Spirituality for Skeptics.

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a spiritual atheist. Like “God,” the word “spirituality,” is a conveniently ambiguous term. That said, it’s not so vague as to be totally meaningless. I think it captures an area of concern better than any other term out there. I especially like Wikipedia’s definition: Spirituality can refer to … [Read more…]

MoF Podcast – Episode 001: Interview with Brecken Chinn Swartz

After a long hiatus, I’m starting the podcast back up. There are a few changes, however: I’m abandoning the “Atheist’s Prayer” title, and rebooting this as simply the “Mind on Fire podcast.” The content will range widely, but will include stories I’ve written, interviews and conversations, and fun audio projects like the First of May … [Read more…]

OMG, go watch Kings, now.

It’s got it all: atheism, spirituality, god, scifi, and good music!! Hulu’s got the first four eps up right now (and it doesn’t keep them forever), so go catch up. It’s too smart and too well written to stay on the air for long. It’s the story of Kings David and Saul transposed into a … [Read more…]

Sexual Identity & Faith: Growing Up Gay in a Christian Family

This is another lecture that was put on at my school, this time by the ACLU, in response to Prop 8. The California Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments about the Constitutionality of Prop 8 a week from tomorrow. In preparation for that, the local ACLU chapter invited to gay people who grew up in … [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…]

Dualism: Revisited

While reading chandelle’s recent post and the comments that followed, I had occasion to think about my dualism, which I’ve discussed at length before. Many of the comments discuss the “spectrum of sexuality”, how there may be some people who are completely heterosexual or completely homosexual, but that most people likely fall somewhere in between … [Read more…]

You have to be like, insane holy.

This comic by Kate Beaton perfectly captures the resignation I often feel towards work, simplicity/consumerism, and ascetic spirituality.  Following the link gets you to a long page of unlinked comics–find in page for “Hiked to Italy” for the complete comic.

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…]

More Fun Quotes for MoF

I’ve been collecting emails since the success of the last Fun Quotes post. Without further ado: A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes. -James Kern Feibleman, philosopher and psychiatrist (1904-1987) This is definitely something I’ve believed in for awhile. It’s just nice to hear someone with authority say it (in … [Read more…]