Author Archives: Valerie Tarico

About Valerie Tarico

Seattle psychologist and writer. Author - Trusting Doubt and Deas and Other Imaginings. Founder - www.WisdomCommons.org.

The Bible Story and Ancient Sexual Script Behind the Handmaid’s Tale

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At the heart of Hulu’s new series lies an ancient story about two slave women. If The Handmaid’s Tale offers any sign, Margaret Atwood has read more of her Bible than many Christians. Superficially, Atwood’s dystopian novel is littered with biblical names … Continue reading

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Fabricating Jesus — An Interview with Former Minister David Chumney

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How the gospel stories in the New Testament came to be. David Chumney spent almost three decades as an ordained Presbyterian minister before quietly exiting the ministry and Christianity itself. He now describes himself as agnostic, but his exodus from … Continue reading

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Can Bacteria Help Us Understand Religion? Part 4: Religion – Symbiote or Parasite?

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Missed Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3?   Given that our world is plagued by religious conflict and cruelties, some antitheists have suggested that religion as a whole is a form of pathology. But as worried and angry as we … Continue reading

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Can Bacteria Help Us Understand Religion? Part 3: The Human Mind as a Host for Contagious Ideas

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Missed Part 1 or Part 2? I like to think that I am the master of my thoughts—that I generate and control them and that they serve my own purposes. But that is only one way to look at things. It … Continue reading

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Can Bacteria Help Us Understand Religion? Part 2: Why We Pass on False Ideas

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Missed Part 1?  Click here. When my brother David was three, he learned how to pee standing up. He was so excited, that the next time he saw sister Kathy, age twenty, heading for the bathroom, he ran after her … Continue reading

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Can Bacteria Help Us Understand Religion? Part 1: The Brain-Changing Power of Religious Belief

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To progress toward a better future, humanity desperately needs a better understanding of religion. Maybe microbes can help. Religion is one of the most powerful forces in human society. Before the rise of America’s Christian Right and before Islamists turned … Continue reading

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Evidence About Jesus is Weaker than You Might Think

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Most people would be shocked to learn how little is actually known about Jesus. Note: This story was co-authored with David Fitzgerald, author of “Jesus: Mything in Action.” Before the European Enlightenment, virtually all New Testament experts assumed that handed-down … Continue reading

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