Saturday, April 14, 2007


~:E N D • O F • D A Y S:~

Yesterday I was summoned by Bjorn downstairs who was madly barking at voices coming from the font yard. I opened the front door and heard my neighbor Pat saying, "No, Thank you." Then I see two women pull up my driveway in a white Cadillac. They approach me with Bibles in hand and I immediately get nauseous.

One of them shakes my hand and says that she's here to get my "opinion" about the word of God.

"I'm an Episcopalian, so you don't need to evangelize to me."

"Yes, but do you believe we are indeed in the End Of Days?"

"Really, thank you but I don't need to discuss this with you."

So they left in pursuit of their next victims , thank GAWD.

I find myself so ashamed of my religion when I come across people like these. I realize I should be more tolerant, but it's THEIR intolerance that triggers mine. Fear-based fundamentalism makes me sick to my stomach. A couple of years ago I had an argument with a Christian who believed that homosexuality was a symptom of sexual abuse and that this was FACT and she had proof because ALL of her "recovering" homosexual clients (she's a Christian therapist) struggled with the same issues.

Last night I watched a fabulous documentary of Rome produced by The Learning Channel, back when TLC used to really be the "learning" channel. One of the strengths of Rome was that they assimilated their conquered cultures and were quite tolerant of other religions. They didn't have the racial tensions that we have in America today. The Romans simply adopted the best of all cultures to make themselves even stronger. No God, technique or style was too good for them.

Then the strange cult of Christianity appeared. This was one religion that refused to be assimilated. You were either a Roman OR a Christian. This all came to pass as Roman emperors became more and more ridiculous, Rome was too large to expand any longer, inflation disrupted the economy.... The Fall of Rome was here. Christianity offered unhappy Romans a way to escape what was wrong with their civilization. It contradicted everything Rome stood for. It gave them a solid moral ground upon which to stand. It offered a black and white world with no room for interpretation, no reason to stray into the abyss of self discovery, the despair of choice.

It's so odd for me to think of Christians meeting in underground catacombs for years and then suffering for their beliefs. What made them so different and eventually SO successful was their intolerance of other religions. And this is true to this day. It's what makes many Christians nauseatingly unbearable to me.

What keeps my heart tied to the idea of Christianity is Christ's message of love, grace, tolerance, generosity and forgiveness. There are a few other Christians out there like me, I know. But we're not very popular. Not as popular as the Bible Thumpers.

It's kind of a lonely place to be.

There must be comfort in thinking you're right all the time. Comfort in not having to think for yourself. Comfort in using the Bible as a magic 8 ball, instead of a beautiful set of stories meant to inspire kindness and truthfulness in all who read it.

I think all religions are valid. I don't think I have the right to dictate to anyone how they should worship if they chose to do so. My god is real. But he may not be yours, which is fine. Doesn't have to be yours, which is more than fine.

I believe the wonder of God comes in many forms, many faces - in people, rituals, places, nature... god is a single being, god is a culture, a group, a prayer. God is not a "code of conduct" or set of rules meant to make decision making easier.

I know that's vague. Infuriatingly so for many people. But I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.

If you have any thoughts or beliefs you'd like to share, I'm open to listening. And if not, that's OK, too. Just know that you're probably going to hell.

Kidding! I don't actually believe in hell - I think THIS is hell and when we all die, somehow, SOMEHOW everything we struggled for in this life is rewarded by peace.

I just believe it all works out.

No matter how awful things are, we are, they are - things just work out.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Anne -

I'm really with every bit of that -- with one quibble. That's beautifully, passionately, and compassionately expressed.

The quibble -- your observation late in the article that you regard all religions as equally "valid."

The context suggests that by valid, you mean something like 'deserving equal protection under the Constitution.' If that's what you mean, by all means say so. I certainly agree.

But if by valid you mean something like 'equally "true"' then that needs more discussion. Is Scientology's truth-claim really equivalent to, say, Zen Buddhism's? Are the women at your door possessed of truths of equal accuracy as say, those of Bennett Sims or Barbara Brown Taylor?

Thanks!

g

Anne-Davnes said...

G - I see what you mean. I think what I mean is that I have no right to say that what works for someone or what brings them peace is "right or wrong." If it works for you, then great. But don't tell me that my version os wrong because it doesn't jive with yours.

