The Demise of Institutional Religion

In case you haven't noticed, institutional religion is on a ventilator and not expected to survive. The reason is very simple, though many experts would make it very complicated because you can't write a book with only a few sentences. It doesn't matter what religion we are talking about, all religion began with a charismatic…

Why Didn’t God…?

As someone who has been in the religion and spirituality biz for a long time now (cue the old guy jokes), I can tell you that the most frequently asked question in religion is some version of the title to this post. Why didn't God ______________? You can fill in the blank with anything you…

A Conspiracy Network for Jesus

Remember this guy? Back in the glory days of televangelism he was simultaneously most successful, most derided, and most criminal of the lot - and there was a lot of competition for that title. In a crude distortion of the Jesus story these con artists claimed to be hawking, was eventually betrayed by colleagues in…

How Do I Justify My Presence?

I came across a very interesting thread on Facebook over the weekend, and really feel compelled to respond to it in a longer form than is possible in a Facebook discussion. Here is the product! To paraphrase the question raised, "how does a transgender man preaching in conservative Indiana justify his presence in the pulpit…

Did You Ever Wonder?

Did you ever wonder why some religious folks just can't seem to take a step away from some of the most repugnant beliefs of their otherwise quite lovely and compassionate faith? Mind you, I don't have an answer to my own question, I was hoping you might. Recently I was listening to an audio book…

Spiritual Hierarchies

One of the very just criticisms of institutional religion is that it has become profoundly hierarchical, and hierarchies become self-serving, top heavy, and potentially corrupt. Human nature being what it is, we tend to run headlong to the other end of the spectrum in search of an answer. In Protestant Christianity this resulted in the…

Nobody’s is Bigger

I am coming to see that no one religion can possibly hope to do an adequate job capturing God. Those that believe they can have washed God in some very hot water, indeed, and then thrown God in the dryer on the highest heat setting. How hot is that? That's hot enough to turn the…

Much ado about nothing

The truth is that the divisions we create between Spiritual and political perspectives are most often a way to pump up our own egos and little more. We imagine there is some qualitative difference between a Buddhist and a Christian and theologians on both sides make a very tidy living perpetuating that misperception, but mystics…

Too much?

Is it too much to ask that for just a moment we might be honest about fundamentalism? No matter the tradition, fundamentalism is heresy and an aberration that has nothing to do with the tradition from which it deviated and devolved. In short, fundamentalist Islam is not Islam. Fundamentalist Buddhism is not Buddhist, fundamentalist Judaism…