When my mother went into skilled nursing care with Alzheimer’s dementia, my grouchy alter-ego Walhydra crawled under the bed, saying, “How can I writing sarcastic humor when real life is shutting me down with grief and depression? It isn’t funny!” Mom died in January 2011.
I think modern Quakers and people of other religions have a lot of confusion about what “membership” means.
I am a “convinced Friend” because in my faith and practice I choose to follow the Quaker way of worship, decision-making, and witness in the world.
I am a “member” of a particular Meeting if I have chosen to take responsibility for the support and well-being of that particular Meeting.
By analogy, one can be a Muslim or a Jew or a…
When I entered first grade in 1956, I faced a sort of peer treatment I had never previously experienced.
A little over two years earlier I had survived a bout of non-paralytic polio. My playmates then were happy to see me well. It didn’t affect their friendship that I had lost my resilience and coordination.
In first grade, though, among boys I had not previously known, I was suddenly a “sissy.”
This wasn’t about sexuality. Kids in…
Louis awoke in his chalet to the sound of tearing winds. The night had been deep and full of tossing dreams beneath the powerful sway of the full and cloudy moon. He lay in fuzzy, semi-sleep. His eyes burned, and he did not wish to rise.
The March wind rushed along the earth and slammed against the chalet walls. There was no shuddering, yet the sound was powerful. He could imagine that the sea below his hill would be quite…
Two simple metaphors to enrich the meta-conversation about faith and practice across the boundaries of religious language.
In the first, Hystery on Plainly Pagan writes about why she “resists theism”:
For me, what some might call “God” is that which is both intimately real and even commonplace and wholly Other and Ineffable. If I use the word “God”, people think I mean what I do not mean.
The butterfly is pinned and people think I mean wings and legs
Note: I deleted an earlier version of this post (see comment on “Apology to Quaker Quaker and its host”).
In recent years I’ve been reading and corresponding with a whole spectrum of individual Quaker bloggers, folks who share, in their own posts and in their comments on each other’s posts, an on-going meta-conversation about Quaker faith and practice across the boundaries of religious language.
These Friends write about their efforts to do something highly peculiar: to self-identify as Evangelical…
Within the past few weeks, I have witnessed too many cases of misunderstanding and hurt feelings over language and the unreadiness to listen beyond language.
Overtly, the struggles are framed as being between “non-Christians” and “Christians,” between “secular” and “religious,” between “liberal” and “orthodox.”
They are framed as being over who has been hurtful, disrespectful, hostile or even exclusionary toward whom.
The sad irony is that all of these people are passionate about lifting up loving kinship as the highest…
Religion or belief
In Part I, I laid out a problem—really a faith challenge—presented to me by the parable of the weeds in the wheat field, as told and interpreted in the book of Matthew (13:24-30, 36-43). The significance of this parable for me is that it sets up an…