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The “What” Vs. the “How” of Belief

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in Agnosticism, God, Homepage, Idolatry, Science | 0 comments

In my last post I sort of set the stage for a kind of Christian agnosticism, a way of doing faith without swallowing the jagged little pill of feeling like you have to be an asshole about it. Allow me to elaborate. Christianity is often rather gnostic as opposed to agnostic — conservative believers operate as though they know everything (Gnosis in Greek means “knowledge”). They know that God exists up in heaven, they know that he will judge everyone according to a standard that, again, they know. In their minds, their polar opposites are those rabid atheists who are certain that God does not exist (because, you know, science). My ironic suggestion is that perhaps theists and atheists are the true teammates here since, while the are metaphysically opposed, they are epistemologically united by their claimed certainty that...

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Agnosticism for Dummies Christians

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Agnosticism, Homepage, Postmodernism | 0 comments

I am kicking around this idea for a book called Agnosticism for Dummies Christians. Who knows if it’ll ever see the light of day, but I think the idea deserves a few posts (if for no other reason than to see if it strikes a chord with anyone).  I would like to offer a suggestion: Those who dwell on the old “Theism vs. Atheism” debate are stuck in an increasingly outdated paradigm and therefore are asking the wrong question. Sure, you can pull up any number of YouTube debates between some conservative Christian and an ardent atheist and watch them vehemently attack one another, and you may come away with the impression they are diametrically opposed, and that each represents a radically different view of the world.  But you’d be wrong.  While our proverbial theist and atheist disagree about...

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I Hate Rob Bell

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Homepage, Rob Bell | 0 comments

Seriously. I hate that guy. Now I admit, I’m not like an authority on him or anything. I haven’t read his new book, the one about how the Bible is a collection of stories or whatever. I haven’t read the one before that, either (I forget what it’s about, but I’m sure reading it would just piss me off). But I did read some of his one on “talking about God,” and I think I read most of Love Wins. It’s hard to know exactly how much of any of his books you’ve read, since he writes like ten words per page, somehow convincing his publishers to let him stretch a single paragraph out over an entire chapter. God I fucking hate him. Stupid prick, with all his annoying questions. Oh, what if God is too big for us...

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So Now What?

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Culture War, Donald Trump, Homepage, Politics, Power, Protest, Questioning Authority, Rebellion | 0 comments

So that happened, and my side lost. (Well technically, my side lost when the DNC conspired against Bernie in order to coronate an establishment moderate hawk, but I digress.) So what now?  On the one hand I could stomp my feet, wring my hands on social media, or join one of the very secessionist movements like #Calexit that I mock when they originate in places like Mississippi. (But then, California is the sixth largest economy in the world while Mississippi’s entire cash reserve can fit in one of the state’s ubiquitous double-wides. And Mississippexit doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue.) Or—and try to stick with me here—I can just accept that democracy doesn’t always go my way. I mean, the Left had their guy in office for eight years (although he was never my guy). How did we respond...

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Anarchist Theology

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Homepage, Misfit Faith | 0 comments

This is adapted from Misfit Faith, ch. 6: “Too Good to be False (Or, Religion is a Fairy Tale)” Politically and economically speaking, I am pretty much an anarchist. Now before you start flipping out about how society needs organization and oversight, I would urge you to relax, unclench, and understand that as a theory, anarchism concedes these things for the most part. It just suggests that the organization we need should come from the bottom up rather than from the top down. In a word, it’s not so much about oversight from on high as about undersight from the ground up. I’d like to apply this principle to theology. Over the past couple years I have conducted an experiment: I have started with the simple faith-statement that “life has meaning” and then begun to reverse-engineer a combination of...

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Bourbon, Sex, and Magic

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Homepage, Misfit Faith | 0 comments

This is an excerpt from Misfit Faith, chapter 6: “Too Good to be False (Or, Religion is a Fairy Tale)” We all know the story of Cinderella: Oppressed and despised stepchild wants to join her stepsisters at the royal ball, but she can’t because she has nothing to wear (Hashtag, WhitePeopleProblems). So what happens? A fairy godmother magically appears and solves her issue, clothing her in an exquisite gown and furnishing her with a coach and driver. But then, the condition: She must leave the party no later than midnight, or else her dress will turn back into rags and her coach will turn back into a pumpkin. Now can you imagine Cinderella objecting to the conditions under which her fairy godmother placed her? “Wait, what? I have to leave the dance by midnight? That’s kind of lame.” To...

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God is Weak

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Homepage, Misfit Faith | 0 comments

Excerpt from Misfit Faith, chapter 5: “Shit Happens (Or, The Excruciating Disruption of Power”) “How could a loving God give people cancer?” It’s a really good question, and before we address it we would do well to remind ourselves that a healthy dose of agnosticism and humility at the prospect of defending God or speaking on his behalf is required. Who the hell do we think we are, anyway? I’m reminded of a comic strip that shows a man lying in a hospital bed while his doctor tells him that although he has cancer it is all a part of God’s plan. The next panel shows God up in heaven making a To Do list which reads: Create World Give Carl Cancer ___________ (The obvious joke is that God is just shooting from the hip and flying by the...

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Common Ground, Catholicity, and Misfit Faith

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Homepage, Misfit Faith | 0 comments

This is an excerpt from Misfit Faith, Chapter 4: “Unity in Diversity (Or, We’re One But We’re Not the Same)” Like it or not, we are all connected. Not long after the tragic shooting of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a slogan began to spread across various social media platforms: “I Am Trayvon Martin.” What this slogan was attempting to express is that we are all potential victims of xenophobia, fear, and the violence they incite. We’re all a minority somewhere (and you may be one right where you live someday), and the sooner we can recognize the dangers of mistrusting the dreaded Other the closer we will be to actually living in a society in which dozens of people aren’t gunned down in mass shootings every month (hey, a guy can dream, right?). So yes,...

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Jesus Can’t Fulfill You. Sorry (and You’re Welcome).

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Homepage, Misfit Faith | 0 comments

Excerpt from Misfit Faith, chapter 5: “Shit Happens (Or, The Excruciating Disruption of Power)”  Christianity as a kind of panacea and cure-all for every single problem we face is a complete farce. In fact, it’s precisely the idea that we are supposed to feel whole and complete that creates most of our problems and confusion in the first place. Going all the way back to the creation narrative we find man longing for wholeness and fulfillment—in Adam’s case it was the fruit of the forbidden tree that represented the “sacred object” that would fill his void. The history of humankind ever since has been a quest to discover and seize that longed-for something, that elusive missing piece that will put everything in its right place, dot every i, and cross every t. For some it is sought in money,...

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You Have the Right Duty to Remain Silent

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Culture War, Homepage, Humanity, Humor, Political Correctness, Questioning Authority, Racism, Worldviews | 7 comments

There once was a time in this country when “political correctness” was something that only people on the Right complained about: “Why do the Redskins have to change their team’s name?”; “Wait, ‘colored’ is all of a sudden off limits?”; “So now we can’t say ‘midget’ anymore?” No, you can’t. And you’d better not opt for “People McNuggets” either. . . . (That, by the way, is a case in point: I seriously debated whether or not to include that line above because it is potentially offensive to little people (I think that’s what we’re supposed to call them now). But the thing is, it’s also funny. Come on, admit it. It got a snicker out of you at least, perhaps even a chortle.) But the PC issue is no longer ruffling the feathers of conservatives only, but people on...

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