Dwindling non-Christian population?

OK, I’ll admit off the top that I’ve been away for a while — I’ve had other things that needed doing that didn’t leave me much time for blog reading. But as I skim what’s on the front page (including diaries), and read comments, I seem to notice that the Street has gotten, well, less diverse.

Before saying anything, I went looking for recent posts by those I know to be paganish. Taliesin posted last Saturday and has been posting regularly. Propheticus Lycanthroponica still looks active, too.

OTOH, Andy Ternay hasn’t posted in two weeks. And after reading One Soul’s Journey and Thinking of leaving? Please Read…, I’m not at all surprised (though I am saddened) that irishwitch hasn’t posted in nearly a month.

I’ll admit right here that this isn’t an exhaustive list of our pagans, just the one’s whose names came to mind first, and that it also doesn’t include other non-Abrahamics (like our atheist and agnostic geschwistern.)

IMO, it’s just gotten less hospitable around here for those who don’t share the majority view. I’m guessing that some (def: more than zero and less than “all”) of the Christians are just as happy not having to deal with people asking uncomfortable questions. I’m also pretty sure that some of the Christians here are saddened by the loss of diverse voices. But I can understand people drifting away if not leaving outright — there’s at least one poster here I’ve had to stop reading all together for the sake of my blood pressure :-). I almost put off reading again today, but realized that if I didn’t come back soon, I probably wouldn’t get back at all. I’m not ready to leave completely — yet.

I wish I had suggestions, because I don’t like pointing out problems (or perceived/possible problems) without also offering some sort of solution, but I don’t. Maybe nothing can be done, and SP will slowly become less diverse. I may even be off base here, and there isn’t really an issue :-).

Since there’s been a lot of new members since the last time any major pagan-ish discussions were posted, I’m open to suggestions of what people would like to see. I do not claim to speak for any pagan other than myself, but I can cover generalities (or point to old diaries that do ^-^). If-when the site gains the ability to have a FAQ, I’ll be more than happy to help (or even coordinate) a pagan section.

123 comments

Hmmm. (4.00 / 5)

A lot of what is happening is probably a snowball effect due to population demographics — the majority of Christians on this site (I’m going to hazard a guess) appreciate and embrace other religious voices equally.  But with a strong majority comes some stifling of the minority just because it’s hard to speak up if (I find) when I’m in the minority — regardless of how welcoming and friendly the majority is.  The fewer pagans post, the less inclined others will be to add their voices to the conversation.

I’ve been trying to convince some of my more liberal pagan friends to join in the conversation in an effort to increase the numbers of the non-Abrahamic faiths here, but in part because they already belong to online communities and in part because being an active part of SP requires some dedication and determination I haven’t been entirely successful.

Thoughts on how to make that a more successful endeavor, or indeed, on whether that is a good use of time is appreciated.

“The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” ~ Psalm 121:5-6

by Sweet Georgia Peach on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 09:52:41 PDT

As a relative newcomer… (4.00 / 6)

… to this site this is only a guess on my part but the fact the two major people here running the show (very well by the way) are pastordan and Mrs Pastor that might leave some feeling the site is predominately christian centric. I have found that NOT to be the case and it’s very unfortunate if others may have come away with that impression.

…… Cristo Lumen

by br t on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:57:21 PDT

I agree. (4.00 / 5)

The organization is very Christo-centric for that very reason.  Coffee Hour, St. Gracie’s, Joys and Concerns (Blogging our Blessings/The Prayer Closet) all come out of a Christian tradition even if they aren’t meant to be explicitly Christian.

Are there any traditions we can make into a community tradition on SP that aren’t? Well, that remains to be seen.  Any non-Christians have any good ideas/want to facilitate a specifically religious and non-chris. trad. on SP?

“The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” ~ Psalm 121:5-6

by Sweet Georgia Peach on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:16:48 PDT

Well, (4.00 / 6)

Coffee Hour is about as inclusive as it comes ;-).

Cakes and ale, coffee and cookies, not that much difference, really.

Thing is, while pagans may sometimes post in places like the Prayer Closet, many Christians seem, well, reluctant to participate even just to add an amen-equivalent in the wiccan or druidic ceremonies. I don’t know if anything can be done about that, since it’s a matter of individual comfort.

by Morgan on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:25:59 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 5)

Egarwaen and Nimi Isis have also been active lately, off the top of my head. I think the traffic is a little low in general, not necessarily less diverse. If you yearn for any particular kind of discussion, strike one up!

I talked with Irishwitch just recently on dKos (wyfp) and she seems to be optimistic and doing very well, she and her husband and her parents are looking into buying a house that will serve all their needs better.

by Elizabeth D on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 10:28:21 PDT

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (4.00 / 3)

Thats so great!!

by A Missionarys Kid on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 09:06:55 PDT

Not here as much… (4.00 / 5)

these days myself. There just seems to be less and less that compels me to stop by. Perhaps this place is just destined to be a reflection of our mainly Christian society, and that’s that. That is sad, because it is so hard for people in this Christian centered country to really learn about other faith traditions…there is less chance to foster new understanding.

While Morgan misses the Pagans who no longer show up, I think of all the practitioners from Eastern traditions who are no longer with us. With each voice we lose, we become poorer. With every “quilt letter” that goes out proclaiming our diversity, I keep thinking it is less and less true.

