Readers fight back.

Killing the Buddha

(Dear God’s elect,)

A nice piece of spam arrived in the KtB mailbox this morning. No doubt in the future such snippets will be treated as wonderful artifacts, pieces of folk art whose implicit tragedy and quixotic hope cry out from beneath a greedy fiction. (Dear God’s elect,) I am touched by God to hand you over this…

Killing the Buddha

Catholics: Get Out and Stay Out

Howard of W. Bloomfield, MI, writes, with regard to Mary Valle’s “The Cock Crows“: Mary dismisses Rice saying: “she’s out of Catholicism and I’m in and out every day. And aren’t all Catholics in and out?” No. Some of us got out and stayed out. I was a Catholic until I decided I didn’t think…

Killing the Buddha

Organized Religion Is Corrupt!

In regard to Mary Valle’s essay “The Cock Crows,” Darrell from California writes: I am not Catholic and I am a Jew who has been in and now out of organized religion. Organized religion with its financial needs for buildings and paid professionals, its rationalizations for history and present conduct, and the people in it…

Killing the Buddha

Death: A View from the Moon

This enchanting letter comes from Graham Jones in the UK (or the moon), just in time to help spread the word about Friday’s death event at New York’s Rubin Museum: Looking back from the moon, it’s easy to see the little humans always getting stuck. I was a human once but I seem to have…

Killing the Buddha

A Pier into the Brain

Vladimir Lipovetsky M.D. from Los Angeles writes in about Robert Jensen’s “The Struggle for the (Possible) Soul of David Eagleman“: The trouble with many articles that explore applications and limitations of neuroscience through the prism of the neuroscientist is that they come up against the same limitations over and over again for dozens of years.…

Killing the Buddha

Tea Party: a Nation of Islam for White People?

Jenean McBrearty offers a response to JoAnn Wypijewski’s “Outside a Tea Party“: While in graduate school in the 1980s, I was often alone in empty halls after undergrads had left. One day I saw suited young black men along a stairwell, and heard doings upstairs. It was a meeting of The Nation of Islam. Being…

Killing the Buddha

Pagan Retention Rates

Deborah Lipp from New York writes in about Eric Scott’s recent essay, “Lughnasadh“: I can’t thank you enough for this. As one of those Pagan parents who dragged The Kid to rituals and Pagan festivals, I am moved to near tears by how our children grow. Today my son is a young man who has…

Killing the Buddha

Cancer, Reality, and Mania

Paul R. Mazur, MD, MPH, from Northport, Maine, writes in with a letter about Mary Valle’s weekend essay about cancer-ward poetry, “Doggerel Fails Me“: Courageous bit of writing by Mary Valle. Cancers, and a good many other chronic diseases, of necessity bring one up against awesome realities. I admire those who give access to the…

Killing the Buddha

Varieties of Atheism

Garrett Baer’s interview with Stephen Prothero, “Vive la Différence,”


In Defense of Tears

In a letter responding to Alexander Zaitchik’s “Brother Beck Presents,” Jenean McBrearty offers a defense of Glenn Beck’s tear dots: While some, mostly elites, frown on public displays of emotion except in the service of “social justice” and charity—how many tears did we see displayed by those seeking money for Katrina, Haiti, Mid-east civilians killed…

Dennis Hopper

In Honor of Hopper

Yesterday arrived this somewhat inexplicable letter of loose threads, which somehow, in its entirety, seems like the best tribute to Dennis Hopper, who died last week, that we could offer. From: Nancy Langenwalter Location: Location of purchase cialis online what? Wichita Kansas Subject: About “Hallejuha ” This has been an interesting morning for me after…

Killing the Buddha

Master Mikal

A wonderful note came in from Kansas City yesterday: The story “Hrafspa” by Eric Scott moved me to tears.  Master Mikal was friend for many, many years.  This is the kind of memorial of which he would he approve.  The fact that Aldhiem found himself questioning the legend of Master Mikal that he’d created for…

Killing the Buddha

Should KtB Be “Killing the Jesus” Instead?

Mr. or Ms. “Anonymous” from Brooklyn wrote in today with a comment that goes very much to the heart of what we do and strive for: Having subscribed to your blog for the past few months, I’ve always been curious why the magazine has the title that it does.  At first, I thought that the…

Killing the Buddha

An Irrational, Fundamentalist Boob?

Kevin Hill, of Ada, Ohio wrote in about Jeff’s “Clouds, When Determined by Context”: It is interesting to see Senator Ralph Flanders mentioned in Jeff Sharlet’s article as if he were some kind of irrational, fundamentalist boob.  In fact, Flanders was a complicated, contradictory figure.  While a conservative and a fundamentalist, Flanders is most famous…

Killing the Buddha

Inspiring Sanity

Letters still coming in about Stephen Prothero’s piece Why I Am Not A Mystic. This from Kevin in Colorado: Stephen Prothero’s reflections “Why I’m not a Mystic” are beautiful. Thanks to him and to KTB for sharing them. And from Martin Olson ( martin-olson.com) Odd coincidence. I’ve lived in a place like that.  I know…

Killing the Buddha

“Non-believing” Pastor Really Believes

“Rick,” one of the pseudonymous “non-believing” pastors discussed in D click here aniel Silliman’s “Faithful Apostasy,” wrote in to cheer Dan on for his fierce response to the original report by Dan Dennett and Linda LaScola: Thank you Dan for saying better what I’ve been working on for awhile as a response to Dan Dennett,…

Killing the Buddha

What Does the Rain Mean?

Lesmee Bridgeman wrote to us with a question we have no idea how to answer: If it often rains when you are with a certain person, is it a good or bad omen? Any of y’all experts in nonsense want to take a crack at an answer in the comments below?

Killing the Buddha

Here’s to You, Fred

Joseph Arechavala of Camden, NJ, makes a point about the ethics of drawing attention to Fred Phelps’ madness, as Josh Garrett-Davis did in his recent piece in KtB. It’s fairly obvious, even to a layman like me, that Mr. Phelps has a serious mental illness. I believe he will switch eventually from verbally violent tirades…