(The following was originally posted on The Good Death Society Blog.) I was touched that Lamar recommended me as his successor, and I am deeply grateful for his efforts to make the blog an important part of Final Exit Network. I can only hope to meet Lamar’s editorial standards. It was suggested that my first … More Picking Up the Torch
When it comes to charitable acts, it’s not always enough to personally help those in need, so we enlist the aid of others. If I come upon someone with serious injuries, I could give emergency first aid, but then I would most likely call for medical professionals. The same could be said for any service … More Two Reasons Government-Funded Charity Is Immoral
I’m continually perplexed by Christians who fear death. If heaven is so wonderful, shouldn’t we welcome the opportunity to go there as soon as possible? A funeral is often called a celebration of life, but for a Christian with a strong faith should it not actually be a celebration of death? Fear of death typically … More Why Do Christians Fear Death?
In a 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center, 23% of Americans said they have no religious affiliation, up from 16% in 2007. Fewer than 40% of Americans report attending church on a weekly basis, but that number is probably inflated according to church leaders, who say fewer than 20% of members are in church … More Church, State, and Compassion
I didn’t know much about lotus plants when I started learning meditation. I knew they were deeply symbolic to Buddhists, but I didn’t really know why. One day, my meditation teacher — a Buddhist monk from Thailand — shared with me the three main stages of development in the life of a lotus plant. It … More Which Lotus Are You?
My mother’s second husband died last month. Walter Bahr had been a member of the family for 32 years, having married my mom five years after my dad died. Walt was diagnosed with dementia ten years ago (they said he’d probably had it for at least two years by then) and placed in the Memory Care … More Dementia and Self-Awareness
I routinely ask my hospice patients whether they are afraid of either death or the dying process. There is usually no fear of death, but there is often fear of suffering, of being a burden, or of the loss of autonomy and dignity. Hospice staff can provide some pain relief and ease the burden on … More A Chaplain’s View of the Right to Die
A few years ago I had a phone conversation with a former business colleague who was having difficulty believing that I had left my consulting career and enrolled in seminary. He said I was “too rational to believe in God.” I asked about the God he doesn’t believe in, and he described the stereotypical old … More Spiritual Atheism
I was teaching English as a Second Language in 2001 when the movie Pearl Harbor was released. Three of the students in my class were Japanese men. One of these men had a relative who was involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor. All three of these men had family members who died when the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and … More Pearl Harbor