How Not to Despair
There is much to despair about—the planet heating up, inundating cities and island nations; humans continuing to aggravate climate change; unprecedented income disparities; nuclear threat; military arms races; forced global migration; corrupt political leaders . . .

I struggle to avoid crippling worry and contempt for some American voters. After the impeachment of Trump, 49 percent approve of his job performance as president.
It floors me.

Did they not pay attention to evidence of his guilt? Or don’t they care that the president of the U.S. tells a foreign power to meddle in our election?

You see, I waste time trying to figure out the minds of voters. I wonder: Why don’t people care about his lies? His sexual assaults? His verbal assaults on desperate asylum seekers, on all people of color, all critics of himself?
Don’t voters care about corruption in his administration? Its withdrawing of protections for consumers, for clean water and air, for stude…

In Memory Of

. . . my high school and college classmate, Hazel Ehrnreiter Howes. Her husband Ron tells the story.

When Hazel was diagnosed with cancer this past Spring, all plans for travel were put away, we moved into the family lake cabin, making those 40 mile one-way trips to see the doctors. Tests and more tests, radiation treatments, a trip to the Mayo Clinic, where three doctors told us thyroid cancer was normally slow-moving, but this one was especially aggressive.

When a CAT-Scan revealed a new mass that wasn't seen in the one taken just a month earlier, Hazel was hospitalized and radiation treatments were to begin again. It was at that point that common sense stepped in, with the medical team admitting they couldn't get ahead of this one, recommending Hazel be transported back to our cabin by ambulance.  
A hospital bed was set-up in the living room with a good view of the lake, and nurses came in to help us attempt to keep her comfortable. I asked the doctor, "how long", a…

Non-Sexist Talk

All women are created equal. One small step for woman; one giant step for womankind. 
Can men include themselves in these statements?  I challenge them to try.

Women are expected to include themselves in the following and not complain.
All men are created equal. One small step for man; one giant step for mankind.
In a StarTribune article analyzing the New York Times “1619 Project,” Katherine Kersten wrote,
Man’s seemingly boundless capacity for inhumanity to his fellow man  is one of history’s indelible lessons. It’s typical male-centered language using “man” to mean “also women.” For centuries women have been expected to swallow this without minding it. I mind it. So I revised it:

Humanity’s seemingly boundless capacity for inhumanity to fellow humans  is one of history’s indelible lessons.
I’m pleased that the StarTribune published my letter with this revision. It has published my other feminist letters.
Sexist backlash almost did in the word “feminist,” which simply means in favor…

Two Popes

With my son and daughter, I watched "The Two Popes" on Christmas Eve, depicting fictional conversations between Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. The film accurately depicts the debate between right and left in the Catholic Church. In a PBS Newshour interview, the director voices my bias by saying he began thinking of Benedict (played by Anthony Hopkins) as the bad guy, but when working through the project he could see the grey areas.

Although the two never had those conversations, "The Two Popes" accurately presents right and left positions. It is also historical in showing Francis' conversion as a result of his experience when Argentina's military waged a "Dirty War" against the Catholic Church. We see that guilt and suffering have the power to enlighten. 

Listen to me

I will be on “Voices of the Sacred Feminine,” an online radio program by Karen Tate on the day after Christmas, December 26, at 11:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Central, 2:00 Eastern time.  
My topic will be "The Goddess in the Bible." Follow the link and do it five minutes early in case you have to sign in.  The Bible is suffused with feminine God imagery, but redactors and translators have made Her hard to recognize.

Pagan Christians
They fasted, they made sacrifice, they sang hymns, they recited litanies, they walked in processions, they initiated people with water, kissed the altar, bore sacred vessels with ritual solemnity, communed with their god by partaking of a sacred meal, and they had a professional priesthood. They were Pagans.

 “Pagan” originally meant rural or rustic—in Latin paganus. It carried no negative feeling at all. Christianity was born in the Roman Empire, which accounts for Latin being the language of the Catholic Mass. People outside of cities in the Roman Empire—Pagans—clung to their old religions longer than city people, who were more easily swept into the new Jesus Movement. The rival Christians gave Pagans a bad name.

After Jesus was crucified, his followers, profoundly affected by the spiritual master, kept his memory alive. Thus, the Jesus Movement rose and spread. It could be expected that the emerging religion would borrow ways of worshiping from re…

Quantum Physics on Prayer 2

In my previous post I quoted this by physicists Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner:
Quantum mechanics challenges [commonsense] intuitions by having (conscious) observation actually create the physical reality observed. These physicists don’t shy away from the shocking implications of quantum science—that’s what I love about Quantum Enigma. After the statement above they write:
This idea is so hard to accept that some soften it by saying that observation appears to create the observed reality. Most physicists . . . today decline to sidestep the enigma with semantics and rather face up to what Nature seems to be telling us . . . Years ago, when I first read what happens in quantum experiments, I immediately drew spiritual implications from it. Since then I’ve read multiple experts—physicists and spiritual masters—who support my conclusions.
Rosenblum and Kuttner refuse to affirm spiritual lessons—they stick to physics—but for me it’s impossible to avoid spiritual implications because cons…