Sam Smith - The decline of morality in America - typified these days by Trumpism - actually has a variety of sources including corporatism, the media and educational systems that teach success but increasingly ignore moral issues. The Ethics Sage lists some of the problems: "Mass shootings, racial hatred, social injustice, incivility, fraud, and White … Continue reading How about a new religion?
Sam Smith – News that Harvard has selected an atheist as its lead chaplain brought real joy to my life because I have long considered myself an existentialist – including not opposing the good causes of religion but rather its general tendency to put faith ahead of them. Harvard’s Greg Epstein described it well in … Continue reading Putting the good before God
Sam Smith,2005 - One of the thing that happened in recent election was that the Republicans' false faith trumped the Democrats' lousy works. Since the former used imagination for evidence while the latter relied on TV news, the odds inevitably favored the former. But both sides were lying. After all, what sort of moral values considers … Continue reading False faith and lousy works
Sam Smith Last Sunday I laid aside my Seventh Day Agnostic status to perform as a navipascua – one who goes to church mainly on Christmas and Easter. I did this to share the holiday with my wife but also because I believe that one’s intellectual evaluations should not interfere excessively with cultural traditions. When … Continue reading Confessions of a Seventh Day Agnostic
Sam Smith I’m a Seventh Day Agnostic and, as such, I don’t give a shit about what you believe, only what you do about it. The Quakers have a nicer way of expressing it. For example, one of their meetings explains it this way: “Friends are people of strong religious views, but they are quite … Continue reading The righteous role of church basements
Sam Smith – The gay marriage case before the Supreme Court is not really about gay marriage as much as it is about something that isn’t being talked about much: freedom of religion. The Constitution calls upon the government to make no law "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". … Continue reading The real issue behind gay marriage
Sam Smith I suppose it’s none of my business, but if you had as many Catholic roommates and friends as I did as a young guy, it sort of wears off on you. And one of the things you pick up is that it’s alright to talk about it. So I can tell you that … Continue reading Pope Francis got his saints half right
Sam Smith The Catholic Church, like the United States, is a vast territory in which good and evil live comfortably and both claim possession. But just as neither Ted Cruz nor Bernie Sanders sufficiently defines America, so does neither the church’s discrimination against women nor its liberation theology. Such conflicts make many uncomfortable especially in … Continue reading At last, a cool Pope
Sam Smith All my life I’ve covered politicians who lie. In different ways. Richard Nixon looked like he was lying when he said “Good morning.” Joe McCarthy lied to destroy people. George Bush lied to invade Iraq. Bill Clinton lied when his back was against the wall. Barack Obama lies like a Harvard lawyer. In … Continue reading Romney: From lying for the Lord to lying for the presidency
Sam Smith There is no doubt that on the matter of birth control - not to mention the status of women and gays - the Catholic hierarchy behaves like a bunch of mean jerks. One of the beauties of America, however, is the right to be a jerk as long as you don't interfere with … Continue reading The right to be jerks
Sam Smith Historians of the future – provided their trade still exists – will find our era fascinating. Free of the burden of having to live through it, they will examine carefully what happened during the Great Economic Recession and the Great Cultural Depression and pronounce precisely how these events either insured America’s collapse or … Continue reading What time is it?
Sam Smith Recently, by a vote of 396-9, about the most ungodly yet still legal institution in America – The US House of Representatives – reaffirmed that our national motto is “In God We Trust.” For a bunch of blasphemous GOP apostates to be leading such a cause is both deceptive and absurd – almost … Continue reading In God gabble we trust
Sam Smith The clearest indication that we have not adequately separated religion and state is that we are not supposed to talk about the former during a political campaign. This allows the two to become surreptitiously blended and for us, during what is supposed to be a secular activity, to support or oppose issues whose … Continue reading The censorship of religion’s real role in politics
Sam Smith Several Republican candidates claim that they each got a call from God to run for president. If true, then God is no more reliable an ally than Barack Obama. Of course, these candidates may be deluded or they may be lying. It wouldn’t be the first time. People like this have a long … Continue reading Where the hell did all the good Christians go?
SAM SMITH, 1986 The Lord is my mentor; I shall want it all. He feedeth me in world-class restaurants and leadeth me beside the sparkling mineral waters. He restoreth my house and bringeth me in the path of good access. Yea, though I jog through the valley of the shadow of high rises I shall … Continue reading Psalm of the Fast Lane