I don't agree with Scientology. It doesn't work for me. But it's doing wonders for Tom Cruise and other folks with lotsa dollars.

When someone tells me I'm wrong about how I commune with God, that REALLY bothers me. So I try to not judge others until their beliefs judge me.

Dose that make sense?

Nancy said...

From: ndusen@bellsouth.net
Subject:
Date: April 14, 2007 11:13:20 AM EDT
To: anne@anneelserdesign.com

I agree with you but Peter reminded me last weekend that there was a time in his youth when I was a frightening close cousin to your bible thumper. That rigid, scared woman is in Stage 3 of spiritual development discribed by Fowler. Most spiritual seekers you hope grow out of that stage to one that is stronger, allows and is even curious about other's differing belief systems. Fowler discribes that stage of spiritual maturity as Stage 5. Some are so terrified by their wild past of debauchery or of living this life with present temptaions that they remain in that Stage 3 guarded by hard and fast rules. They are comforted by great and growing numbers of other "hall monitors" jumping on their side. Stage 5 is secure in his/her belief system and has no need to proselytize.
Sometime, when you have time, (ha-ha), read the Articles of Faith in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. It is interesting and will probably tell you why you remain an episcopalian.
My other and fabulous suggestion is to find a seminar that comes out of the University of the South called EFM Education for Ministry. There are several courses held throughout the city and they are life changing.I agree with you but Peter reminded me last weekend that there was a time in his youth when I was a frightening close cousin to your bible thumper. That rigid, scared woman is in Stage 3 of spiritual development discribed by Fowler. Most spiritual seekers you hope grow out of that stage to one that is stronger, allows and is even curious about other's differing belief systems. Fowler discribes that stage of spiritual maturity as Stage 5. Some are so terrified by their wild past of debauchery or of living this life with present temptaions that they remain in that Stage 3 guarded by hard and fast rules. They are comforted by great and growing numbers of other "hall monitors" jumping on their side. Stage 5 is secure in his/her belief system and has no need to proselytize.
Sometime, when you have time, (ha-ha), read the Articles of Faith in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. It is interesting and will probably tell you why you remain an episcopalian.
My other and fabulous suggestion is to find a seminar that comes out of the University of the South called EFM Education for Ministry. There are several courses held throughout the city and they are life changing.

minus five said...

as far as church goes, i grew up in a very strict, very black and white, kind of church. and i didn't question what i was taught until i got older. i think i was probably in my first year of college at a christian college that was of the same denomination (except we were taught that we weren't a denomination, we were christian and others were not). so i understand very well, both sides.

when i was 19, i guess it was, i began to question everything i had been taught. fortunately i was also taught from the beginning that i should know the bible for myself. this is how i began to see inconsistencies and even intolerance where it didn't belong.

i agree with third comment you got about people being in different stages of their faith. i think that's all it is. i know very well-meaning people who are in their 70's and 80's, people i've known since i was a kid, who haven't come to see god as i see god. they never got past the rules. they never got to the meaning of grace. it would seem that they picked and choosed with regard to the parables, but i don't think they did any of this consciously. i think they are simply not able to understand. god, to them, isn't close and personal. at least it doesn't seem so. i don't think they ever got to know him.

at the same time, i've seen people who were rigid in their faith become completely the opposite. this always happened after they themselves or a member of their family got into some sort of public trouble. accidental pregnancies of their kids, drugs, kids who ran away from their home, etc. they were truly humbled by their experiences and came to know a different god, or maybe just more about god. and the people that were the most compassionate towards them at church were often people who had been through something themselves. or at least people who understood that all of us make mistakes. there were also the people at church who wouldn't talk to them anymore.

it stopped making me mad several years ago. now, i guess, it just makes me sad for them that they don't know the love and grace part of god. that they've only seen one side. because they're missing one of the greatest things there is.

i absolutely disagree that all religions are equal in the eyes of god, but as far as the law of the land goes, i feel that they should be treated equally. i believe in heaven and i believe in hell and i believe some of us are going to one and some are going to the other and there might even be a few surprises that day. i don't pretend to know what happens when we die. i only imagine the things my little head can grasp. i don't think any of us have a clue about what it will really be like. if god thought our brains were capable of comprehending it, i'm sure he would have made sure an extra verse or two was in there that explained the whole thing.

i see the "all religions are equal" argument as a convenient way to bow out of a real discussion. if they were all equal then that would mean all of it was wrong. all of it, meaning the bible and other texts used by different religions. that being said, i would never treat anyone less than any other based on what they believe. that goes against what i read. i also wouldn't treat anyone less who was living their life in a way i see as wrong. i don't agree with the ways some of my very good friends are living. i don't agree with the way i live most days. i just don't see those people as somehow less than me.

a sin is a sin is a sin and we're all guilty of something. that's where the forgotten idea of grace should come in. but it usually doesn't.

ads. said...