OTOH New people continue to show up, lack of diversity is just not a problem for some, however it does change the flavor of things…it makes things more bland.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 10:54:08 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 5)

You seem to imply that the activity of Christians has remained at the same level and others have declined. I don’t think that’s so, I see a general lower level of activity. It’s not as if Christian-related discussion is really hopping either, or that we haven’t also lost Christian members.

by Elizabeth D on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 11:04:20 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 6)

While an expert “reading of the tea leaves” is not a substitute for rigorous statistical analyses, it is often sufficient in a court of law.  I would hazard that Elizabeth D is the closest thing we have to an expert regarding the overall content of SP.  😉

by Betty Black on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 11:10:26 PDT

I agree. (4.00 / 5)

I love SP, but I’ve been noticing overall posting going down.  This is good and bad — I can pretty much keep up with the entire site now, but again, I can pretty much keep up with the entire site.

I’d love to see more conversations and greater involvement from a larger pool of people (of couse, I love all of the regulars, etc.) 🙂

“The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” ~ Psalm 121:5-6

by Sweet Georgia Peach on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 11:15:19 PDT

Actually, (4.00 / 4)

I think Christian participation has gone up and non-Christian participation has gone down.

I am getting the feeling, I could be wrong, that my comment is putting people on the defensive, and it is certainly not my intent. I don’t think this is about non-Christian beliefs being challenged, or hostility towards non-Christians either. I am not angry, upset, or accusing anyone of anything, I am just offering my observation, which may or may not be correct.

New Christian voices have shown up to take the places of the Christians who no longer show up here, but who is there to take the place of people like Reverend Jim, Under the Bodhi Tree, x and Bridges? MondayMedia occasionally posts a diary, but he is here much less these days, he never comments on anyone else’s diaries. I did see a comment from la motocycliste last week(?) There are other Eastern practitioners who seem to be present less these days, and I can think of some “New Age Hoo Hoo Types” 😉 that don’t seem to spend so much time here these days as well.

We have one new Buddhist member, Kraant. (Welcome to Kraant, btw)Can anyone think of any others? Am I the only one who misses the ones I have mentioned? Does anyone know who the ones I did not mention might be? These might be good questions to ponder to see how important each of us really thinks diversity is.

Deep breath, trying to tread lightly here, if traffic is down in general, could it be others are finding this place less compelling as well? Can we think about all this without taking offense?

I agree with some others who are saying that this is the dynamic that minorities always face. What is interesting about all of this to me is, I perceive no hostility or judgement directed at non-Christians, so what could it be? Time to think…

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 11:58:20 PDT

SP Regulars (4.00 / 5)

How many “regulars” does SP have?  Thrity?  Fifty?  One hundred?  Depends how we define regulars, I guess.

An optimist would say that every new minority voice is a great victory in this context, particularly a heavy contributor.  Add one ready-to-comment-at-the-drop-of-a-hat pagan or non-Abrahamic religion to the mix and the character of the site changes.  Contrariwise, every lost minority voice seems like a great hole has opened.  My own thought is that each of us non-Christian regulars does a great service to the site by staying in the dialogue both respectfully and attentively, and that we may speak for a great many lurkers.

by Betty Black on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:13:51 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 4)

<i>My own thought is that each of us non-Christian regulars does a great service to the site by staying in the dialogue both respectfully and attentively, and that we may speak for a great many lurkers.</i>

Amen!

by Elizabeth D on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:17:39 PDT

AlsoYetiMonk (4.00 / 4)

A Buddhist staying at a monastery in rural northern India. I can’t think of a particularly new Christian member offhand (sorry), though I am certain there are some.

Christian participation hasn’t gone up. Even I haven’t been posting as much as usual. But I would be happy if it did go up! No one should object to any subset of members participating more. I have always been a leading cheerleader for everyone to participate more, and bring in all sorts of new people.

by Elizabeth D on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:16:28 PDT

I’m a little uncertain about the quilt letter (4.00 / 4)

remark. I wasn’t aware that any quilt letters have gone out. If you feel we are pushing away “voices” please let me know.

Just the other day I mentioned to Rain in a converstaion that I had noticed how some people were misssing — my “attendance taking” no doubt a holdover from the days when I taught undergraduates who were always trying to fool the attendance requirement — and how we missed them.  

On the calling card diary I posted some of the comments indicated that SPs were reading diaries but not commenting, and I think that is more likely the reason for so called slow traffic. I am personally trying hard to limit my time here, so may read diaries but not comments, which I think is where some others are too. I have noticed that there are a lot of diaries from cross-postings by people who are not necessarily regulars here, which is another phenomenon in itself that will change the dynamic.

I also think there is a natural evolution.  Some go onto other things, or find a happier nest for themselves. As for the diversity, I think that SP will be as diverse as all of us make it.  

I am not offended by non-Christian diaries in any way, and I may read them for information and interest, but I doubt I would actively particpate in the ensuing conversation.  I don’t think you should interpret that level of participation as hostile in any way.

by Aunt Arctic on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:06:29 PDT

Again, I perceive no hostility… (4.00 / 4)

What I meant about the “quilt letter” remark was that many of us, myself included, have written letters soliciting signatures proclaiming SP as a model in diversity and listing the different religions of participants here. It seems to me that we are not as diverse as we used to be. I can’t think of any Hindu based participants anymore, unless you were to count me because I practice some types of yoga.

