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Recent new/updated essays.
Why this web site is different.
Planned future essays.
Why so many essays on sexual topics?

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new symbolThe following essays were created or updated during the past 12 months:

  • 2019:

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Why this web site is different.

Essays planned for the near future.

Why does this web site have so many essays on sexual & gender minorities?

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Sponsored link:

 

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2019-October's selection

'book cover

""The Limits of Tolerance: Enlightenment Values and Religious Fanaticism" by Denis Lacorne and C. Jon Delogu

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $19.24 in Kindle format! or
$35.00 in hardcover plus postage.

Amazon book reviews:

  • "I simply don‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~t know a book on toleration that compares to this one. Denis Lacorne has managed to weave together both an intellectual history of ideas about toleration and a wide-ranging international survey of policies related to it. Theory and practice come together in a very illuminating way and will expand the American reader‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~s horizon beyond our borders." (Mark Lilla, author of The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)

  • "Living in a religiously tolerant society, Americans no longer understand what the challenge of achieving religious toleration originally meant: learning to coexist with beliefs and practices that one detested. Denis Lacorne begins this critical survey by recalling the great Enlightenment voices for toleration: Locke, Voltaire, and the American founders. But he then examines modern European and American disputes to demonstrate why the struggle for toleration and free exercise remains so problematic ‚~ez_euro~~ez_bull~ a fight that never quite ends but that we grasp much better after reading Lacorne's crisp and incisive chapters." (Jack N. Rakove, author of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution)

  • "A timely, erudite, and insightful book that sheds light on issues concerning whether and when contemporary democracies should restrict the practices and beliefs of nonmainstream religious and political groups. It is the best book written on this subject to date." (Bruce Cain, author of Democracy More or Less: America‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~s Political Reform Quandary)

  • "He gives no pat answers, but an implicit lesson runs throughout. Defending toleration is not like protecting a jewel. It takes fixity of aim but also a feel for the changing context, persistence with a task that never ends and readiness to start again. Toleration does gradually spread. It can also suddenly vanish." (The Economist.

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This web site had 14 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays so far during 2019-SEP, including the above book review:

Proofs 15 to 25 that the Earth is not flat

Climate change

An article donated by Susan Humphreys: Should all religious beliefs be ~ez_ldquo~fully and regularly represented in our most important national conversations~ez_rdquo~?

Main menu: Abortion access: All sides of the issue

Worldwide student demonstration on global warming

Cosmology: Ancient & Modern Concepts

About the afterlife: Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Purgatory, Reincarnation, Extermination, Psychopomp ....

Abortion access: Developments during 2018 & 2019

Links-to-addiction-disability-mental-and-physical-health-info.htm

Proofs 26 to 36 of a Spherical Earth. Are Flat Earthers Creating a Hoax?

Part 27 of "Conflicts during President Trump's Administration" 2018-OCT to 2019-OCT

2007 to 2019:Religious affiliation by state. Decline of Christianity in the U.S.What people think of other faith groups

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

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2019-September's selection

'book cover

""The Limits of Tolerance: Enlightenment Values and Religious Fanaticism" by Denis Lacorne and C. Jon Delogu

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $19.24 in Kindle format! or
$35.00 in hardcover plus postage.

Amazon book reviews:

  • "I simply don‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~t know a book on toleration that compares to this one. Denis Lacorne has managed to weave together both an intellectual history of ideas about toleration and a wide-ranging international survey of policies related to it. Theory and practice come together in a very illuminating way and will expand the American reader‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~s horizon beyond our borders." (Mark Lilla, author of The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)

  • "Living in a religiously tolerant society, Americans no longer understand what the challenge of achieving religious toleration originally meant: learning to coexist with beliefs and practices that one detested. Denis Lacorne begins this critical survey by recalling the great Enlightenment voices for toleration: Locke, Voltaire, and the American founders. But he then examines modern European and American disputes to demonstrate why the struggle for toleration and free exercise remains so problematic ‚~ez_euro~~ez_bull~ a fight that never quite ends but that we grasp much better after reading Lacorne's crisp and incisive chapters." (Jack N. Rakove, author of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution)

  • "A timely, erudite, and insightful book that sheds light on issues concerning whether and when contemporary democracies should restrict the practices and beliefs of nonmainstream religious and political groups. It is the best book written on this subject to date." (Bruce Cain, author of Democracy More or Less: America‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~s Political Reform Quandary)

  • "He gives no pat answers, but an implicit lesson runs throughout. Defending toleration is not like protecting a jewel. It takes fixity of aim but also a feel for the changing context, persistence with a task that never ends and readiness to start again. Toleration does gradually spread. It can also suddenly vanish." (The Economist.

