Rethinking tradition

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When an employee at my place of work has a birthday, he or she is treated to a cake. It’s a nice gesture. We’ll sing “Happy Birthday,” a few of us will have a slice of cake and then we’ll get back to business. The cake gets put in the fridge with only 2 or […]

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The Coffee-House of Surat [Fiction]

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In the town of Surat, in India, was a coffee-house where many travellers and foreigners from all parts of the world met and conversed. One day a learned Persian theologian visited this coffee-house. He was a man who had spent his life studying the nature of the Deity, and reading and writing books upon the […]

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Please don’t eat at the restaurant I work for

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I work in the kitchen at a very successful chain restaurant. I spent my shift this morning coughing and hacking. I’m pretty sure I have bronchitis. I blew my nose probably a dozen times. Of course I washed my hands and put gloves on before returning to work, but stray germs are inevitable. During a […]

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Monk Mix Playlist #1: Christmas isn’t just for Christians

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It’s that time of year, ladies and gentlemen. Stop being a dick and get into the mood. You hate the commercialism, you hate the obligatory gift-giving, and you hate the greed; but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some really good Christmas music.

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A war on Christmas? Penn Jillette says no.

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In the video below, the normally obnoxious Penn Jillette thoughtfully argues against the supposed “war on Christmas” and asks christians why they go to such great lengths to exclude people from the holiday.

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Big list of sin!

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sin (noun) – an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible Generally speaking, sin is a relative term that really has no meaning. If there is a god, I’m willing to bet he feels the same. A set list of dos and don’ts with […]

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“New Atheism” for kids

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“The faith in God around our globe Is just bad magic, just a joke Rabbis, priests and muftis, too Are “naked apes” like me and you Only, they see floating ghosts And wear quite funny caps and clothes” The excerpt above is from a German children’s book called Wo bitte geht’s zu Gott?, fragte das […]

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My last cigarette ever

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Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times. -Mark Twain I’ve just smoked my last cigarette…ever. I say this with complete sincerity, but those who know me laugh at this declaration. Like Mark Twain, I’ve had countless “last cigarettes” over the past few years. […]

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Hanukkah candles: Always light from left to right

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A few years ago, the kids and I decided to celebrate Hanukkah for the first time. We thought it would be fun. We’re not Jewish, but then again we’re not necessarily Christian and we celebrate Christmas. Each of the 8 nights of the Festival of Lights we progressively lit the Hanukkah candles one at a […]

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Varanasi, India: where Hindus go to die

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Editor’s note: This is part one in a series of articles featuring the world’s sacred sites. Hinduism’s holiest city, Varanasi draws a million pilgrims each year. Their mission is to pray, to wash away their sins in the Mother Ganges River, and to die. The Mother Ganges is considered an actual deity in the Hindu […]

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Which is the better story? A review of “Life of Pi”

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*Potential spoilers contained herein. “Your uncle told me that you have a story that will make me believe in God?” asks the writer to a middle-aged Piscine (Pi, for short) during the opening moments of “Life of Pi.” Damn, that’s a lofty and incredibly futile setup for a film! I’m all ears. Ang Lee’s new […]

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In His Glorious Face [Poem]

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The following poem is by Caitlin R. Once upon a time I was a little girl. Very little. Five. It was a Sunday night. We were at Church. That’s were it usually happens. At Church. Even at a young age. I don’t remember much. The sermon, the people, the songs. All I remember is when […]

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The heathen in our midst

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The following is a guest post from Nicole Franklin. Some people are quick to ridicule faithful religious adherents. But me? I envy them. I envy the ability to believe that there is something out there just for you – a plan or a specific place. It’s comforting aspect cannot be overstated. The mental peace that […]

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Taming the monkey

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I spend a lot of time thinking about self improvement. Most thoughtful people do. Currently on my short-term agenda is: taking better care of my body (quitting smoking, eating better) making my newly adopted vegan lifestyle work without going crazy and wasting away being more friendly and less judgmental to friends and strangers disciplining myself […]

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Zen master pets [Booklist]

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Guardians of Being Eckhart Tolle & Patrick McDonnell New World Library (2009) Dogs and cats have a divine purpose. Part of that purpose is to help us humans realize the joy of living in the present moment. At least that is the take-home message of Guardians of Being, a book collaboration by spiritual guru Eckhart […]

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No, not those Ten Commandments

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To billions around the globe, the Ten Commandments are a fundamental set of rules to base ones moral and religious lives. To many others, outside of the Judea-Christian tradition, the set of guidelines is problematic or simply unnecessary. Like the Golden Rule and the Seven Deadly Sins, several other versions of the Ten Commandments exist. […]

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