In general, Aunt Arctic, I agree with you. I don’t think anyone is pushing away voices here, people are too nice to do that. I don’t understand why so many people think this is about hostility. I do wish we could take a deep breath, relax, and take a deeper look at this without people becoming touchy. We might learn something.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:44:02 PDT

Do you sense defensiveness (4.00 / 5)

or hostility? Mainly just cruising through the remarks I haven’t

Perhaps that is the problem. I am often asked why I am writing “angry” when I know I am not pissed at all. I am certainly opinionated, dogmatic, direct and verbose 🙂 – but hardly ever angry.

It is funny that when I “am angry” – I am hardly ever accused of it. Probably because I am trying so hard at that point not to write that way.

I think, it not being face-to-face conversation, it is easier for us to “apply” the faces of those who have said the same thing to us in the past to the words being spoken. After all, real communication is only about 5% the words we use.

And I think that goes to the minority/majority view expressed above. As a Christian, and not a theologically liberal one, I carry some baggage of the fools shouting “murderer” at women at abortion clinics; or screaming that gays are “going to hell” at various points. These are actions, BTW, that I believe portend badly for those doing them.

I am sure those angry faces and mannerisms have been applied to me on more than a couple of occasions.

Street Prophets Bible in a Year now posted weekly on Mondays. Last post: here

by JCHFleetguy on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 13:09:29 PDT

You raise an interesting question. (4.00 / 4)

Here is the way the general response feels on my end: You are wrong, you should not feel that way, it’s not my fault you feel this way. ;-D

Perhaps some people are uncomfortable with the discussion? For me, it is natural to dig in and try to understand why the situation exists…this is what Buddhist practice is a about: Oh boy…a scab, let’s pick it and see if we can figure out what caused it!  With understanding comes acceptance.

I suspect Aunt Arctic and Betty Black may have nailed two big pieces of the dynamic in various comments. AA said that she reads non-Christian diaries but does not participate in discussion, that is understandable. How does one discuss something that you really don’t relate with? And I think that is true for many or most Christian SP’ers. This may be a part of a dynamic that could make some non-Abrahamics feel unwelcome. It is nobody’s fault, it just is.

The other part of it is, as BB said, with each non-Abrahamic that stops or decreases participation here, the rest of us really feel the loss of that voice, where the rest of the SP’ers don’t miss them so much, because there are still plenty of people here who share in or validate their religious/spiritual experience. Betty called it, I think, with  the understanding that the loss of each of those voices for us non-Abrahamics, makes us feel more lonely here.

None of this is anybody’s fault, and I don’t necessarily think there is anything that can be done about it. It just is.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:14:18 PDT

to clarify (4.00 / 4)

Actually, I was trying to speak from a non-sectarian perspective: the loss of an actively participating “minority” spiritual voice objectively changes the character of the site simply because there is a small pool of actively participating SP’ers.  If we have 100 active posters (however we define that group) and 5 are pagans, then the loss of one pagan voice is the loss of 20% of that community; it would be even more pronounced if we consider active posters to be only 30 with 5 pagans as it would significantly change the pagan % of active contributors.

The small pool of active posters at SP actually gives minority voices an outsized impact (IMO) because the more distinct perspective of our voices make them stand out.  I am probably decently far down the list on “most active posters”, but simply because I am the most active of the a-religious my voice has more resonance (I feel).

by Betty Black on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:24:31 PDT

Sorry for the misunderstanding Betty. (4.00 / 2)

I didn’t mean to be putting words in your mouth.
😉

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 10:35:49 PDT

See, (4.00 / 5)

I wasn’t saying you were wrong – I was noting that we could read the same words and have different emotional responses.

We may actually both be “wrong” or both be “right” – the curious thing to me is that we responded differently to the same conversation.

Part of that to me is that human beings process things far more non-verbally than verbally – and here we do not even have tone of voice to rely on. Or the other person’s eyes, etc.

So, folks listen to what I say and fill in tone of voice, facial expressions, etc. based on past experiences with the same words.

It is part of the reason I have considered leaving (no dire requests to stay please – if any would 🙂 ). Sometimes in order to make folks see that a “theologically conservative Christian” does not fall into their stereotypical boxes – I have to spend large amounts of time pulling “words out of my mouth” others place there because of those sterotypes. It is a pain to have someone filling in my blanks instead of asking questions.

It is a worthy goal I believe, but difficult. As difficult I would suppose as for the Wiccan who thinks I sit over here thinking they call up demons.

Communication like this purely by writing is tough stuff.

Street Prophets Bible in a Year now posted weekly on Mondays. Last post: here

by JCHFleetguy on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:59:00 PDT

LOL I was not even refering to anything you said. (4.00 / 4)

What a great demonstration of how incomplete written communication is! I have to plead some exhaustion and dullness, btw, I work in the auto industry, and every day brings a new crisis where I work lately.

