Mary in Catholicism: Close to my heart (Spark)

Two recent news stories impressed upon me the fact that I will always be some kind of Catholic. Even if it’s ex-Catholic. My first step in rejecting religion was exploring my own. This started as what I later knew to be feminist critique of Catholicism. The more I learned, the more it seemed clear to … [Read more…]

“Are you really an atheist?”

said the friend sitting next to me at Christmas Eve dinner, with a vague look of disgust on her face, like I’d just admitted to enjoying self-flagellation. I was in the company of a number of people who had escaped Western religion (all some form of Christianity) and landed firmly in Eastern religion (all some … [Read more…]

Spark: Does Religion Empower Women?

WaPo’s On Faith asks its panelists Does religion empower women? This is one of the few On Faiths that I’ll probably read each response to. I’m looking forward to the Christian/Catholic answer, which I’ve found generally centers around “having kids is empowering!!1!” There is some wonderful evidence for non-child-based empowerment which I’ve yet to hear … [Read more…]

a Jihad for Love

This is the trailer for a new movie, a Jihad for Love. I thought it was apropos given Prop 8’s drawing ever nearer. It is a story about the struggle of gay Muslims. I have added it to my Netflix queue, but if it comes out in the greater LA area, I’ll prolly get a … [Read more…]

I don’t want to F the Ineffable.

I did some bad things during my stint as a Mormon missionary in Japan.  I’d like to repent of one of them right now. Some of my Japanese friends confided deep, personal spiritual experiences with me.  In several cases I coopted their experiences for my own ends, and using my words, contorted them so that … [Read more…]

Atheist Mysticism

There is a place within atheism for mystical experience.  By this I mean those sublime moments in which we feel a deep awe and a sense of connection to humanity and the universe.  I’ve had a number of such instances throughout my life, and I treasure the lasting sense of inspiration, peace and sense of … [Read more…]

Duality: Chaos & Order

When I was in high school, if I wanted to do anything on a Sunday (missing church), I’d have to go to Saturday evening mass. Since the English Community only had one service a week, and since it was 50k away, I’d walk down to the local Catholic Church and sit in the way back (eventually it did occur to me that I didn’t have to go there, just be gone for the right general amount of time, but I still usually hung out around there). I found it much easier to tune out mass in German, so I often spent the hour or so thinking Deep Thoughts. One of the major Deep Thoughts was of chaos & order.

The Expected One

by Kathleen McGowan When walking through the airport last year sometime, I ran out of airplane activities (I’m somewhat limited these days) and found myself in an airport bookstore. Two books caught my eye: Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse and the Expected One, by Kathleen McGowan. Both appeared to be (in the little time I had … [Read more…]

Religious ethics for the 21st Century

The three major monotheistic religions all have holy books that date to a minimum of 1400 years ago. This makes the relevance of these supposed Divine rules somewhat suspect. A Jewish cartoon that I enjoy reading has an interesting take on Jewish bioethics, including links under the cartoon to discussions of same. Among some of … [Read more…]


Those few of you who have seen me online know that I have many “available” messages including “Heretic”, “Portable Pagan” (my other computer had me as simply “Pagan”), “Sacralicious”, “2nd person of the Divine Trinity”, and the above, among others less incendiary. I had this particular one up and a friend of mine, who is … [Read more…]