Three things:

1. WOW!!!....minus: DOUBLE WOW!!!

2. Anne, when you start your own church or branch of christianity....sign me up. That is the most refreshing view on faith I've heard in quite some time. Thanks!

3. I am definitely NOT a religious person and I normally don't get caught up in such discussions, but I am always open to others point of view...kind of...searching, if you will. I have been called an atheist, and I just laugh at that. I have been told I'm going to HELL, and I'll say: "if you're judging me, then I'll probably see you there." True, I'm not a religious person, but I'm no atheist either......for right now, I just consider myself "spiritual". And that's enough for right now.
I don't have a problem with religion, just "religious people" and by that I'm talking 'bout what you are: the thumpers, fundamentalists, the forcefeeders, the hypochritians....etc., etc.
I used to go to church when I was little and was fascinated by all the stories. But when I was older I noticed that: HEY, if this is such a good thing, why am I just getting dropped off at church? why aren't my parents coming too? Why do all these people act so good on sunday and not the other 6 days out of the week? And why are they talking about other people at church? I quit going. Even when my parents made me go, I'd walk in one door and out another and walk the 3 miles home.
I was never "confirmed" and my parents would say, "what are we going to tell your grandmother?" I would say, "why don't you tell her the truth." My grandmother was a very "religious" person & somehow I'd bring shame to them if I didn't do this "certification process". On the other hand, my parents hid the fact that they both smoked and drank because grandma wouldn't approve( I don't think they were fooling anyone). I also found out later that my devout lutheran grandmother HATED catholics(when I first started dating my wife, mom told me not to mention she was catholic)....wow...such confusion. So many rules, so many conflicting rules, so many ignored rules....who or what to believe...

At times I think I'm lost because I don't BELIEVE like I should. But now, I think I can see a little better from a distance. It's not as detailed or clear, but I don't need it to be. Oversimplified: god IS good, good is god. Do good, do god. I just try to do that for myself and others. period. I don't need a religion to tell me that. I am open to listen until they start dictating, then it's off.
I also think these religions are valid: they have strenth and substance, they fill a need that someone has. And minus is right- they are not all equal. (And it seems in some cases, cetain people seem to think "our god can beat up your god", but that's another story.) But in one instance religions ARE all equal- they are all written by, compiled by, edited by, distributed by, and interpreted by......HUMANS!!!!! And as we all know, we humans are flawed indivduals. So somehow the word of god, no matter who's god it is, seems to get lost in translation. I will keep the faith of having faith, even if it doesn't have a name or a book. Like in AA, who are content with just a "higher power", it's sometimes best to KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Thanks again for re-inspiring me.

Anne-Davnes said...

Ads - I'm not religious, either. Maybe what I'm talking about is the difference between spirituality and religion. It's huge. They almost have nothing to do with each other! Those conflicting rules can really wear a person down.

I think as far as bringing your kids to church - I don't think it works unless you act as a family. I remember church as a safe place to be yourself, with a few execptions - most of the folks in our congregation were wonderful. As mom always said, "Chew the meat and spit out the bones."

Minus - your views on god are splendid. I think religious tolerance is a human rights issue - and that's where the Romans and Americans come in. I admired Bush's Faith-based Initiative thingie because it puts charity in the hands of those who really know how to make it personal and out of the governments hands. But I guess that's a different blog. Anyway - I wish it didn't make me mad anymore and hope to be in the place of peace you seem to be about it. It's just that the way I pray to and communicate with God is up to me - and I take it personally when someone else tries to judge that.

And Mom - you're wonderful. Smart and loving. I have to thank you for bringing me to that safe place on God's lap. I hope to do the same for Anton.

