Sunday, September 12, 2021

Rest In Peace Bishop Spong

I was sad to hear about the death of Bishop John Shelby Spong.  He played a role in my growth as a person over the past decade and I am grateful to him for it.

Two buddies of mine and I were fortunate to have taken a trip up to Montana one weekend in 2012 to hear him speak.  We even got to have lunch with him at the home of the pastor of the church while there.  We stood out as the two Mormons and the atheist who drove in from Salt Lake.  🙂

I remember in my 20s holding one of his books in my hand at the library (Why Christianity Must Change or Die) and saying to my friend Brook, "Why doesn't this guy just leave the faith if he doesn't believe it?"  I had contempt for Spong and ministers like him.  My view of faith and spirituality was so small.  I could have never imagined at that time that I would one day shake hands with Bishop Spong with complete respect.

I don't believe in deities but I am grateful for the hope and goodness that Bishop Spong helped spread in our world.  Rest in peace sir.  You gave people a better vision of humanity.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Forgetting 9/11

I have seen multiple conservative religious friends post about 9/11 today... but they are chastising and bemoaning people for "forgetting" about 9/11.

Forgetting about it?  Every 4th post in my feed is about it.  All the news outlets are running stories.  Every politician is doing memorial selfies.

What "forgetting" are these folks talking about?

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, there is a character named Lintilla who wears a "Crisis Inducer".  When she hits a button, her mind becomes convinced she is being pursued by hostile forces.  This gives her an adrenaline spike to sharpen her senses and pump up her energy.

I grew up in conservative religious circles.  Their world is guided by the latest "Crisis Inducer".  Someone (in their mind) is always persecuting them, always after them, always out to get them.

So, they are able to take a day like today... and imagine that, somehow, there is a slight out there with their name on it.

As is so often the case, the Bible they use to attack others is actually speaking of them -

"The wicked flee when no one pursueth them."

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