Tagged: religion

The New Devil’s Dictionary (Abridged)

With apologies (and mad props) to Ambrose Bierce, we offer a few selections from our upcoming blockbuster The New Devil’s Dictionary: Tellin’ it Like it Is, Ya’ll!  We invite expressions of gratitude, outrage, derision, glee, dismay, and insight to be entered as comments below, or sent to via registered and insured mail to the executors...

A Prayer on Easter Sunday

As Thomas Jefferson did in the 1700s, let us set aside the Bible’s confounding melange of mythic mysticism, foggy mumbo-jumbo and confusing contradictions. Instead, let us concentrate on the principles that a dangerous Jew from ancient Nazareth was willing to die for. Let us behave less like the charlatans who organize their businesses around lost...

The God Enigma

With the help of advanced telescopic technology, astronomers are now able to see into the past more deeply than ever before. What they’re finding, according to the capsule reports in the newspaper, is a universe that is larger and more crowded with Earth-like objects than previously understood. If you believe in old-fashioned notions like mathematics,...

The Immorality of Discouraging Contraception

You may have noticed that people like to have sex, including countless youngsters whose testosterone levels dramatically exceed their intelligence. Everybody’s conception of permissible activity varies somewhat, based on controlling factors that most of us don’t bother to examine. But whether or not you approve of pre-marital sex, or marital sex, or post-marital sex, whether...

Tough Questions

Is it worth keeping millions of Americans employed in an industry that produces products which harm our country? Would those laborers be better utilized making something that’s good for society? Or is it simply more important to provide jobs — to maintain jobs — no matter how pointless and unhelpful they are?  Other than the...

Joy and Its Absence

On a hot Saturday night in the provinces, two handsome young lovers made their nuptial vows at a Christian church in front of family and friends, as is the custom. But at this wedding, unlike every other I’ve attended, the preacher harangued and scolded and pretended to cry, careful, it seemed, to inject the proceedings...

Getting it Wrong on Prop 8

This weekend, a number of dear friends, some straight, some gay, will be picketing in front of Los Angeles City Hall, venting their anger at an empty building. The protesters are furious about the passage of Proposition 8, which amends the California Constitution to permit holy matrimony solely between a man and a woman. Prop...

The Internet: A Safe Haven for Cowards

A beloved 1990s Peter Steiner New Yorker cartoon now adorning countless refrigerators depicts a cute canine seated in front of a computer terminal, where he says, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.”  As we’ve learned in the ensuing decades, on the Internet no one knows if you’re a man, woman, adult, child, Nigerian con...

The Stigma of Prostitution

The fall of the (former) Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, was a glorious windfall for comedians, political pundits, and connoisseurs of schadenfreude. But lost amid the jeering laughter (and disappointed tears), the competing tendentious agendas, and the grave scholastic commentary was an opportunity for us to collectively ask: what’s wrong with us?  Perhaps we...

He Doesn’t Believe In What We Believe In

Among the usual detritus that makes its way into my inbox, an email I got recently made the come-ons for penny stocks, penis enlarging pills and Nigerian lottery windfalls seem downright benign.   I was forwarded a missive featuring an authentic photo of Barack Obama standing in front of an American flag with his hands...