Holy Shit

What to do when your religion shits all over others? If your Amish, apparently, nothing. In 2014 the city of Auburn, KY passed an ordinance expanding a law requiring the removal of dog waste in public places to include horse manure as well. Turns out forcing their horses to wear diapers violates the Amish religion, […]

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Would the messiah say something new?

Rabbi Michael Gotlieb wrote an op-ed piece in the WSJ entitled “Why This Rabbi Loves Christmas” (http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-this-rabbi-loves-christmas-1482450895). In the essay he writes: “[I]f the messiah were to appear, or reappear, what would he say that hasn’t already been said? I assure you that there would be nothing new, no surprises.” Really? How sad. I think […]

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Hope or Salvation

In December 2009, after accusing Unitarian Universalists in Cambridge, MA of “spiritual piracy and cultural elitism” over their humanist rewriting of Silent Night, Garrison Keillor turned his ire on the Jews: And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year. Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of […]

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True or Fact?

Today’s New York Times contains a conversation between Nicholas Kristof and Rev. Timothy Keller. Ego maniac that I am, I imagined myself in the midst of their conversation. Please read the original and see what you think for yourself: nyti.ms/2hfqjlP  Kristoff: Is the Virgin Birth essential to Christianity? Keller: A religion can’t be whatever we desire it […]

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The Conversation We Should Be Having

I recently participated in a conversation with liberal clergy from three of the four Abrahamic faiths. Baha’i was not represented because, as I was told privately, it would upset the imam and preclude his participation in the conversation. [So much for being liberal.] The question before us was how we go about reconciling the liberal […]

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Leonard Cohen’s Torah

Leonard Cohen’s just released You Want It Darker should be the Torah we read this Rosh HaShanah. Here are some preliminary thoughts on the song’s lyrics. (To listen to the song: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-leonard-cohens-hypnotic-new-song-you-want-it-darker-w441274). If you are the dealer/ I’m out of the game. Gods die when believers outgrow them: the Mad God who saturates the earth in […]

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“The World is at War”

No doubt you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted to this blog in a long time. I’ve been ill. Some unnamed virus has muddled my brain and kept me asleep most of the day for almost two months. I have cancelled all travel for the summer, and have had to renegotiate my book contracts to accommodate […]

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There is no such thing as Islam

The refusal to use the term “Muslim extremist” or “Islamic terrorism,” is stupid, and the insistence that extremism and terror are intrinsic to Islam is no less so. To claim, for example, that jihadism is a distortion of Islam is to assume there is an “Islam” to distort. There isn’t. There’s no such thing as […]

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