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Black Lamb


Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.


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Archive for December, 2012

December 2012 in Black Lamb

Volume 10, Number 12 — December 2012

December 1st, 2012

The All-Religion Issue

In this All-Religion Issue, Ed Goldberg searches in vain for The true religion. Terry Ross says that in his experience, religion has been too often divisive. In Leaving the Lake Van Ferry, Lorentz Lossius and a Muslim friend discuss God and Allah.

Elizabeth Fournier swears by praying to saints and calls herself a Cafeteria Catholic. In My god’s bigger than your god, Toby Tompkins finds little to admire in organized religion. John M. Daniel, who grew up in an atheist home, now has faith in what he calls The miracle of being. In Christianity & art, Owen Alexander looks at the causal relationship between belief and creativity.

We honor two new Honorary Black Lambs, writers Walter Abish and Irene Handl, on their natal days. In A girl’s best friend, bridge columnist Trixie Barkis poses two defensive puzzles. Our delicious Black Lamb Recipe is for Lemongrass Lamb with Minted Orange Sauce. Millicent Marshall again answers readers’ burning questions. And Prof. Avram Khan proffers another of his challenging word puzzles.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Religion Issue, Month summaries | Link to this Entry

The true religion

December 1st, 2012


This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.
— John Adams

I write about religion a lot, so I may be plowing some old ground here. Religion permeates every corner of our world, its politics, its laws, its culture, its personal relationships.
Allegedly a force for good, for comfort, for strength, it is more often a tool of oppression, repression, rancor, and avarice. It is historically in league with the tyrant, an excuse for torture and mass murder, for control of one over another.

The golden rule exists in some form in the religions I know something about, and is honored more in the breach than in the observance. The priest, or what you may call him, too often loses sight of the distance between himself and the deity he serves. Sadly, the ministry to the flock becomes camouflage for unspeakable acts, from larceny to child abuse, more and more in our time. Or are we just more willing to expose it these days?

Among Christians, the rock on which Jesus founded his church is gravel, in pieces. There are some big ones, like the Catholic Church, and some whose entire membership can fit into a storefront on a side street in a small town.

Ecumenism, the idea that the Christian shards should be more united, can’t work. The Interfaith movement, attempting the same unity among all religions, is a delusion, a feel-good will o’ the wisp.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Religion Issue, Goldberg | Link to this Entry


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