In the first post, the question was raised whether a better future can be imagined out of the dire situation we find ourselves in. At the present moment we rely on science to answer our deepest questions. But science isn't the only way to ask who we are and what we want from life.
Apologists for religion might argue that people are becoming more anxious and depressed because they no longer rely upon religion as a source of emotional security. Yet, this explanation is almost certainly wrong.
This corporate triage is what lies behind the arrogance of the 1 percent in their treatment of the 99 percent. The result of this triage is societal unrest, instability and an inevitable increase in violence, poverty, disease and war.
The priest walked past the prostitutes every day. He had no choice. But he confessed he never spoke with the women, studiously avoided eye contact and did his best to never acknowledge their existence.
The holiday season can be a little uncomfortable for me. People always wish me a merry Christmas, and then I'm not sure what to say back, since I don't celebrate it. Usually I just say, "Merry Christmas!"
We had the most Christian of all reasons not to celebrate the holiday: a faction of Evangelicals took to heart the fact that Christmas was designed to merge a new religion with worship of the birthday of Nimrod, possible builder of Babel and grandson of Ham.
My youngest son was entranced by his buddy's Christmas Village and helped "redecorate" it with tanks and soldiers -- now part of their Christmas tradition. "The price of peace is eternal vigilance," his father laughed. All this makes me profoundly uncomfortable.
For most, Santa was the closest to magic they ever got, and their memories are filled with an incomparable delight. It didn't seem to be about the presents or the vindication of good behavior, but the irreplaceable presentation of wonder.
The fact that 35 percent of all American giving went to religious organizations in 2010 reflects how closely bound many of us are with our place of worship. The power of this personal interaction cannot be underestimated.
Folks, there's no "War on Christmas." Just ask those of us who don't celebrate the holiday. It isn't easy for those of us who never get caroled and who don't decorate trees with ornaments we collect over the years.
Dharma Academy of North America scholars attempt to view the Indic religions on their own traditional terms, not just through the methods and categories of Western scholarship. It is now the largest additional symposium at AAR.
The sun is still at the center of all our winter religious holidays: Hanukkah, Christmas, the Keltic Druid festival of the stars, the Katchina night dances in the Hopi pueblo. So maybe we should start deliberately worshiping the sun again.