Sunday, February 28, 2010

Belief isn't necessarily a bad thing

One thing I've noticed while working at a busy Midwestern airport bookstore is that a huge amount of books - fiction and nonfiction - deals with or mentions religion in some way. It's a huge part of the human experience whether you're in it, outside of it, or dallying right down that fine line (where I am right about now). The religion/spiritual section in each of the 6 stores is rather small, monotonous, and unpopular; the only religious text available is the Bible, of course (one store has two versions). Then there are a ton of Karen Armstrongs, Deepak Chopras, Chodrons, that super-popular pastor guy with the huge teeth, C.S. Lewis, the Dalai Lama, etc. Two of the biggest and most popular stores also carry Dawkins, A.J. Jacobs, and Hitchens. And, of course, The Shack is everywhere - I have yet to read this.

I'm still trying to figure out how to tie in my personal beliefs (ambiguity defines them best, not agnosticism) to the rest of life, that is my main issue right now. Although I'm a long way from forgiving all the teachers, administrators, clergy and laypeople who used religion-spirituality to chisel away at me, I'm making peace with religion in is still a big issue.

I've read "God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens and C.S. Lewis' Christian non-fiction. I don't see any difference between declaring that God doesn't exist because of church corruption and declaring that God exists because the North Star exists - both miss the point entirely! Figuring out how to relate my spirituality to the rest of life is such a delicate process because I don't want to slip into either of these habits.

In short: there is nothing inherently wrong or harmful about believing in something or not. What really matters is how it affects the rest of your life.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review of Roman Catholicism in America by Chester Gillis

I read this to gain a better understanding of my strict Catholic upbringing; Gillis went above and beyond my expectations! Because I can now understand the empty traditions, hostility, and control exerted by the staff, administration and clergy, I'm one step closer to forgiving them.

The fact that this was written before Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who, as recanted in this book, is a destructive slimbebal) became Pope Benedict and before the pedophilic scandals came to their worst point is actually a strength. It's easy to read the book from this point and see how the Catholic church does change drastically over time whether it wants to or not.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I'm finally back from the land of no internet!! And I'm . . . in rather the same place as before. But I've come to realize that most of this want for something more stems from a need for community. Since graduating and losing most of my friends, I haven't really had a community.

A sense of community is not that easy to come by. June is fantastic with its Pride, but the other 11 months out of the year...I dunno. At least I'm working with mostly cool people. Now that I'm finally settling into my new schedule, maybe I'll even have energy/time to volunteer or something.