God’s got this!

“God’s got this” – mostly heard when some concern has been expressed concerning someone’s health, a crisis, or unexpected negative event.  On the face of it, it sounds so religious and holy – “Relax, God’s got this.”

But is God really managing the situation?  What about when someone is burying a loved one for whom s/he prayed to be healed?  With bitter tears flowing down his/her cheek.  Does God really “have” it?  To believe that, one has to be willing to accept that God is responsible for the death.  Or what about the little dead child on the Mediterranean beach?  You can’t choose what God’s “got” when you pull out the God card. Continue reading →

Words Without Eyes

I’ve been thinking about the role that social media plays in our lives today, and especially how it insulates us from one another and even gives opportunity for the snarkiest, rudest, and most alienating words.  “Words Without Eyes” is a reference to the words we paste on FB posts, comments to a post, and Twitter posts that destroy the fabric of our democracy.  

Words Without Eyes
21 September 2018

Words without eyes
Easily written, disembodied
Sent with the press of a key
Weaponized and deadly

No gazing at the Other,
No asking, “What do you think?”
No sitting in stillness
No legs under the table of hospitality. Continue reading →

American Apocalypse

I heard for the first time in the early 80’s that American foreign policy was being influenced by the joint ideologies of religious fundamentalism and Evangelicalism.  It seemed far-fetched at the time, but the idea stayed around in my mind in the ensuing decades.

Whatever doubts might have been present were dispatched by Matthew Avery Sutton’s fine history of these movements in America in his newest book, American Apocalypse.

Sutton traces the rise of these movements in America beginning in the mid-1800’s and continuing to the present.  In articulate, dispassionate prose, Sutton lays the case for the powerful and concerted influence of the Religious Right as embodied by Fundamentalism and its partner Evangelicalism.   Continue reading →

Three Practices

Three Practices Group

Facebook is an accurate model of what it looks like when conversation occurs without respect, curiosity, and kindness.  Comments following the posting of a political or religious opinion are too often judgmental, even vulgar.

A rule of discussion often heard today is, “never discuss religion or politics.”  However, there is a problem with that rule.  It ends all possibility of progress.  Without discussion, people cannot reach solutions to challenges and problems.  Nor can they learn to understand one another. Continue reading →

EVERYthing happens for a reason.

“It was meant to be.”

“The Universe wanted me to….”

“I was supposed to learn something from that.”

“There are no coincidences.”

“There’s a reason for everything.”

These statements are nearly universal, and there is no pattern to them. Atheists, believers, liberals and conservatives, and people characterized as either spiritual or not use some version of these statements.  Many (I would say most) believe in some form of fate, destiny, providence, or another form of external manipulative power. Continue reading →