Brace yourselves; here comes the C-word and the J-word, not to mention the R-word.
Popular author Anne Rice has “quit” Christianity. On her Facebook page last week she wrote:
“Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out…I remain committed to Christ as always, but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”
And this morning in my inbox I discovered a stunning response in the form of an article in Salon magazine, from Lily Burana, who has chosen to stay and fight. She wrote:
“Religion can be freighted with heartache, disappointment, uncomfortable adjustment and the dreary slog through the vale of tears. But I believe we can fashion the pieces of a broken heart into a new shape of belief. I’d rather endure the contortions of worship than suffer the bone-dry refuge of refusal or a spiritual life half-lived.”
Some time ago, with the blessing of The Center for Progressive Christianity, I created a Facebook page, wanting to spread the word about this group’s work and resources. If you are one of those, like me, hanging in there with Christianity, you may wish to check it out. This month’s articles at www.tcpc.org are about Anne Rice’s decision, people who consider themselves SBNR (spiritual but not religious), the new atheists, interfaith – innerfaith, and more.
As an infant, I was baptized in the Universalist Church (in the 1960s it merged with the Unitarian Church, to form Unitarian Universalism). Although I trained as a UU minister, I am not firmly planted in a UU church, nor am I a free-floating follower of Jesus, but rather someone with more than one spiritual home. This is distasteful (bordering on heretical) to many people calling themselves Christians, but my religious experience is not a “spiritual life half-lived;” it is expansive and broad, as well as deeply rooted. I like to think it’s the way Jesus lived, breaking bread with all kinds of people, while intimately knowing his Source. Community is important to me; if I cannot find it, I gather with others and help it grow. And I see this happening all around me. Community ministry. Yup. That’s what I do.
Archive for the ‘Interfaith’ Category
On the sanctuarywithoutwalls events blog you will find a post which includes the registration brochures for events which will be facilitated by my friend Phoebe and me:
Growing Older, Growing Wiser: Becoming an Elderwoman ~ For women 55 and older, on the second Tuesday of each month, September 14, 2010 – March 8, 2011 ~ 7-9 PM
To download the registration brochure with all the details, click on the following link:
After being away and entertaining guests, I’ve had many little details to attend to here. It feels great to make these available, at last! Check out the events site for details and other happenings.
Today was one of those days. I allowed myself one meeting (only one, because of my ankle’s recovery), with our area interfaith group. The meeting got into some deep, subtle and difficult issues, and ended up lasting three hours, whereas it usually ends after about an hour and a half. Conversations like this are very important, but we don’t often make the time for them.
On another (but also interfaith) topic, this evening, I engaged in some interfaith planning for the upcoming event The Energy Transition: Cultural and Religious Perspectives, sponsored by the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. It is my responsibility to invite people to lead the evening Chapel Services for that week-long event; this year the services will have a multifaith focus. This is a new way of planning these traditional evening services; it will be interesting to see how the idea is received.
The more I am involved in this work, the more I see how difficult it can be for us to understand one another, especially with respect to “belief.” Can we stretch our religious understanding beyond “beliefs?” Beyond “ideas?” What is at the heart of the matter?
There’s the familiar Jalal ad-Din Rumi quote: “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”