Isn't life wonderful?

ads. said...

To restate one of my lines: "...I'm talking 'bout what you are (talking about)..." -not what you ARE. (subject to HUMAN misinterpretation). I don't think that's what you got out of it, but it never hurts to be sure.
I also think there's a huge difference between spirituality and reigion and see your views as more spiritual. Also, interesting take on the roman culture. It's definitely something we need more of here in "the melting pot".

Steven U said...

These are questions I've struggled with, quite famously in fact, my entire life. I've always felt a very strong spiritual connection to God but have never been able to find a organized situation that fostered that connection. In fact, most of the time, I felt that turning something I see as the most private and personal of relationships into a club (church, temple, whatever) detrimental to my own growth.
Now, as a result I've garnered something of a reputation as Steven the Heathen, which is not only a terribly forced rhyme scheme, but also patently untrue. But I've learned to accept and roll with the misperceptions, believing that as long as I know the truth, I'm golden.
As the years continue to go by and my family grows however, I find that position more and more difficult to defend. I've never been much of a joiner, generally speaking. I'm sort of a Grouch Marxist, and would never want to join a club (church, temple, whatever) that might have me as a member, so there's a very real possibility that I'll never be able to bring myself to become part of a congregation. But at least now, I'm willing to start the search. People surprise us every day. Perhaps organized religion can do the same.

I'll be damned before I knock on any doors though.

Anne-Davnes said...

I think the term organized religion is an oxymoron. I think it's a matter of styling/packaging - how God is presented to us, that makes the difference.

When I was in college, I went to a very small non-denominational "home church" for a year and loved it. We read the bible together and prayed and supported each other. We also had fun.

I still have not yet found the church or styling that feels almost perfect when it comes to how to worship with others. maybe it'll take a lifetime search to find just the right thing.

Right now Doug and I are even more motivated to find the right church, because Anton is here. I want him to grow up with a safe set of peers, as I did - especially the high school years - which can be quite brutal.

Thanks for your comments, Steven. I love reading them. I miss you!

A Citizen said...

When I read your initial post, I heard the sound of a can opener and worms spilling out of the tin- but I must admit everyone is very well behaved.

I ran across a kanji translator graphic that fits here-

http://learn-japanese.podomatic.com/2006-10-16T17_46_58-07_00.jpg

Love the blog, Anne-

Anne-Davnes said...

Thank you Citizen. I am puzzled by the graphic you sent, tho.

And yes, everyone has been very well behaved. That's my kind of discussion.

Anonymous said...

Well, mzzz Annie, you KNOW I have my perception. Here's the bottom line
though...I believe religion is a creation for those unable to live in the
mystery. It tries to provide answers to the unanswerable. I'd like to know
who REALLY knows what lies beyond death. No one's come back to tell us.
At the same time, we know certain things exist yet we can't see them (i.e.
invisible waves give us radio and tv). The bible was written in a time
science didn't exist. They thought the world was flat. So the "end-of-times"
were illuminated with visuals of collapsing pillars holding up the earth.
People suffered from lack of technology, medicine. We all know, as
"sophisticated" human beings, we want to make sense of all of it. When King
Constantine decided on the form of Christianity we know today, there really
was a choice of today's form; a more controlling, fear-based religion, and
Celtic Christianity, which was more to my own personal liking as it was more
humanistic and loving. The decision was based on what would help him stay in
power and keep control of the kingdom.

So many of the doctrines behind religion are about human, earthly control.
Think about this, the folks that came to your door, they supposedly are
evangilizing out of love, right? No, they are doing this out of fear...they
are told they have to save others so THEY can go to heaven. Even
politically, it's a horrible reality. Bush and other fundamentalist thinkers
support Isreal because the Biblical prophecy says Christ cannot return until
there is peace in Israel. They don't care about the souls of the Israelites
as they would supposedly go to hell, right? How could the Christian Right
vote Bush in with the blatant pro-war position? Jesus is the greatest
Peacemaker of all time...His teachings were turn the other cheek and love
thy neighbor? We are led to believe that priests take vows of celibacy to
confirm their commitment to Christ. Before the vow of celibacy existed
priests were willing church property to their families. It feels
uncomfortable to look at celibacy as a way to keep land/monetary ownership
in the pockets of the church. And what's sad about this unnatural state, is
the HUGE, alarming molestation issues with children and priests. Who knows
how much of this has happened in the past, before contemporary media got a
hold of it?

