Why is Mark Oppenheimer Mocking Religion in the Beliefs Column of the Times?

We hope we are wrong but it seems like Mark Oppenheimer in the Beliefs column of the Times decided to mock the American Academy of Religion’s annual conference. Instead of picking up on the mainstreams of what transpires at the meeting, he goes after a guy name Jeffrey Kripal who wants the paranormal, including claims of psychics and UFO nuts to be treated as equals to claims of religious experiences of the major faiths of the world.

The claim is bizarre and it shows a deliberate disregard of the canons of humanistic learning and social scientific research -- both of which easily differentiate the core beliefs of the major faiths from the idiosyncrasies of nutty psychics and UFO chasing publicity seekers.

What blows our mind is that the editors at the Times would allow this pointless palaver to be printed, thus devaluing all the serious work that takes place in the meetings of the American Academy of Religion. For shame.
The Burning Bush They’ll Buy, but Not ESP or Alien Abduction


Practically anything goes at the American Academy of Religion’s annual conference, where scholars of dozens of religions convene annually to debate, relate and on occasion mate. Conversation ranges from the Talmud to tantra, from Platonism to Satanism. This year, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 in Atlanta, nearly 5,000 people attended panels including “Seeking New Meanings of God and Dao” and “Madness, Smallpox, and Death in Tibet.” ...more...

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