Religious Trends

Belief Is Choice

I surf a lot of sites and listen in on a lot of discussion threads about what people choose and choose not to believe.  What is interesting is that both sides deny they are making a choice about what to believe.  Dogmatism swings both ways, and many loud voices on […]

Do You Believe In Magic?

In the not too distant past I sat listening to a United Methodist clergyperson talk about the gifts of the Spirit — a topic in which I have great interest and long involvement.  I truly believe that we are imbued with gifts that transcend mere ability or interest.  These gifts enable […]

The Warp on Christmas

I have been following this year’s edition of the so-called “war on Christmas” with a mix of amusement and incredulity.  Apart from Fox news and a few conservative-fundamentalist TV stations, I’m not hearing too much about it, but what I do hear and see boggles the imagination.  My favorite this […]

Dirty Stat Lover

An email I received today asked a question I am frequently asked, “How could someone who distrusts and dislikes statistics as much as you do have been a researcher for over a decade?”  The short answer to this is that it’s not that I don’t like statistics — I LOVE them, […]

Running Church

Stephen King wrote a novella entitled, The Running Man, about a brutal futuristic society where game shows and public executions were combined to produce the ultimate reality show.  Prisoners were given the opportunity to try to escape death — on national TV — by facing unexpected and unimaginable challenges.  The […]

Compatibullying

The United Methodist Judicial Council has adjudicated the “homosexuality question” for the denomination by deeming the Baltimore-Washington attempt to reframe and redeem the gay-lesbian-bi-transgender issue “out-of-order.”  The claim is that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.  Okay, fine, I accept that — but only if we’re consistent.  The ordination of […]

New and Improved Dark Ages

Flipping through TV channels, I paused on a sincere, yet bizarre religious show where in a matter of moments I heard that the devil is working on perverting our children, that there is absolutely no scientific evidence in support of evolution, that all homosexuals are atheists out to destroy the […]