This is going to sound really strange coming from me, i.e., coming from someone who has been a life-long fairly radical devotee of the First Amendment, in particular, of both the Amendment’s religion clauses: the “establishment” clause and the “free exercise” clause. But the recent publication of the grand jury’s findings regarding six Pennsylvania dioceses in the matter of priest pedophilia has caused me to radically reassess my attitude toward the latter clause, especially given that two of the six dioceses in question attempted to have judges quash the grand jury proceedings. In particular, I now believe that, for the most part and because of an arguably well-intentioned but exaggerated deference toward the “free exercise” clause, the Nation has pretty much allowed the Church to r
Well, it looks like I missed the Party! I knew about the Party, all right. But notwithstanding, I missed the Party, anyway. I missed the Party because – quite candidly, and despite being aware of the Party – I honestly didn’t know, still don’t know, what we were supposed to celebrate, rather like being expected to celebrate when your doctor tells you that you need four consecutive colonoscopies on four consecutive days. How happy duzzat make ya?!
OK … not to be obtuse ... the Party I missed was the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. For convenience, many church historians – with quite good reason -- date the Protestant Reformation as having “officially” begun on 31 October, 1517, the date when an Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, nailed his legendary “95
If there were more Christians and Christian ministers like the Rev. Terri Stewart, there is a pretty good chance -- who knows for sure? -- that I would still be one, too. And if there were more monotheists like Terri, it is a pretty safe bet that -- while there no guarantees -- I most likely would not, as I presently do, regard monotheistic religion as a malignant canker on the arse of human spirituality. (For the record: I do have deep and abiding respect for non-theistic religions, e.g., Buddhism and Taoism, where One Big Guy does not run Everything.) We do have our differences, e.g., Terri is much more reluctant than I to offend people. But let's not quibble. Most of all, let's not quibble, given that Terri recently wrote and published what I regard as the most realistic, level-he