And I do agree with you 100 per cent about missing the nonverbal portion of the conversation when we communicate in writing. One can write in total detachment, but if the person reading it has an emotional reaction to what is written, it always gets projected on to the writer. But truly, JCH, I was speaking to the general tone of what I was feeling from responses. It felt defensive to me today, as it did a couple months ago when Morgan provoked a similar discussion.  And I didn’t feel any defensiveness from you, my friend, you were the only one willing to talk about it. Has anyone ever told you that you would make a good Buddhist? 😀

I had actually shut down the computer for the night, but in meditation I really felt there was something from you that I needed to respond to. I am glad I did not let this wait until morning!

Namaste’

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 17:47:29 PDT

And seriously (none / 1)

Don’t you dare leave.  

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 16:05:08 PDT

One buddhist still lurking (4.00 / 5)

Not that I’ve ever been much for writing on this site (or any other, for that matter), but I’m still visiting this site and perusing the daily offerings.  I haven’t been inspired or compelled to comment much lately.

by wanderingoutlaw on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 13:10:34 PDT

Happy to see you are still with us. (4.00 / 4)

I am in the same boat, have not felt inspired or compelled to comment much lately either. And I am not complaining…things change, it is the one thing we can count on. 🙂

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:31:17 PDT

Another here (4.00 / 5)

..and still another Buddhist here.I guess we are a rather quiet minority.:)I intend to start diarying here regularly, but I’ve been a bit tied up with my personal blog.I don’t delve directly into spiritual or religious dialogue there and I feel a need for that kind of outlet.Maybe this thread is a nudge.

As a mother with her own life guards the life of her child, have all-embracing thoughts for all that lives. -Metta Sutta [-8.38,-6.15]

by Jeff G on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 10:12:54 PDT

Part Of the Issue (4.00 / 7)

… is the same one minorities run into everywhere: the majority has a hard time seeing why minorities find certain language to be offensive or threatening. For example, a white man probably finds being called “cracker” by a black man who’s a vague acquaintance to be amusing; but most black men would find being called “nigger” by a white man who’s a vague acquaintance to be insulting. The reason is the difference in relative social power. Words linked to the colour of a white man’s skin are no threat to him, because he’s a societal “norm” and, generally speaking, has power. For a black man, they’re a reminder of powerlessness and of a social order that persecuted him.

Something similar can be seen in the adjectives for sexual promiscuity for men and women.

There was a really good diary about this on Booman Tribune a few months back. I wish I’d saved a link to it.

Religion’s the same way. Language or language constructs that seem absolutely fine, or maybe just a little questionable, to a member of the majority religion (Chrisianity, for Americans) can be (rightly) perceived as hostile, threatening, or denigrating by members of a minority religion. Unfortunately, this means the members of the majority religion see no need to jump into the discussion, criticize the language, or support someone who’s concerned about the language and its apparent casual acceptance by other posters.

I tend to stick to front-page stories or those that I know are posted by non-Christians or posters willing to “manage” their discussion properly partially because of this. There also tends to be more interesting discussion there, instead of “This is the way things are, and you’re a bad person for not accepting it”.

As for what I’d like to see… More diaries about non-Christian rituals and beliefs would be really nice. I don’t always have much to say about them, but I do enjoy reading about them. sunflight’s Spiritual Persistence Points to Ponder diaries are wonderful. I’m contemplating turning my Pratchett’s Pieces of Sky ones into more general diaries on spiritual insight in art. kraant’s recent Monkey Speak diary was also very good. I’d be very interested in any diary exploring similarities between different faiths, beliefs, and teachings.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 10:54:28 PDT

The primary reason (4.00 / 5)

for the natural law posts is just your last point. If you haven’t looked at Lewis’s Tao [1] it might be of interest

Street Prophets Bible in a Year now posted weekly on Mondays. Last post: here

by JCHFleetguy on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 11:45:45 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 5)

Language or language constructs that seem absolutely fine, or maybe just a little questionable, to a member of the majority religion

We should all be sensitive to this–to be in a diverse community requires stretching to understand others and requires forgiving the chafing that occurs between us.

If I see anybody being abusive and nasty, I usually speak up about that regardless of who it is. The closest I see to ugly name-calling here is probably various names people sometimes call right-wing Christians, and sometimes a Christian Street Prophet will feel smeared with a broad brush and take exception to that. But by the terms of our own religion Christians are to accept this:

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.

by Elizabeth D on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:03:37 PDT

qwer (4.00 / 5)

Right, and it is good when people do speak up. However, we have had diaries here in the past where members of minority religions pointed out some very, very offensive language… And were dogpiled by certain other members and told that they were imagining it, that they had a persecution complex, and that they were “too sensitive”. The language in question was offensive, and blatantly so because of the factors mentioned above. Yes, it wouldn’t have been offensive applied to Christianity… Because Chrstianity’s a majority religion. It’s like calling a white person a “cracker”. You’re not going to offend them, and they’re probably going to laugh.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:22:21 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 4)

There have been cases where conservative Christian and Pagan beliefs collided, and some of the Pagans took great offense even though none was intended. I’ve absolutely felt for the Pagans in those situations, but in a diverse religious environment everybody is responsible for being cordial when this chafing occurs. That’s an important aspect of religious tolerance.

