Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Go Home, You're Embarrassing Yourselves


Crazy, in the news...

“The country can be no stronger than its families... I really believe if what the Supreme Court is about to do is carried through with, and it looks like it will be, then we’re going to see a general collapse in the next decade or two. I just am convinced of that. So we need to do everything we can to try to hold it back and to preserve the institution of marriage.”

“Talk about a Civil War, we could have another one over this.”

~James Dobson

An Open Letter to the Desperate and Emotionally Fragile Religious Right:

I trace the roots of my faith tradition to the great defenders of religious liberty, the Anabaptists. I trace my family roots to the French Huguenots. Both of these groups faced actual religious oppression.

Because of their religious beliefs, the Huguenots and Anabaptists were jailed, tortured and killed by the tens of thousands by other Christian groups. Actual oppression for their beliefs.

I contrast that with the religious conservatives of today in light of the recent discussion of marriage equity. These conservatives are sounding emotionally desperate and speaking in the most drastic of terms, as if a simple marriage ceremony were the End of Times and the Devil, himself, was out stealing souls and spreading pestilence.

This is NOT religious oppression, people. You are NOT being oppressed for your religious beliefs. You are still free to believe what you wish.

When the Huguenots were told, "Abandon your faith tradition and embrace Catholicism or we will rip out your tongue and burn you alive!" ...that is oppression and a denial of religious liberty. This is not comparable in any way to "If you're in the flower business, you will be expected to sell flowers, even if you disagree with the event or people."

No, we are simply saying that if you are a business owner, we expect you to not discriminate against one bloc of people. That's all. We are not asking you to endorse certain marriages. We are not demanding that you change your religion. We are not demanding that you marry someone you don't want to marry. We're just expecting that business owners should not discriminate, that's all.

Don't want to endorse a loving marriage between two people? Fine, don't endorse it. But if you're in business in the public marketplace, you can't discriminate. IF your religious beliefs demand that you discriminate against some perceived “sinners,” then THAT part of your belief will not be allowed, just like if your religious beliefs demanded that you kill infidels, THAT part would not be allowed. Otherwise, believe as you wish.

Your religious liberty ends where another's rights begins.

This is not oppression or the end of the age. Lighten up. You just sound ridiculous and you are an embarrassment to your faith and the many people who have actually faced oppression and injustice.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rock of Ages

A song played by Donna, Christy and Dan at a recent baptism at my church. "Rock of Ages" - not the well-known traditional hymn, but a traditional-sounding song by Gillian Welch.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hunting Bigfoot with Jesus, 2

As I hiked back down from the mountain
in the center of the forest
in the middle of the night
I crossed paths with Jesus, again 

Long time, no see
I joked
And Jesus smiled like a saint 

So… Jesus,
I said tentatively, nervous as a squirrel

You’re really out here
In Search of Bigfoot
aren’t you? 

And, with a graceful grin upon his face
Jesus shook his head

Wouldn’t it be cool if he really existed?
Like this whole family of beasties that
Have never been discovered before
Were really out here?! 

Jesus was clearly enthused about the subject 

But I don’t understand
I said
You are the Omniscient God
Don’t you already know if Bigfoot exists? 

Jesus nodded 

It is true
Dear Dan
That I am the God who

I nodded, waiting 

Not Everything Can be Known. 

I said.

Sooo… maybe Bigfoot does exist?
I asked 

He said.

I sure hope so.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hunting Bigfoot with Jesus, 1

While walking through a dark forest tonight
Leaves beneath my feet
Guiding my path
I came across Jesus
Sitting on a stump
In the black woods.
I said, a bit surprised,
What are you doing out here?!

He sat quietly

Do you like night hikes, too?
With the moon casting velvet shadows
And the spring peepers
Providing sweet night music?
Jesus said.
That's it.
The quiet beauty of
Creation at rest, and cetera...
It's certainly not because
I'm out looking for
Or anything like that.
There was another awkward pause and
Then he said
Well, enjoy your hike.
Jesus is a funny guy, sometimes.