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This web site had 21 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays so far during 2019-SEP, including the above book review:

U.S. Methane emission limits to be relaxed, thus increasing global warming

What causes sexual orientation

"The End of the World" is predicted for some times in our future

"Books and other items about Buddhism"

Amount of Internet interest in a flat earth

Two essays donated by Susan Humphreys: More hate-motivated mass shootings and A Review of Chris Hedges book: ~ez_ldquo~I Don't Believe in Atheists~ez_rdquo~

Worldwide demonstration against global warming

Both the number and the rate of abortions drop in the U.S.

Biblical predictions of the end of the world, the "Rapture" and apocalypse

Landmark scientific report submitted to the UN Climate Action Summit

United Methodist Church is expected to split over unresolvable conflicts concerning sexual orientation

Surveys of people's satisfaction with their government's efforts to reduce global warming

President Trump delivers UN talk on religious freedom

Internet Resources About Emergency Preparedness

A witch memorial is proposed in Scotland

President Trump and 16 year-old Sweedish advocate for the climate exchanage barbs

"Mad Man Hughes" travels in his rocket, attempting to prove that the Earth is flat

Nearby stars discovered with Earth-like planets Tthat might support life!

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2019-August's selection

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"Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth," by Mark Hertsgaard

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $13.30 in Kindle format; $12.98 in hardcover, or $12.98 in paperback,
plus postage.

Amazon book review:

"A fresh take on climate change by a renowned journalist driven to protect his daughter, your kids, and the next generation who‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~ll inherit the problem.

For twenty years, Mark Hertsgaard has investigated global warming for outlets including the„~ez_euro~~ez_euro~New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair, and The Nation. But the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon thereafter, learned that climate change had already arrived -- a century earlier than forecast -- with impacts bound to worsen for decades to come. Hertsgaard's daughter Chiara, now five years old, is part of what he has dubbed "Generation Hot"-- the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption. ..."

"Hertsgaard provides 'pictures' of what is expected over the next fifty years: Chicago‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~s climate transformed to resemble Houston‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~s; dwindling water supplies and crop yields at home and abroad; the redesign of New York and other cities against mega-storms and sea-level rise. Above all, he shows who is taking wise, creative precautions. For in the end, HOT is a book about how we‚~ez_euro~~ez_trade~ll survive."

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This web site had 13 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays so far during 2019-AUG, including the above book review.

An article donated by Contributing Editor Susan Humphreys: "Trying to Understand Religion"

More about making the Internet a safe place for kids

2018-9: Gun Control laws in the U.S.

Same-sex marriage in American Samoa

Climate change, global warming, and other environmental concerns

Atheist symbols

World record June & July temperatures

2019-AUG: Trump Administration would facilitate religiously discrimination by federal contractors

Background material. Differentiating among Theists, Agnostics, and Atheists

When does human personhood begin?

The fate of the "Peace Cross" in Bladensburg, MD: Part 1 Part 2

Conservative federal leader makes committment on same-sex marriage and abortion access Atheists~ez_rdquo~

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2019-July's selection

book cover

"The Book of Forgiving" by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu


Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $1.53 in Kindle format!
19.33 in hardcover, or U.S. $13.59 in paperback,
plus postage.
Also available in Audiobook and Audio CD

Book review:

"Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, and Chair of South Africa~ez_rsquo~s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness -- helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation.

Tutu's role as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission taught him much about forgiveness. If you asked anyone what they thought was going to happen to South Africa after apartheid, almost universally it was predicted that the country would be devastated by a comprehensive bloodbath. Yet, instead of revenge and retribution, this new nation chose to tread the difficult path of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

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This web site had 26 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays so far during 2019-JUL, including the above book review.

A review by Contributing Editor Susan Humphrey of David Silverman's book: "Fighting God, An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World"

Predictions that "the end of the world" will come sometime between 2017 & 2019 inclusive

Missouri's last abortion clinic will be allowed to stay open until at least 2019-AUG-01

Canada's smallest province is getting smaller. Canadian Parliament declares a national climate emergency

Lawmakers flee Oregon. Topless German woman arrested. Three-day heatwave in Europe. Canada: Expert panel issues report

Glossary of religious and spiritual terms starting with the letters Aa to Am or An

Shootings, other violence, and bullying in American schools

An article by Contributing Editor Susan Humphreys: "Original Sin: The Most Destructive of Doctrines"

Climate Change update for 2019-MAY-JUL, Part 35.

2019: Northern Ireland Legislature takes first step towards marriage equality

Inerrancy: Is the Bible free of error? All points of view

Seeking world-class universal health care in the U.S.