And, no one has moral carte blanche as a minority to insult members of a majority. I don’t agree with you at all about that, and I don’t like being called names whether as a majority or minority. Nobody really has the right to make an assumption about what insult is going to hurt me and what isn’t (much less decide they have a right to hurt me because I’m a member of a majority or minority group they don’t like). I personally believe in forgiving people anyway.

by Elizabeth D on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:55:54 PDT

zxcv (4.00 / 5)

I prefer riding in the gutter of generic non-specific subject lines.

by Betty Black on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:06:08 PDT

qwer (4.00 / 5)

There have been cases where conservative Christian and Pagan beliefs collided, and some of the Pagans took great offense even though none was intended.

You seem to have missed my point entirely. The white man probably didn’t intend any offense when he said “nigger” to the black guy. After all, the black guy called him “cracker”, and he found it funny, right? Just a bit of harmless joshing?

No offense may have been intended, but the language used was blatantly offensive. We don’t tolerate people going around calling black people “niggers”, even if they don’t intend to offend, so why do we tolerate this?

Digging back through the BT archives, I found the diary in question. I suggest you give it a read; I found it very enlightening.

Talking about Race: My GOP Uncle and Me

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:18:31 PDT

It seems (4.00 / 5)

highly doubtful to me that a white person would ever use the n-word to someone’s face, without intending offense.  And I also disagree about the idea that a white person would not be deeply and permanently insulted by being called a “cracker” by an African American.  Both statements would be an outrage.  

Meanwhile, here on SP, I see quite a bit of vituperation directed at orthodox Christianity, accompanied by a sense that Christians who launched even an intellectual critique of, say, paganism, would get flamed six ways from Sunday.  

Bottom line: what we are trying to do here is really, really hard.  And if we as enlightened liberals have a hard time with it, it gets a little easier to see why people going back in history have had a hard time with it.  At the end of the day, if we really believe in our beliefs, we can’t compromise them — whether we are Christians or pagans or Muslims or whatever.  At a certain point, interfaith “dialogue” invariably boils down to uncomfortable and uncompromising questions and absolutes.  

It is problematic if only one group is allowed to ask those questions (which I sometimes feel is the case).  But lets not kid ourselves:  It is equally difficult if both groups ask those questions.  How we get through this will be a test of this community and a model for progressive interfaith political action, if we do it right.  I vote we hang in there.  But it should be with the acknowledgement that these issues are not tangential, a distraction from the warm fuzzy conversation that should be going on.  Wrestling with them is central to what this community is about.  

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 06:05:42 PDT

Seems Schmemes (4.00 / 3)

The diary I linked to has real examples of racial slurs being used to someone’s face without apparent ill will. I don’t give a flying bunny [2] what you think it “seems” like. It happens. Deal.

I’ve yet to see any vituperation directed at orthodox Christianity; at least, not the flavour pastordan practices. Perhaps you could direct me to some? I’ve seen plenty directed at people who are very strident about their way being the One True Way and everyone who deviates even slightly from it being delusional, idolators, or what-have-you. If that’s what you think “orthodox Christianity” is… Perhaps orthodox Christians would do best to avoid this site, as by your definition, they are incapable of carrying on a polite discussion with people of other religions.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 09:28:25 PDT

It is probably a good thing (4.00 / 2)

Perhaps orthodox Christians would do best to avoid this site, as by your definition, they are incapable of carrying on a polite discussion with people of other religions.

This is one of the sorts of things I’m talking about.  I haven’t seen any of the orthodox Christians here being incapable of carrying on a polite discussion.  But we get flamed anyway.  People read a lot into comments (e.g. I have a sticky shift key on my computer, but get accused of dissing Pagans).  

Since I count myself among the orthodox, I will just ignore your suggestion that I avoid the site.  I wouldn’t leave for the world.  What we are trying to accomplish here is too important.  

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 14:45:55 PDT

Good? (none / 1)

Don’t misquote me to attempt to make your point. Perhaps you need to go back and read my post again? As the few sentences you lifted out of context has a totally different meaning if you read the entire thing.

You’ve so far produced zero examples.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 17:45:19 PDT

Maybe you should go back (none / 1)

And read your own post.  If you meant something different, you failed to communicate it.  I also see a contradiction here.  Apparently you find it legitimate for folks to take offense at other people’s post — only not yours.  

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 18:13:16 PDT

Why? (none / 1)

Why should I? My post communicated it just fine:

I’ve seen plenty directed at people who are very strident about their way being the One True Way and everyone who deviates even slightly from it being delusional, idolators, or what-have-you. If that’s what you think “orthodox Christianity” is… Perhaps orthodox Christians would do best to avoid this site, as by your definition, they are incapable of carrying on a polite discussion with people of other religions.

In point form:

  • The only time I’ve seen vitrol directed at “Christians” is when claims of “one true way” were made, and insults were flung at those who attempted to follow other paths.
  • If your definition of “orthodox Christian” is the kind of person in the above scenario, perhaps they would do best to avoid this site.
  • If your definition of “orthodox Christian” is not someone who looks down scornfully at other paths, they should have no problems.

Of course, all these juvenile attempts to “prove” my hypocrisy merely obscure one simple fact: you have yet to produce an incident where insults were flung at Orthodox Christians.

I have no problem with people taking issue with my tone. I do have a problem when it’s an obvious attempt to set me up for an insult. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed your concerns were honest; they do not appear to have been.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 18:24:03 PDT

P.S. (none / 1)

i find this tone

I don’t give a flying bunny what you think it “seems” like. It happens. Deal.

unnecessarily belligerent.  I don’t agree with you, the single anecdote recounted in the diary you cited doesn’t really change that.  And speaking to me this way is unlikely to persuade.  

