Pinned toot

I'm Steve. I'm something of a spiritual nomad. I belong to an interdenominational church (UCC, Disciples, UMC, and PC). I'm also a member of the Soka Gakkai International. I've also been influenced by Paganism and Hinduism, so I'm all over the place. "Double-belonging" doesn't quite capture it for me.

I enjoy non-canonical scripture, as well as reading scripture from all sorts of different traditions.

I'm glad to be here.

Stop using "He" pronouns for God challenge 2020

I don't always agree with Gardiner Bryant, I'm definitely to the left of him politically, but, this is very well done and I have a great deal of respect for him now.

video CW: uspol, religion mention

The church I attend is fairly progressive intentionally racially integrated.

I went and I listened to a lot of pain, a lot of sorrow, a lot of fear. I am white, and I did not speak; I listened.

And I heard black people defending the need for police and condemning riots, and a lot of fear and sorrow and weariness.

I was pained to hear it, as a radical Marxist, and I was humbled to hear it, as a white man, and I fought the urge to remove myself from the meeting.

Κύριε, ἐλέησον

How can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? - Psalm 137.4

Ritual, routine, accountability 

Need to get more disciplined, so I need a scheduled routine.

5:00 - wake up
5:05 - passage meditation [30 minutes]
5:35 - prayer [whatever form and however long feels appropriate]

Do not look at phone before 6:00.

7:00 - morning gongyo [30 minutes]
19:30 - evening gongyo [30 minutes]
21:00 - bed

Too much work to do and not enough energy for this introvert to do either the church or Buddhist zoom meetings today.

Religion mention, Christianity, punctuation 

I have to admit the ,,, in place of traditional ellipses has been growing on me, partly because it reminds me of the God is Still-Speaking campaign of the United Church of Christ, the church I joined back in 2005 when they became the first mainline protestant denomination to support same-sex marriage.
They used the symbol of a comma, and the quote by Gracie Allen, "Never place a period where God has placed a comma,"

covid adj 

One advantage to the pandemic and quarantine, regardless of where I am, I can go to church, and even visit the churches I used to belong to because internet. Currently about to watch the youtube livestream service for Judson Memorial Church in NYC, while I am quarantined in Plymouth, MA.

I feel like the display name I set as a joke here has already gotten old. I need to think of something else.

Bad variation of an old joke 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to not kill my housemates or students.

Interestingly positive: "Why did god create atheists?" 

Spotted elsewhere without captioning, a Facebook posting from religiousragings:

"There is a famous story told in Chasidic literature that address this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever student asks "What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?"

The Master responds "God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all - the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that god commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right."

"This means," the Master continued, "that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say 'I pray that God will help you.' Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no god who can help, and say, 'I will help you.'"

(credited to "Tales of Hasidim vol. 2 by Mar")

As an atheist, it pleases me to read such understanding. 👌

As an introvert, some Sundays I do not have the energy for going to church or Buddhist discussion groups, even now when it's all zoom meetings and conference calls. And that's okay. Don't let yourself be guilted or pressured into participating when it's not what's best for you.

When people ask me about my M.Div. thesis, I usually summarize it as "I used Karl Barth to critique liberal theology from the left and argue why liberal theology falls short of liberation theology."

I am still proud of that work. I need to find ways to clean it up and make it more public.

half-serious shitpost 

I could go read some Karl Barth, just to spite some liberal theologians.

A few years back I made a road trip to the southwest, and spent 4 days at this temple in Nevada. It is one of the most peaceful, beautiful places I've ever been to.

Show more
The Interfaith Instance

A space where people of all faith backgrounds can come together and grow together.