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Varanasi Priests Show The Power Of Religion

Let us speak of the power of faith.

This week, in the city of Varanasi, India, two Hindu priests met on the street and got into an argument about who had the most followers. They soon started yelling at each other. Then, one of them pulled out a gun and shot the other one dead, […]

Gadhimai Challenge: Which Pictures Are From The Ritual Slaughter?

This last weekend saw the Gadhimai festival in southern Nepal, an annual Hindu event that involves the ritual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals.

Many people express outrage that such an event can take place… and then go off to a chicken BBQ, or a fish fry, or to cook themselves a nice […]

Hindus Threaten Violence Over Image Of Krishna With Coca-Cola

Because I see Hindus threatening to kill anyone who shows this picture, I am deciding to join in the blasphemy, and to amplify it. If a Hindu activist group succeeds in pressuring the web host of the mythological discussion group to remove the blasphemous image, I want the image to survive, in defiance of the censorship. […]

The Created Creator And The Illusion Of Our Battles

I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in the reality of gods, literally or metaphorically. Nonetheless, I find religions interesting in the way that they play with ideas, and am interested exploring the ideas that the gods proposed by religious groups represent.

My starting point in these explorations is the understanding that not all gods are […]

Should American Religious Groups Censor Outsiders Who Blaspheme?

September 30 is International Blasphemy Rights Day, an unholy day on which people celebrate the legal right to defy religious leaders’ attempts to restrict speech and artistic expression. I’m tempted to design a set of bedsheets carrying the images of Ganesh, Mohammed, and Jesus to mark the occasion. […]

Event In India Makes Pamplona Bull Runners Look Like Wimps

Whereas the participants in Pamplona are seeking to create a display of their physical and mental toughness, the people participating in the bull ritual in Ujjain are seeking forgiveness through submission. Instead of running away from the bulls, they wait for them. […]

The Fractured Story Of The Cracked Pot

One explanation is that, in spite of all their talk about accepting many sources of religious wisdom, Unitarian Universalists really are only comfortable dealing with Christian religious language. Another explanation is that the story of the Cracked Pot is not really an ancient folktale, but something more like an urban legend. […]

Yoga Brings Serenity, Mindfulness, Hypocrisy, Tax Evasion

Ramdev’s yoga cures homosexuality and treats AIDS, but some people may experience moral hypocrisy and tax evasion as a side effect. […]

What Happened When I Took The Three Minute Chakra Test

If only my chakras were not so weak and closed, I might try harder to give Carol Tuttle an opportunity to become my teacher. It appears that I will be staying in Samsara for a while longer, folks. […]

Are You Willing To Be A Devotee Of Kumare?

Though he concocted the doctrines and ritual practices of Kumare, Vikram Gandhi began to experience the benefits of them, feeling an increased sense of serenity and happiness… as long as he wasn’t thinking about the fact that he was lying to the people who looked to him for guidance, people with whom he was building relationships of apparent trust. […]

What Do You Need A Meditating Frog For?

Pier1 stores across the United States are selling mass-produced statues of frogs, cats, and turtles that appear to be meditating, holding postures typically associated with Hindu or Buddhist sages. Who would buy one of these statues? Where would they put the statue, and for what purpose?