate wards across two different states as a Gospel Principles teacher. For those of you “gentiles” who know little about the Latter-Day Saint (LDS) faith, a calling is a job or duty assigned to you by a priesthood [...]

You Don’t “Lose” Virginity, You Gain Experience…and Pleasure, if done right

A good long while ago, I read author Peggy Orenstein’s wonderful book Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape all about the weird hangups and pathologies surrounding female sexuality from which we suffer signally in this country. An important moment in the book for me came when the author was discussing the concept of [...]

The Abundant Nonsense of Liberal Moral Scarcity

I’ve written about this subject before, but I want to revisit it here for the sake of this month of posts on the theme of abundance. I especially wanted to publish this post today, as people are once again taking to the polls to vote in Midterm elections.  Moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt is famous for [...]

Abundance and Ownership: Competing Claims on the Complicated Life of Words and Symbols

The Most Abundant Night of the Year Halloween is a time of such natural abundance. I launch into fits of ecstasy seeing the faces of trick or treaters as I greet them at the door; scare them a little by acting all subtle and creepy one moment and then letting rip a booming, sinister “Happy [...]

Brahma Kumaris: The Relatively New BK Religious Movement Peddling the Same Old BS Religious Mindfucks, a Personal Reflection

On a bright summer Sunday morning a few months ago, the First Baptists of the Texas suburb where I make my home streamed into three different parking lots flanking their soaring modernist Church. Off-duty cops directing traffic stopped us for a white-haired, white-skinned couple to cross the street from overflow parking in the high school [...]