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 15:01:01 PDT

Belligerent (none / 1)

The account in the diary I linked to describes a case where an individual employed racist language without intending any offense. You claimed that you found it unlikely that this would ever happen. I provided an example where it did.

That’s an open-and-shut case. It does happen.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 17:47:42 PDT

I think it is interesting (none / 1)

That you become so defensive when someone takes issue with your own tone.  Physician heal thyself.  

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 18:04:13 PDT

Really? (4.00 / 2)

I wasn’t defensive at all; I merely pointed out, in a neutral tone of voice, that your argument made no sense. You claimed it seemed like it couldn’t happen, in the face of evidence that it did happen, or something very likely. By claiming that it “seems unlikely”, you’re effectively calling SteveD a liar.

Of course, the alternative is that, when offensive language is used, the poster always intends to offend. Are you really claiming that?

I find it very interesting that you become so offensive when someone points out that what you’re saying makes no sense.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 18:19:31 PDT

Orthodox? (4.00 / 5)

Not as far as I’ve seen. Most of the serious dislike seems to be pointed at “radical fundy” types (with full acknowledgement that not all Fundamentalists are radical whackjobs!).

I may be off base, but I don’t equate Orthodox and Fundamentalist. Then again, when I hear “Orthodox” related to Christianity, my first thought is Eastern Orthodox Catholicism, so I may be off base to begin with :-).

My bottom line is that I save my ire for those who get on my case first. If you don’t give me grief about my spirituality, I won’t give you grief about yours :-). And I don’t qualify respectful discussion on similarities and differences to be “grief.”

by Morgan on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 12:37:45 PDT

Hmmmm … (4.00 / 3)

True Blue : “… whether we are Christians or pagans or Muslims or whatever.” (Emphasis added)

True Blue, I’ll cut you lots of slack primarily because your heart is unquestionably in the right place but also because the Pagan community itself is inconsistent with its capitalization of the word “pagan”

Nevertheless, you capitalized the proper nouns “Christian” and “Muslim” in the sentence I quoted, but left “pagan” in lower case, the implication being that those of us who are Pagan are merely “whatevers”.

I grant the grammatical rules that apply to the word are in flux (as it’s no longer primarily an adjective), yet the Dictionary.com entry shows Neo-Pagan properly capitalized.

Just my $0.13 …

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 14:15:24 PDT

Sticky shift key (4.00 / 2)

But thank for keeping us aware.  

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 14:46:50 PDT

Ah … no problem. (none / 1)

Sticky keyboards cause all SORTS of grief !

😛

But it occurs to me how easily something as small & unintentional as a missed shift-key stroke could have gotten blown out of proportion into full-scale combat.

Not especially likely here on SP, since we do seem pretty forgiving of text errors, I’m thinking more as a metaphor, in the real world …

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 15:52:18 PDT

My keyboard seems to (none / 1)

have had some milk spilled on it … possibly by a small child.  That is probably a metaphor for something as well.  

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 16:02:20 PDT

Exactly (4.00 / 5)

No one, minority or majority, gets to go around being insulting without consequences.

If you (generic “you”!) want respect and tolerance, give others respect and tolerance. If someone is condescending, they shouldn’t be surprised if others call them on it. And for the umpteenth time, one can respect someone else’s beliefs without agreeing with them :-).

“I disagree” doesn’t have to mean “You’re wrong.” After all, I strongly disagree with a lot of Christian teachings, but that doesn’t mean I think Christians are horrible or misguided for not agreeing with my beliefs. Unfortunately, Christians sometimes give that impression — that they think we’re misguided or something because we disagree with their beliefs.

And that can get real old real fast :-(.

by Morgan on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:20:42 PDT

One Of the Things (4.00 / 6)

Unfortunately, Christians sometimes give that impression — that they think we’re misguided or something because we disagree with their beliefs.

That’s one of the things I was talking about. (And is one of the major points of difference between my beliefs and mainstream Christianity) To Christians, the language doesn’t seem exceptional at all. To those of us slightly or significantly outside the mainstream… Different story entirely. Sure, no offense is meant, but the language is still offensive.

It’s a matter of watching what you say and how you say it, thinking about how it looks from the other person’s point of view, and apologizing when necessary. If someone seriously thinks that your language is offensive, don’t insist that they’re reading it wrong, or are being oversensitive, or have a “persecution complex”. Apologize, and maybe ask them to explain why it was offensive. And remember that text confers tone very, very poorly, so don’t rely on it.

Plus, the “you have to tolerate my intolerance or you’re a hypocrite” thing gets old really fast.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:43:13 PDT

How many? (4.00 / 5)

How many hidden comments have we had here?  I remember when there were just two on that list?!  I haven’t looked lately, but I’d bet they’re few and far between.  It’s a pretty nice crowd.

by Austin in PA on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 08:25:15 PDT

yep (none / 1)

There have only ever been two, both by the same conservative troll. We do see arguments here though, and they are at times wounding.

by Elizabeth D on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 14:34:10 PDT

Man I’ve been mentioned twice (4.00 / 6)

Stop giving me a big head dammit! 😉

Given the topic of the diary this is probably like picking hard at that scab but I signed up fairly early on (just before you did actually). Looked around for a bit commented a little and wandered off because I got the impression the place was swarming with Wiccans…

Reading here has cured me of this view, but up till now most of my face to face interactions with Wiccans has always involved people with an enormous chip on their shoulder about the “Burning Times”, those stupid Satanists giving them a bad name, and complaining about oppression because mummy took their dagger off them…

But then I’m also realising I had a lot of misconceptions about a lot of religions – Christianity included, surprisingly enough given it’s omnipresense in “western” culture.

