Category Archives: spirituality

Must we have a god? The Beeb says yes

I guess I’ve known for a while about the BBC’s softness on religion, seen most obviously in its daily moment of faith (I can’t remember the name of that segment or find it on the Internet, but I’ve heard it many times), and the fact that the moment of faith never includes any secularists. (I […]

Templeton-funded study shows that avoiding spiritual struggles worsens mental health

A new paper by Carmen Oemig Dworsky et al. in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (reference below; only abstract available though I’ve got the whole paper) deals with the effects of spiritual struggle and its avoidance on people’s mental health. It’s a long read, but in short the authors surveyed 307 people (recruited from […]

“Spirituality”

A question I’m often asked is this: “What do you think about ‘spirituality’?” My response is this: the term is so elastic that it can stretch to cover everything from traditional religious belief to simple awe before the beauty of landscapes, music, or great art. Since the word has been so often co-opted—most notoriously by the Rice University […]

What is the “profound mystery of existence”?

Once again, while doing my early-morning grocery shopping, I listened to Krista Tippett’s “On Being” show on National Public Radio. If you ask why I listen to a show I dislike so much (Tippett, whose words are what cotton candy would sound like if it could speak, has never met a brand of religion or “spirituality” she doesn’t […]

Krista Tippett annoys me again

The one disadvantage of shopping very early on Saturday morning is that, if I’m unlucky enough to be driving after 7 a.m., I’ll have to listen to Krista Tippett’s “On Being” show on National Public Radio. The show was formerly called “On Faith,” but, probably realizing that the religious overtones might cost her listeners, Tippett changed the name. […]

Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Elaine Ecklund

This weeks Jesus and Mo strip raises the burning question: Has the Templeton Foundation paid off Moses?

If cotton candy could talk. . .

. . . .it would sound like Krista Tippett. If you’re in the UK, you’ll know cotton candy as “candy floss”, which, like Tippett’s weekly radio show, is saccharine, fluffy and insubstantial.  Why does National Public Radio insist on broadcasting her show “On Being” (subtitle: “The Big Questions of Meaning”, earlier title: “Speaking of Faith”) just when […]

More nonsense at NPR about God

I am frankly amazed that National Public Radio (NPR) would publish this mushy reconception of religion, for it’s worse than that purveyed by apophatists like Karen Armstrong. In fact, Nancy Ellen Abrams, who is flogging her new book A God that Could Be Real: Sprirituality, Science, and the Future of our Planet, was given two mini-essays in […]

Faith-based healing kills kids: this time U.S. gets it right and Canadians screw up

One of the worst aspects of the science-vs.-religion conflict involves medicine, in particular the tendency of some groups to abjure scientific medicine in favor of either religiously-based healing or unsubstantiated methods of folk or spiritual healing that are also based on faith. It’s especially invidious when “faith healing” is given to children. In many parts of the U.S., […]

David Brooks and his weakness for the sacred

David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, is one of the less noxious conservatives on their staff (think of Ross Douthat, for instance). Although he was in favor of our invasion of Iraq, and supported John McCain, he’s also not nearly as anti-Obama as are other right-wing columnists.  I still think, however, […]