I think the saddest aspect of all of this is the lack of individual
thinking, the lack of making these connections. Having "faith" means
believing in something with no proof. Folks have faith in what they are told
to have faith in. It moves us away from God when questioning is much more a
magnet toward God. I DO believe in prayer. We must keep our personal
relationship with God strong and pray for everyone's awakening.

Annie girl, you are NOT alone. Teach your son your heart.

L, Pamela

Anonymous said...

I was given this by my therapist a few weeks ago, which I though was pretty odd because I don't think a shrink is in the position to "suggest" God to anyone. But I realized it's not about religion. It's about relying on a power that is bigger than all of us, about giving up control and stop dictating how somebody's life should be lived. I'm not a religious person at all; in fact I am very skeptical of any organized religion, but I you enjoy this as much as I did.

"At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited Heaven or Hell when I die. He was out there sort of like the President. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn't really know Him.

But later on when I recognized my Higher Power, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride; but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that God was in the back helping me pedal. I don't know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since . . . life with Him is exciting.

When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!"

I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are You taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to trust. When I'd say, "I'm scared, " He'd lean back and touch my hand. (...)

I did not trust Him at first, in control of my life. I thought he'd wreck it. But He knew bike secrets, knew how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high places filled with rocks, fly to shorten scary passages.

And I'm learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my constant companion.

And when I'm sure I can't do any more, He just smiles and says, "PEDAL!"

Anonymous said...

Hi, Anne -

Again, much agreement, the sole quibble this time being our different outlooks on how much good Scientology has done Tom Cruise.

I found this in a recent online essay by Jane Smiley and thought of your essay:

Nevertheless, faith, like love or obsession, is a very powerful feeling that sometimes impels people who are having it to attempt to impose it on others by, for example, "witnessing" or "testifying". To witness or testify is to enter into a social interaction. In most cases, both parties to a social interaction, such as a conversation, agree to it. With social interactions based on faith, though, there can be an element of coercion. Someone who constantly witnesses to his or her subjective experience of faith is like a stalker in that he or she is imposing his or her emotions on others. This is why I am so suspicious of Evangelicals--first, they want you to share (supposedly for your benefit) their subjective state of mind (an impossibility), and then they want you to give them money--to enter into the religion part of the faith/religion duo.

Gray

A Citizen said...

Sorry the graphic is cryptic, something I stumbled across today- quite by accident. I was watching the dreadful news in Virgina, and was wondering what was it that brings people to that point of deperation? I agree with you that Hell is here on this planet. Every day seems to prove that.

I believe that at the core of who we are as humans, we have an inherent need to be understood. It is like air, water and food. However at the same time, when we are NOT understood- that can drive us to the point of madness.

Your post and the subsequent posts seem to say the same thing as the graphic- "I understand" and "Do you undertand?". You can change "understand" to "believe" very easily.

In my mind what you "understand" to be true is the same thing as "believe".

Intolerance of another's relgious views is when that contract has been broken- If I do not choose to understand what you are saying, then you are not listening to me.

Aren't wars are often started under these conditions?

We all have opportunities in front of us for tolerance. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhist, Hindu all share a sense that there is a greater consciousness than what we have presently in our day to day lives.

Why is it so hard to accept that?

I guess the devil is in the details-

Anyway- Great thread!

Anonymous said...

Anne,
A thought or two.

One tuesday a few years back I woke up believing in God just as sure as you're born.
On wednesday I woke up and it was clear as day that no such hocus-pocus as God can have any respected place in our thinking.
On thursday I thought, "Poor God! To have to pop in and out of existence on my whim!"
By friday I had it down that I didn't have to spend another minute of my life taking responsibility for the existence of God. I've been free of God ever since.

God is now always more meaningful to me even if not usually "real".


Even in the absence of desire for God I find Christianity permenantly charming because of two reasons: forgiveness (which implies to me a transformative growth, a contract one can enter but cannot leave without being changed) and the notion that what we see is not at all what we get. Charles and I took Dad to see the Matrix one saturday before Easter one year. He preached on it the next day. It was a bit like this: the world exists more and more fully the lighter you grip your ego. For me that's the "fundamental" that Jesus died for. let the thumpers worry about what effect his blood is sposed to have on me and whether or not he popped back to life...

