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Pastor Goes Ballistic At Church

Below is the video clip from unapologetic pastor, Jim Standridge (from a church in Oklahoma). In short, he starts yelling at a church member for falling asleep, and then turns on several other members as well. It's easy to use someone like Standridge as a model for how the Church as a whole behaves. It fits into our cultural beliefs that the church is outdated, judgmental, and, in many respects, irrelevant. None of this is true - although there are folks … [Read more...]

Are All Religions The Same?

As I often do, I find quotes posted on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, that state some fact, idea, or wisdom. At first glance they come off as profound. However, a little prodding and they often fall apart. The following quote comes from the Dalai Lama (a Buddhist). Before I pick on him, I should note that he's won the Nobel Peace Prize. I agree with his message, in may ways, but the naivete, is often surprising. He says, “All major religious … [Read more...]

Preaching Atheism

Have you ever noticed how some folks get upset when religious icons or ideas are in the public view? It's along the lines of people getting upset about the ten commandments in front of a court house. It's an issue that is growing. I once saw a shop foreman tell a Latino auto mechanic to take down his religious memorabilia that adorned his tool box. People don't like religion thrown in their face. But what are these folks that are so upset preaching? What's … [Read more...]

Reflecting God

I was having a great discussion with some friends about true freedom. Freedom is a word we Americans love. But it's one we don't understand, but we think we do - which is a dangerous combination. We think because we have opportunities, money, technologies, and enlightened thinking that we're calling the shots. The reality is much different. In a very real sense, many of us are slaves. We unquestionably follow the teachings of our culture about … [Read more...]

Can Meditation Stop Violence?

There's a quote from the Dalai Lama that struck me as rather odd. It's about meditation and ridding the world of violence. Here's the quote: "If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation." It's a nice sentiment, but is it true? There are lots of questions that instantly arise. What is meditation? Can it really be taught - if so, by whom and to whom? What if the kid doesn't … [Read more...]

Who Owns Jesus?

I've seen and heard some statements about Jesus lately that struck me as rather odd. Some were relating to how Christians have stolen Jesus and twisted his words and teachings - this is certainly true in some cases. As well, many try to create their own Jesus. That is, they like his teachings on love and compassion, but the sin, Satan, and King Jesus stuff is all nonsense. It's a designer Jesus if you will. So who owns Jesus? Who is the authoritative … [Read more...]

Sowing Seeds

As many of you know, Joe and Dayna Martin were on Wife Swap recently. The show was incredible for so many reasons, but I want to highlight one scene that was particularly moving.  As Dayna began to witness how her new "husband," Andrade, rather cruelly treated his kids, she was obviously disturbed. She sat down with him, exposing some shocking truths. They were not well-received. In a bold yet compassionate face-to-face discussion, Dayna highlighted how … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Joe

My friends Dayna and Joe Martin were one of the families on a recent episode of ABC's Wife Swap. It was a fantastic show with one of the highest ratings in recent years. In typical Wife Swap fashion, the families were polar opposites. The Martins are freedom-loving, joy-filled unschoolers. The Avery-Lamb's are strict disciplinarians with a heavy emphasis on control, regiment, and education. As expected, there were some heated interchanges, especially … [Read more...]

Hitchens Bashing Religion

I came across a clip from Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011) responding to a question from an audience member. The video, below, is entitled, Hitchens delivers one of his best hammer blows to cocky audience member. Hitchens, very gracefully, offered to field any questions if anyone felt they were not fully answered during a talk he gave. Hitchens, admirably, was also open to any direct challenges. A question was raised that was loaded with … [Read more...]

The Great Sage

I know some really cool people. In getting to know them, I always look to discover what drives them - what motivates them - what foundation they operate from. For example, for me, I stumble after Jesus. But others follow Buddhism, Hinduism, atheism, and other philosophies and belief systems. I learn so much about my own faith and framework from these amazing people. During a recent discussion with my permaculturist friend, there was a profound moment where … [Read more...]