This is a complicated week this year. Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance (always 11/20) and Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US (always 3rd Thursday). So I am going off-script for today in order to bring up a couple of these themes. Thanksgiving is complicated. My generation was taught that it was a time that the Pilgrims came over in a caravan big boat and were starving. Those who belong to this land originally, welcomed the undocumented immigrant pilgrims and shared their food and how they grew food. It culminated in one big Thanksgiving dinner where all sat at the table and shared their food. Why is this complicated? Sherman Alexie, Spokane/Coeur d'Alene, says: "It [Thanksgiving] is a holiday that commemorates the beginning of the end for us, the death of a culture." Jacque
"A century ago, Albert Schweitzer, theologian and Nobel Peace Prize winner, remarked, 'The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live. He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.' He was right: to learn gratitude is to know the 'mystery' of life. But he was also wrong in a very important way. "Everyday there is reason to not feel grateful and not to practice gratitude. Terrible, distressing, painful, and sinful things happen all the time. The emotions of thanks elude, and it is easy to choose ingratitude. Yet, as I watch the news and fear grips my heart about whatever comes next, when a friend is diagnosed with cancer, when a loved one dies, that Bible verse, the one Albert Schweitzer alluded to, th...
"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Atheism, awareness, causality, Christianity, community, Compassion, conflict, conservatism, critical judgment, culture, efficient cause, Ethics, faith, generosity, Gratitude, Hebrew Scripture, Hospitality, Ideology, monotheism, prayer, Scripture, Thanks, Thanksgiving, Thinking, Uncategorized
Today's "Skeptic's Collection" column is rendered all too relevant by recent tragic events at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX. Over the last several years, I have gradually developed what some religious folk might well consider a bad personal tradition -- though I think it is a very good one! -- of occasionally dropping a turd in the ideological punch bowl of monotheistic, especially Christian, belief, not by denying any orthodox Christian teachings, but on the contrary, by thinking through those teachings’ logical implications more consistently than most Christians are willing to do. So, e.g., the Jesus of the Incarnation is fully God, not only because He loves to play with little kids, but also because on occasion he loves, or at least is willing, to slaughter