Web sites discussing addiction, mental health, physical health, healing, disability, meditation, pregnancy, counseling, senior communities, etc. A link to an article on "Drowsy Driving" was added.

Web sites discussing addiction, mental health, physical health, etc. A link to an article on "Mental Health at University" was added.

Pre-marital sex practices: 2019: Conflict on the TV program: "The Batchelorette"

2018: Abortion access in Northern Ireland

Reparative therapy: News items from the media: 1998 to 2019

Proofs 15 to 22 that the Earth is not flat

Persecution of Christians

Same-sex marriage in Canada

2019: The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) takes a baby step on same-sex marriages

An article by Contributing Editor Susan Humphreys:

2019: Creation of a Federal U.S. Human Rights Advisory Panel

Introduction to racism in the U.S.

Religious opposition to the construction of the world's largest telescope on Hawaii's "Big Island."

The End Of The World, As We Know It

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2019-June's selection

book cover"What Would a Muslim Say: Conversations, Questions, and Answers About Islam," by Ahmed Lotfy Rashed

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $5.01 in Kindle format.
U.S. $10.95 plus postage in paperback format.

Author's book review:

"Why This Matters NOW

  • "Why do you Muslims pray five times a day?"
  • "What happens to people who do not believe in God?"
  • "Why are so many Muslims quoting their holy book in the name of violence?"
  • "What are the authoritative sources of knowledge in Islam?"
  • "Why do your clerics condemn Judaism and Christian traditions?"

These days, Islam is no stranger to controversy. There are many questions, fears, and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. I believe these books can answer questions, build bridges, and promote understanding.

Since 2009, I have facilitated interfaith dialogues with many different people. The conversations in these books are real. Some are curious, some are concerned, some are hostile, some are academic, and some are soul-searching. My hope is that this can be a small step towards better understanding and harmony."

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This web site had 45 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays during 2019-JUN, including the above book review.

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2019-May's selection

book cover "The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World" by Bart D. Ehrman.

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $10.15 in Kindle format.
15.53 in hardcover, or U.S. $17.00 in paperback,
plus postage.

Book reviews:

  • ~ez_ldquo~How did a small, provincial Jewish sect called Christianity convert the mighty pagan Roman Empire? Bart Ehrman answers this baffling question with the same wit, passion, and rigorous scholarship that have made him one of the most popular religion writers in the world today. The Triumph of Christianity is a marvelous book.~ez_rdquo~ 
    Reza Aslan, New York Times bestselling author of Zealot

  • ~ez_ldquo~The great appeal of Ehrman~ez_rsquo~s approach to Christian history has always been his steadfast humanizing impulse... Ehrman always thinks hard about history~ez_rsquo~s winners and losers without valorizing the losers or demonizing the winners~ez_hellip~ Reading about how an entire culture~ez_rsquo~s precepts and traditions can be overthrown without anyone being able to stop it may not be heartening at this particular historical moment. All the more reason to spend time in the company of such a humane, thoughtful and intelligent historian.~ez_rdquo~
    The New York Times Book Review

  • ~ez_ldquo~Drawing on a wealth of ancient sources and contemporary historical research, Bart Ehrman weaves complex questions into a vivid, nuanced, and enormously readable narrative.~ez_rdquo~
    Elaine Pagels, National Book Award-winning author of The Gnostic Gospels

  • ~ez_ldquo~Like a good college lecture class, [Ehrman~ez_rsquo~s] book offers both a wealth of historical information and, to make sense of it all, a few plausible theories ~ez_mdash~ including his own. He doesn~ez_rsquo~t tell us what to think. He gives us a lot to think about.~ez_rdquo~
    ~ez_mdash~ Newsday 

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This web site had 31 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays during 2019-MAY, including the above book review.

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2019-April's book selection

book cover "My Path Leads to Tibet: The Inspiring Story of HowOne Young Blind Woman Brought Hope to the Blind Children of Tibet" " by Joshua Tongol

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $2.89 in Kindle format, or U.S. $13.36 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

Defying everyone+s advice, armed only with her rudimentary knowledge of Chinese and Tibetan, Sabriye Tenberken set out to do something about the appalling condition of the Tibetan blind, who she learned had been abandoned by society and left to die. Traveling on horseback throughout the country, she sought them out, devised a Braille alphabet in Tibetan, equipped her charges with canes for the first time, and set up a school for the blind. Her efforts were crowned with such success that hundreds of young blind Tibetans, instilled with a newfound pride and an education, have now become self-supporting. A tale that will leave no reader unmoved, it demonstrates anew the power of the positive spirit to overcome the most daunting odds.

