Robert Spitzer

gay priesthood

The Priesthood of the Transgendered

There was always something Disneyesque about the 1980s preachers of the prosperity gospel. Of course there was no corpus on their cross, but that sacrilege had been achieved by earlier versions of Protestantism. What was really galling about the perpetually smiling televangelists was their soft-lens obliteration of the cross, which had at least remained a [...]

Summer Books for a Billionaire

When Bill Gates announced his 2016 summer reading list, geeks rejoiced. As in previous years, it’s a stack of books full of a lot of long words and sentences. No James Patterson or Stephen King for him; certainly no Austen or Dickens. To his credit, there is a novel, a sci-fi one that does look [...]

Well-Being vs. Well-Feeling: On Defining True Happiness

In the twenty years since the publication of Deal Hudson’s marvelous book Happiness and the Limits of Satisfaction, the eclipse of Greek and Christian ideas about happiness by the pursuit of pleasure, of “well-feeling” rather than “well-being,” has only advanced. This movement has been deepened and accelerated by my colleagues in the social and behavioral [...]

The Bob Spitzer I Knew

When I opened the newspaper a couple of days after Christmas, I was surprised by a familiar face in the obituaries section: psychiatrist Robert Spitzer. The name brought back a flood of bittersweet personal memories. I had learned something about human nature from Bob Spitzer, and also about politics as they play out behind the [...]

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