Aside from being the name of a Mars rover, curiosity is a key value in forming and maintaining cross-cutting friendships. These relationships are important to maintain social peace in a diverse community and to build the character of both ourselves and others. But increasingly they seem more elusive than ever.
Often the Bible presents us with a quid pro quo: worship God, and your life will be good; reject him, and you will suffer. This flies in the face of the idea that God is love, that he “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous… Continue reading Plausible Deniability
Overheard: “It’s not organized religion, it’s how people interpret it.”
From Canadian news, “Republicans face backlash for speaking out against Trump ahead of impeachment trial.” This report made me realize something about cults. Something I’ve been struggling with ever since I was shunned from my old religious community. You see, we didn’t have an explicit shunning policy. But I was shunned anyhow. I was shunned… Continue reading Shunning
Seen today… “Help America pray the rosary.” Why would I do that? I’m not that OCD. This is a good example of religious tribalism and the subtle bigotry that goes along with it. Some of us really don’t care about the rosary, and that’s okay. How about we help America to discover the rituals that… Continue reading Help America Pray the Rosary?
There’s a church near Worcester that I end up driving by frequently on the way to lunch. On the lawn outside sits a prominent sign in modern blues and greens: “Life Source.” The logo consists of a Latin cross, coupled with a symbol indicating three bars of Wifi available. Across the bottom is the church’s… Continue reading Spiritual Gaslighting on Display
It never ceases to amaze me how clueless and profoundly misguided are the comments of religious believers about their deeply held religious beliefs. I understand the forces at work and the processes that they go through in order to get to their desired conclusions. (That, in fact, is the core of the problem. They have… Continue reading Maintaining Contact with an Abusive God
A friend wrote to me (used with permission): “Evangelicals are so full of themselves. They think they’re the only people that are really happy.” Yes. This is exactly what I remember from my years as an evangelical. When they encounter others who are happy, this disconfirms their belief that you have to “have Jesus in… Continue reading How Fundies Isolate Themselves from Others
In the movie Good Will Hunting, there’s this one scene where Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) says to Will Hunting (Matt Damon), “It’s not your fault.” If you haven’t seen the film, Will was abused as a kid. As children, we internalized the bad things that happen to us at the hands of our caregivers. When… Continue reading It’s Not Your Fault
The lyrics of this song came to mind today. I wrote this in 1997, when I was a member of a Christian rock band. Even today, I think the music I wrote for this song is some of my best compositional work ever. It starts in 7/8 time, has a measure of 6/4, and switches… Continue reading Trapped in God’s Cage