I’m really starting to get the feeling that even when people are using diametrically opposed terms to what I’d use they’re actually talking about exactly the same things as I would. So before worrying about offense I try and put what they’re saying through a their religion to Buddhism filter. Then if I still have questions explain how I’ve interpreted it and then give that scab a good poke.

I don’t worry about things like prayer closets although given that I don’t pray I just at most wander in and give everyone a 4.

To be honest the level of discussion here seems very calm, subdued, and for lack of a better term – nice. Especially compared to the kind of intrafaith squabbling I’m used to. But then, to a cynical eye a fair chunk of Buddhist writings looks suspiciously like a giant corpus of debating tactics. So debating a Buddhist is kind of like wrestling a pig in mud. That and terms like “not a real Buddhist” and “heretic” get thrown around so much they’ve pretty much lost their sting.

I dunno. To give you examples of the kinda bickering you get in Buddhism I’m going to list a couple of piefights that have lasted more than a millenia.

  • Whether sukara-maddava the last meal that caused Buddhas death from food poisoning – literally “pigs delight” – was pork or mushrooms.
  • Whether the doctrine of anatman means no-self, no-ego, or no-soul.
  • Whether words have any meaning at all, and whether things can be said to have some sort of existance.

The first two are still ongoing, I fall on the side of the meal being pork, and anatman meaning no-soul, but reasonable Buddhists may disagree. The last only stopped when a response was found to people carrying the idea a bit too far; Basically by implying that they’re being foolish or insane.[1]

There’s plenty more where those came from. So coming from that perspective I’d personally prefer not to shut down dialogue for fear of giving offence. Assuming good faith, which I’m pretty sure everyone here is acting in, offence seems to be at most a result of ignorance on one side, the other, or both. Ignorance IMNSHO needs to be met with dialogue more than anything else. Kinda talking it through until people find common ground. I don’t really see how being in the minority puts me at a disadvantage or at more risk of offence, but then there’s the whole cynical view, big giant collection of debating tactics thing.

I’ve actually got a fairly big collection of diaries I’m planning to write and was planning on sticking to only posting a diary when the last one I wrote scrolled of the bottom of the last 50 diaries. If people want to see more of them I could probably pump them out more often…

[1]Dervish made an interesting point about how fools and madman are holy and know the Truth. Which is something that is in Buddhism but that I’d forgotten about. A great example of interfaith dialogue and how useful it can be.

by kraant on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 06:10:48 PDT

Man that all sounds so serious (4.00 / 5)

So to add a bit of levity…

Arguing with Buddhists is like arguing with idiots…

They’ll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience…

Badoom! Tish!

I don’t know whether it’s my fault or not, but I’ve noticed that people have started adding a cute little disclaimer saying something along the lines of…

“Except for Buddhists who probably don’t believe this.”

When they’re making broad generalizations about commonalities between all religions…

Heh. 😛

by kraant on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 07:46:23 PDT

I was not aware (4.00 / 8)

that twelve Klingons constitute a swarm

oops… wrong forumn…

by A Missionarys Kid on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 09:18:50 PDT

Doctrine of No-post (4.00 / 5)

I guess you could say we’ve taken the doctrine of “no-post” a little too far.:p

…okay…that was awful…

My bad.

As a mother with her own life guards the life of her child, have all-embracing thoughts for all that lives. -Metta Sutta [-8.38,-6.15]

by Jeff G on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 10:27:40 PDT

Yes (4.00 / 4)

There’s a difference between abstaining from idle chatter and not saying anything at all. 😉

I’m not even going to dare go into whether the injunction to refrain from false speech overides the injunctions against slanderous speech or hateful speech.[1]

I don’t think this diary needs a Buddhist pie fight on top of everything else… :p

[1]This one gets really really nasty… Unsurprisingly on the side who thinks it does – but also suprisingly enough from the side who thinks it doesn’t.

by kraant on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 11:53:01 PDT

This one hit me last night, (4.00 / 2)

…Looked around for a bit commented a little and wandered off because I got the impression the place was swarming with Wiccans…

IIRC, back in the “early days” (October/November) there were all of three of us posting on a really active basis — me, Taliesin and Andy (and I never use “wiccan” for myself, but either “druid” or “pagan”). There may have been others here and there, and more have joined since, but those are the ones I remember posting most way back when.

I find it amusing, and telling, that three active pagan posters came across to someone as a swarm :-). A subgroup really has to be rare for that small a number to seem like a lot!

No offence taken, BTW!

As to the chip thing, you make a valid point, and I think that’s worth another diary.

by Morgan on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 11:06:32 PDT

I also don’t see (none / 1)

Language or language constructs that seem absolutely fine, or maybe just a little questionable, to a member of the majority religion

how the kinds of language that get used here by Christians could be remotely equated with calling someone a nigger.  We really need to keep things in perspective.  Telling someone you disagree with him is nowhere near the same thing.  

