Thursday, October 10, 2013

The atheist, the agnostic and the Episcopalian ...

The atheist, the agnostic and the Episcopalian (that's me) were sitting around the office the other day when for reasons I've forgotten the conversation turned to 1st Corinthians 13, also known sometimes as the "love chapter" --- cranky old mysogynist Paul at his best.

This is not the start of a sermon, merely a suggestion that reading those familiar words is not a bad way to begin a day (hint, the King James Version is more lyrical). Stay away from commentaries; many of those involve damage control and will tell you that love is far more conditional, that Paul didn't really mean that, and that the admonitions here don't apply to relations with those people.


I have this odd little morning ritual, especially for someone with agnostic and/or atheist tendencies, too, depending upon the day. Come on, be honest. The same applies to you --- at least now and then. 

First, I check my favorite news sources just to make sure the West Coast hasn't collapsed into the Pacific overnight. Then I turn to my favorite religion blogs. Most of these are progressive; many written by people with evangelical/fundamentalist backgrounds.

Rachel Held Evans this morning has the text of a homily she delivered Sunday at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Louisville, Kentucky, thereby helping to confirm the suspicions of her conservative critics that she really is headed straight for hell --- with the Episcopalians.

It's based upon last Sunday's Lectionary gospel lesson --- faith and mustard seeds. Our guest priest at St. Andrew's Sunday, the Rev. Paul Walker of Burlington, did a bang-up job on this topic, too --- but didn't leave a transcript. He did, however, distribute mustard seeds --- and blest two dogs and a cat (we also were observing the feast day of St. Francis).

Rachel offers the reminder that in the fundamentalist/conservative world, one usually hears a good deal about the Bible on Sunday mornings, but very little of it. You've got to go to a mainline church for lessons straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

Richard Beck, over at Experimental Theology, is writing about "The Gospel According to Karaoke," which introduces an idea I've never thought about before.

Zack Hunt at American Jesus introduces "God Loves Uganda," a film that, the trailer suggests, explores the dark side of missionary efforts in developing countries.

I usually check in, too, at Religion Dispatches for a dose of progressive religion and at Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed for more orthodox outlooks. The essays at Killing the Buddha sometimes interest me, too.


What I've not found yet are essays and analysis from a religious perspective of the current situation in Washington, D.C. I'm wondering why. No doubt they'll be along shortly.

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