Review by Lylas G. Mogk, author of "Macular Degeneration: The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing Your Sight:"

"If you only read one book this year, read this one. Sabriye Tenberken's life is a light to all of us, and her story is its 'ray.' By turns courageously honest, genuinely heartwarming, and uniquely inspiring. She takes us on an extraordinary journey where we witness firsthand the miracles that can happen when one person is truly determined to make a difference. As an emerging leader in the fields of international public health and blind rehabilitation, Tenberken will be in the news for years to come. But it will always be this story that stays with us."

Sabriye Tenberken was a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and a 2006 Mother Theresa Award winner.

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New and updated essays during 2019-APR:

This web site had 47 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays during 2019-APR, including the above book review.

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2018-March's book selection

book cover"3 Theories of Eve, rything" by Ellis Potter

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $2.89 in Kindle format, or U.S. $13.36 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

"What is reality? What is the meaning of human life? Why do we suffer? In this simple volume, international lecturer Ellis Potter explores three major world views that propose radically different answers to these eternal questions. In clear and compelling language, Potter shows us that the three world views, and the unique hope that each offers to humanity, have profoundly different consequences for how we see everyday reality and the ultimate purpose of our lives.

This book is a concise, reader friendly look at 3 basic ways of seeing reality from the East and the West. It wrestles with the problem of suffering and finds solutions in each of the 3 points of view. It is respectful of each world view and engages the readers in some deep and hard-hitting questions about how they identify themselves and how they look at and understand the world. Reading, thinking about and perhaps discussing this book will bring the readers into a clearer focus of their own way of seeing reality.

3 Theories of Everything is based on lectures by the author and has a large section of questions and answers drawn from actual discussions."

This book received an average of 4.3 stars out of a maximum of 5 by Amazon customers.

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This web site had 40 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays during 2019-MAR, including the above book review.

In addition, we make major and minor updates to many essays each day that are not recorded above:

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2019-February's book selection:

book cover"The INTRAfaith Conversation: How Do Christians Talk Among Ourselves About INTERfaith Matters " by Susan M. Strouse (Author), Megan Rohrer (Editor)

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $7.47 in Kindle format, or U.S. $20.00 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

The Intrafaith Conversation: How Do Christians Talk Among Ourselves About Interfaith Matters? by Susan M. Strouse is a guide for individuals and faith communities to explore what it means to be a Christian in a multifaith world. The Rev. Dr. Susan M. Strouse is currently the pastor at First United Lutheran Church in San Francisco.

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This web site had 42 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays during 2019-FEB, including the above book review.

In addition, we make major and minor updates to many essays each day that are not recorded below:

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2019-January's book selection:

book cover "The History of the Devil: With 350 Illustrations" By Paul Carus.

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $9.71 in Kindle format, or U.S. $16.95 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

"A pioneer in the promotion of interfaith dialogue, Paul Carus (1852~ez_ndash~1919) was a highly regarded writer on philosophy and comparative religion and a major influence in introducing Buddhist and other Eastern ideas to the West. The History of the Devil is his magnum opus, exploring the evolution of the idea of evil and the concept of Satan from antiquity to modern times.

Carus follows the devil around the world, highlighting satanic manifestations in a fascinating variety of cultures and historic periods. In addition to examining the concepts of good and evil as religious and philosophical ideas, he discusses the particulars of demonology in ancient Egypt and Persia, in Hindu and Buddhist thought, in early Christianity, and throughout the Inquisition and Reformation. At once scholarly and intriguing, the text is enhanced by 350 rare and fascinating illustrations."

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This web site had 63 newly created, re-written, or significantly updated essays during 2019-JAN, including the above book review.

In addition, we make major and minor updates to many essays each day that are not recorded below:

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2018-December's selection:

book cover"Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior" By Bart D. Ehrman

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
U.S. $6.34 in Kindle format, or U.S. $11.48 plus postage in paperback.

Amazon.com book review:

Throughout much of human history, our most important stories were passed down orally including the stories about Jesus before they became written down in the Gospels. In this fascinating and deeply researched work, leading Bible scholar Bart D. Erhman investigates the role oral history has played in the New Testament and how the telling of these stories not only spread Jesus' message but helped shape it.

A master explainer of Christian history, texts, and traditions, Ehrman draws on a range of disciplines, including psychology and anthropology, to examine the role of memory in the creation of the Gospels. Explaining how oral tradition evolves based on the latest scientific research, he demonstrates how the act of telling and retelling impacts the story, the storyteller, and the listener -- crucial insights that challenge our typical historical understanding of the silent period between when Jesus lived and died and when his stories began to be written down.

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This web site had 50 newly created, re-written, or updated essays during 2018-DEC, including the above book review.
In addition, we make major and minor updates to many essays each day that are not recorded below: