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Changing the world
one mind at a time
21st-Dec-2008 08:56 pm
IV Swords
I'll start this by saying I attended First and Calvary Presbyterian's 8:30 AM service this morning. It was an experience. And a very good reminder that there are churches that aren't on either lunatic fringe down here.

My first observation was that today's liturgist was very gay. In fact, he made a comment about how Jesus was getting ready to walk down the red carpet. So, I'm given to assume the church is gay friendly. Which is, to me at least, a good thing.

Second, the first hymn was my favorite carol, "Adeste Fideles" (or "O come all Ye Faithful" for the heathens who hate Latin). The very nice older woman in front of my was quite impressed because I sang the bass line out of habit.

Today's sermon was talking about the idea of the universe being part of G-d's unknowable mind and how G-d is both transcendent and eminent at the same time. It was actually uite interesting. It's also the firt time I've even heard the Hubble Telescope brought up as part of the sermon.

In all honesty, it was nice to hear Christians talking about science and how it can co-exist with religion and vice versa.

I did have to wonder about the very Eastern iconography of St. Paul on one of the walls, though.

Anyway, assuming I ever get the time or motivation again, I would probably go back. Unfortunately, unless I can figure out a way to get cig counts done faster, I probably won't be able to go except on days when they float my Saturday night help out.

Then I had to hoof it to make it to the bus to go to work. I found the money I was short; seems I stuck an extra $10 in one of my drops.

Ok, anyway.

According to my profile statistics counter, this will be post 2700. So, it would seem to be appropriate to get kind of deep and special with this.

I came to the rather obvious realization not too long ago about the truth behind all the winter religious holidays.

We'll start with Yule since it's just ended. Yule is a celebration of the return of the light. Birth of the God (or goddess's consort depending on how Dianic one is feeling, as I recall.)

Next up is the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. I seem to recall reading that Hanukkah is more of a cultural holiday rather than religious, even though a miracle was involved. You know, celebrating that one group was able to stave off and defeat a large amount of Roman invaders. And the candles burned for 8 days on oil that was only supposed to last for 1 day. So again, we have a holiday involving a plethora of light.

Then we have Christmas, which celebrates Jesus, or if you prefer, the light unto the world being born. Again, return of the light.

Unfortunately, due to the damn lunar calendar, Islam really doesn't have a return of the light festival. Then again, it was founded near the equator, so it's not like there's any real seasonal change or noticeable change in the length of light hours.

So basically, each holiday in its own way reminds us that summer is coming. Despite the frigid temps, the light in whatever form you choose to view it through is coming back. And I for one, welcome it. As cool as endless night sounded in my youth, I'd much prefer to get some sunlight in my day.

Ya know, that didn't turn out as well as I thought it would. It sounded better in my head.

I've also been thinking about the calling I discussed, what, maybe a week or two ago?

See, what I'm realizing is that I feel like I have to balance and find commonalities between people to try and end the endless negativity and namecalling that seems to be going around on all side right now. Like trying to convince some of my gay friends that Christianity is a hell of a lot more inclusive than some people would lead you to believe, studying the faiths of Islam and Judaism helps broaden understanding, etc.

Again this all sounded better in my head. It may just be the fact I went to bed at 2AM and got up around 6AM.

But really, I feel not quite forced, but definitely lead to opening my mouth and speaking my mind. It pisses me off and saddens me to read some of the hate messages going around the forums and the pages these days. While I realize not everyone is going to agree on everything ever, The complete lack of respect and civility coupled with grown adults tossing childish insults at each other saddens me in ways I can't even begin to explain. I'd love to invite the whole lot of them out for coffee, lock them in a room and watch the results.

The worst part is knowing if any of the folks involved looked outside themselves, these arguments would be less frequent. It's kind of like pundrity has replaced discussion, and emotion exists only to be manipulated.
22nd-Dec-2008 06:54 am (UTC)
Do you remember me saying to the group a long time ago that I thought we ought to be building bridges and not burning them? (or should I ask, did that get through her filter?) I had started to do a lot of that. I was asked to speak at the church of my neighbors across the street who home schooled their boys. See, we had found a garter snake in the grass and we were looking at it. The little boys thought it would be cool to keep it, and their father and I were both explaining why it was best to let it live outside where it's normal house was. The father was surprised that we had some of the same reasons and respect for nature despite our difference in religion. I'd talked with him about the difference and the similarities, and how a lot of other faiths had some very misconstrued ideas about what we were, and what we believed. That was when he suggested that I give a talk at the church.

Anyway, I never did do it, I felt like there was some resistance... and then of course there was all that mess, and I didn't think it was so appropriate when our own temple was in such chaos. I hadn't figured out yet where it was coming from or how I was being manipulated. However, I still believe in building those bridges, and now in my solitary practice I still do try to do that as often as I can.
23rd-Dec-2008 03:34 am (UTC)
I vaguely recall some of that... I admittedly had more than a few issues of my own during that period that kind of interferes with my comprehension of what was going on around me.

But yeah, it's fun trying to build those bridges, but damn, sometimes it's seems so useless down here. Then again, it could just be the anonymity of the internet that makes people leave common sense and civility at the door of the forums.
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