Choices in Faith

Loopy Religion

A variation of something I used to say in religion classes I taught:  choosing a religion is like wandering down the cereal aisle in a grocery store.  Packaging is important.  Ingredients are important.  Choices are important.  Unfortunately, for many, there is only One Choice.

{something organic with a banana and tea sounds good to me}

When Facts Violate Your Faith and Freedom

freedomtochoose

Anti-abortion “pregnancy centers” in California are stomping their feet because a federal judge says they have to. . .hold your breath. . .follow the law and. . .keep holding. . .present patients with facts about available contraception and abortion services (Huff).

Facts can really get in the way of Faith sometimes, can’t they?

Freedom just isn’t what it used to be. . .I guess.

Back when “freedom” meant protecting the freedoms of others too.

But then, faith and freedom have a troubled relationship.

Thank Good for Living Beyond God(s)

gods

A colleague in the Religious Naturalist Association uses this quote on his website:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison (SCM, London 1971, p. 360)

God as a working hypothesis in morals, politics, or science, has been surmounted and abolished, and the same thing has happened in philosophy and religion (Feuerbach!). For the sake of intellectual honesty, that working hypothesis should be dropped, or as far as possible eliminated. . . . Honesty demands that we recognise that we must live in the world as if there were no God. And this is just what we do recognise – before God! God himself drives us to this realisation. – God makes us know that we must live as men who can get along without Him. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us (Mark 15:34)! We stand continually in the presence of God who makes us live in the world without the God-hypothesis.

Bonhoeffer was BIG in seminary days.  Now I remember why.  And I am reminded how and why we have left even Bonhoeffer’s God behind.  We continue to move out, beyond, and truly live in a world where there is no real or hypothetical deity.

Take a deep breath of fresh air.  Ahh.  It’s good out here, beyond, isn’t it?

Seasons of Nature

In this “Holiday” Season, I hope we can often turn to the natural world around and in us, to enjoy and celebrate the Seasons of Nature–the daily beauty of our little home spinning in space.

For me, one season is not more “blessed” or “holy” than any other.  Each and all have their beauty, lessons, challenges and joys.

With faith or faithless, may we each be grateful to Goodness for the natural gifts throughout the year.

Pope Kiss

Baby Pope

Ahhhhh-ummmm-hmmmm

baby’s tumor is apparently shrinking.  Great.  The parents say it’s because of prayer and a kiss from the Pope when he was poping through America.

Well, this begs, really begs, the question:

Why doesn’t the Pope just kiss every sick child’s head?

Just KISS everyone!

Seriously, why doesn’t he kiss everyone’s head in the world, or at least send out an Army of Kissing Priests bearing his papal lips, to kiss every sick person on the planet?

Wouldn’t that be something!

Just for a second, can you imagine. . .

can you imagine how many would be healed. . .

and how many wouldn’t?

I suppose that’s why he doesn’t kiss everyone.

Do you suppose?

(Babies work in mysterious ways. . .)

Where are the Christians Going?

Bye, bye

Bye, bye

It appears there’s a decline in the number of Christians in America.

Horror!  Outrage!  Whine-Time!

Of course, “true Christians” are quick to point out that. . .well, that THEY are the true Christians and all those others who SAY they are believers are not REALLY believers.  Same old, same old.

Here’s one takeaway from the Pew survey and the article. . .

IF over 70%–SEVENTY PERCENT–of Americans identify as Christian, this may answer some questions like:

Why does America have such a high rate of INCARCERATION, still have the DEATH PENALTY, have more NUKES and GUNS than anywhere else, seems to love a GOOD WAR every few years, wants to close the golden doors of our borders to “ILLEGALS,” has huge numbers of HOMELESS people in every city, treats the ENVIRONMENT like a massive toilet, still has a huge problem with RACISM, SEXISM and HOMOPHOBIA and fights so hard to stop UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE?

I wonder if we could see any connection here?

At least we could ask:  Where are those “true Christians”?


I find THIS fascinating bit from the PEW research:

Over all, the religiously unaffiliated number 56 million and represent 23 percent of adults, up from 36 million and 16 percent in 2007, Pew estimates. Nearly half of the growth was from atheists and agnostics, whose tallies nearly doubled to 7 percent of adults. The remainder of the unaffiliated, those who describe themselves as having “no particular religion,” were less likely to say that religion was an important part of their lives than eight years ago.

The ranks of the unaffiliated have been bolstered by former Christians. Nearly a quarter of people who were raised as Christian have left the group, and ex-Christians now represent 19 percent of adults.

So, though WE ARE OUTNUMBERED, maybe those of us who have LEFT FAITH, are being challenged to TAKE MORE LEADERSHIP to CHANGE things, since it’s clear the MAJORITY is FAILING.

HEY, here’s one possible GENIUS IDEA:  We wait for the CHURCHES to EMPTY and then WE march in and take over the buildings to ACTUALLY DO something to make our communities better, safer and more SANE!