Posts filed under ‘Religion’
I’ve been reading David Plotz’ Blogging the Bible series on Slate. He’s a Jewish guy reading the Bible from cover to cover for the first time, writing down his own synopsis with comments, analysis, and personal associations. Fascinating stuff, and lots of details that I missed when I was a kid reading the kiddie versions. For example, those of us who grew up explicitly Christian or Jewish (or watched Charleton Heston in the Ten Commandments) all learned that Pharaoh gets punished with plagues and deaths of all firstborns in Egypt, etc, for refusing to let the Israelites go. What I didn’t know was this:
Was reading this post and was surprised by the arguments against gay marriage–so many misconceptions. Attempt to clarify follows after the link.
Had dinner with some Quakers from Vermont today. Was suddenly reminded of encountering lots of Quakers in New England during my high school years, and of my impression then that it’s one of the nicest forms of Christianity out there. It draws many intelligent people to it because of its emphasis on being open, thinking, and figuring it all out for yourself, and generally believing that everyone has value. Of course, this takes a lot more work than going to a massive stadium and having someone else’s ideas and rules spoon-fed to you while they stroke your ego for being there and not being one of those dirty sinners outside. Quakers don’t tend to have megachurches. They also don’t go door-to-door harrassing people to join them, so the Jehovah’s Witnesses have them beat on the recruitment front as well. But for a reasonable, simple, thoughtful religion that is also considerate and respectful of other religions, I can’t think of a better option. Especially for these cross-and-crescent-waving times.
(quotes are from here)
“Friends generally believe that first-hand knowledge of God is only possible through that which is experienced, or inwardly revealed to the individual human being through the working of God’s quickening Spirit…the concept of the Inner Light is twofold. Firstly, the Inner Light discerns between good and evil. It reveals the presence of both in human beings, and through its guidance, offers the alternative of choice. Secondly, the Inner Light opens the unity of all human beings to our consciousness. Friends believe that the potential for good, as well as evil, are latent in everyone.”