I see that true freedom causes love for people to emerge from within: "I've been where this jerk-off is now and it was scary and it hurt". What all we believe is probably a way of insulating from everyone else. I'm impressed by the Passion not because it saved us through cutting egde hemotology but because it knocks death down to a lesser rank than our human ability to choose, to communicate maybe. The Romans thought they were showing him a pretty good lesson. He was playing on a different level.


I worked with a guy my age who has four daughters. He's a good guy, hard core Jesus type. He caught his daughter in a lie and sought to correct her (I think rightly becasue lying is bad). But the way he did it was to have her get out her Bible and read for him the part of Revelation where liers burn in the lake of fire. "See honey? That's how seriously God takes lying!"
I think two things about this: 1. what a dick. and 2. this guy's trying to do a good thing with the best tools at hand.

But he must really be scared of Hell. Being scared sucks. Like they say in the Marines, 'Embrace the Suck'. I think love can do just that. Then you can even tell a Jehovah's Witness to fuck off without getting all bent out of shape because us and them is now just us. But that's no reason to be polite, I think. Love is all those wonderful things in the epistle but not polite.

It was a dear thing to see you and yours at Easter. Your baby is good!
bt

Anne-Davnes said...

Brent! That was way more than a thought or two. Beautifully said.
So maybe I'm not playing with the same tools as the thumpers. I wish I had
had your e-mail handy to give to them. I never know what to say when I know
a discussion isn't about listening, rather it's about preaching.

This is by far the most enlightening thread I've had on my beelog.
Good for everybody. I feel a little less angry than I was when I originally posted.
That was my goal, I think.

Thank you, thank you!

And Gray - My take on Tom was that he's trying reeeeeel hard to be good. I saw him on Inside The Actor's Studio and got the impression that he's feverishly after goodness. I think he's trying to strike some kind of bargain. With whom, I don't know.

Your additional notes on this post hit the nail on the head.

Citizen - you're right about the desire to be understood. One must listen first and then clarify to have a real discussion. Those women had an agenda to fix me - no matter what I said.

Peace, forgiveness and tolerance - Mel Gibson's forgotten those, too.

A Citizen said...

"These spiritual leaders are the people who should really be fixing what's wrong inside themselves."

Juliana Hatfield

Anne-Davnes said...

Love that quote, Citizen.

Anonymous said...

Anne,

The word that came to mind when I was reading your post was "rigor." The early Christians had this rigorous demand that their apprehension of the truth was the right one, especially in the face of a secular empire ruled by an emperor who made occasional (depending on the emperor) claims to divinity himself. What you are describing is an equally rigorous demand--that a religion justify its claims to truth by demonstrating grace, to pick one word that you used. To the extent that a religion can provoke or inspire grace in the dealings of humanity, it gets my seal of approval, as it does yours.

The difference between this attitude and a "Bible Thumper" fundamentalism is that the latter feeds on fear, exclusion, smallness of the dispensation of God's gifts. That's a generalization, but it's one that I see particularly strongly in the focus on the END TIMES, which has always struck me as a desire to end the game RIGHT NOW and take score to see who won. Auden's observation is that the time being is the most trying time of all, that being stuck between grace and heaven, between salvation and reward is intolerable without...what would he say? Spiritual discipline? Something like that. And lacking that, there's the potential for emptiness or the grind of living or the intrusion of the world that threatens even the most cheerful devotion to religion where all the answers are in this one book, if you know how to read it. I don't say they're not, but I think a lot of people fall back on that exclusion-based club mentality where I'm in and they're out and that solace can get me through where an underdeveloped spirituality is inadequate.

Charles

(on my first cup of coffee. Some of this may need more thought.)

A Citizen said...

Charles- I have worked with a lot of "bible thumpers" in the past and while I agree there is this "club mentality" that goes along with some fundemental Christians- but there is also the same sense of beautific peace that they really want to share with you-yet their dogma adheres them to a different sensibility- as in the case of Anne's vistors.

Personally, I follow Marxism strain of thought- Groucho Marxism in fact- That I wouldn't want to be part of a club that would have me as a memeber.

:-)

ads. said...

citizen- true dat! i like the way you think...