Morgan noted that she had seen people get called “misguided” or similar descriptors, and I would argue that even that does not inhabit the same universe of epithets as racial slurs. Why are you even comparing the two?

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 16:12:42 PDT

The Entire Problem (4.00 / 3)

Morgan noted that she had seen people get called “misguided” or similar descriptors, and I would argue that even that does not inhabit the same universe of epithets as racial slurs. Why are you even comparing the two?

Because it’s the same kind of language, and the same majority/minority behaviour. This is a perfect example of the problem. You don’t see why it’s offensive – after all, while someone may call you misguided, you face no real consequences from this perception in your day-to-day life. It’s a minor, or even irrelevant thing to you. Pagans in the USA, however, face very real consequences stemming from the majority’s belief that they are “misguided”, “sinners”, “evil witches”, “in league with the devil”, and so on. Thus, they can find this languageand its implications to be considerably more offensive.

If you’re at all involved in the greater left blogsphere, you’ve seen the same kind of thing happen with sexist language. Language that the vast majority of posters found thoroughly unobjectionable was very insulting to a minority of posters, because they knew the history behind the phrases used, and often had personal experience with it.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 17:53:32 PDT

SP majority view = pluralism (4.00 / 6)

I’ve been a little low energy on my SP involvement of late (due to the demands of the analogue world) so I can neither confirm nor deny your observation.  But as far as the site becoming less hospitable for those not sharing a majority view, I would say that the majority view has been rapidly coallessing around tollerance and pluralism.  

Perhaps it is simply the subset of content which I am reading, but it seems to me that the posters who are most “put-upon” (I think The Good Girl whenever I hear that) are those explicitly claiming exclusivity of truth.  JCHFleetguy handles his roll as foil with dignity and grace, but there have been spats with others which have been less than dignified (and in which I was regrettably involved).

by Betty Black on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 10:58:46 PDT

Thanks, I try (4.00 / 5)

I appreciate the compliment.

Street Prophets Bible in a Year now posted weekly on Mondays. Last post: here

by JCHFleetguy on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 11:41:20 PDT

Betty, Betty, Betty, (4.00 / 4)

I can’t speak for Morgan, but I truly do not feel “put upon”…if I did, I would just take my bat and ball and go home. 😉 It does seem that my perception differs than some others though, huh?

And I agree with you about our resident “foil”.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:03:27 PDT

put upon (4.00 / 5)

I had to use that turn of phrase because I had Jennifer Aniston’s (sp?) voice in my head.  What I mean to say is that the community is very open to pagan/non-Abrahamic participation even if its pagan/non-Abrahamic members are feeling a little lonely.  What I see challenged at SP is exclusiveness, both inter- and intrafaith exclusivity.

by Betty Black on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:30:01 PDT

You may have it right, Betty, (4.00 / 4)

maybe we are lonely.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 13:08:25 PDT

Curses “foiled” again (4.00 / 5)

Street Prophets Bible in a Year now posted weekly on Mondays. Last post: here

by JCHFleetguy on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:43:10 PDT

Just so long as you … (none / 1)

… don’t get aluminized, JCH, you’ll be OK.

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 17:54:05 PDT

Not so much “put upon” as… (4.00 / 5)

…well, the analogy comes to mind of the bunch of us walking our treadmills together, except that some of the treadmills are set steeper than others, so that it feels like we have to put out more effort just to stay even. It may not be the reality,but it can be the perception. We just get drowned out.

We don’t have a handy dandy holy book to go to — where it’s easy for a Christian to post daily Bible study, someone attempting to do something analogous for non-Christians has to make it all up from scratch. I tried for a while (remember the Daily Deity?) but just couldn’t keep it up by myself and no one else seemed willing to pick up the ball when I dropped it.

Our rituals tend to be monthly, or less often, instead of weekly. One ritual every 6-7 weeks gets lost in the shuffle of daily and weekly services.

For the most part, with a few sad exceptions, no one’s “picking on us,” it’s just easy to get tired of what can feel like a constant uphill battle. It takes a good reason to overcome that. I’m only still here because I being one of the few remaining voices ties into a vow I made long before blogs existed (back about the time I had AOL and only used flash sessions to get and send email so I wouldn’t go over my 10 hours/month ^_^).

I do have an idea for a regular post that hopefully either I can keep up with or someone else can do if I’m not around, but that’s another diary :-).

by Morgan on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:21:12 PDT

Regular Post (4.00 / 6)

You, sunflight, and I all seem to have regular posts that we want to do, but we also have lives and stuff that keep getting in the way. Maybe we should work out some kind of rotation schedule?

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:23:48 PDT

Not that I needed much egging on… (4.00 / 5)

to get all that egg on my face.

<sigh>

If there were losses in that one, it was not the pagan leaving.  I’m here.  I’m afraid a couple of Orthodox participants may have packed it in, though.

As for my participating… I’ve been busy as three people lately.  We had a big fund raising effort for hurrican relief efforts (ongoing…). (Note to self: tell QB to think good thoughts harder; my gumbo took 2nd place…).  That ate much of the weekend, with all the organizational work that was coming from this household.

Then we went to see Brokeback Mtn, again, with a group.  Who are — some of us, anyway — going to try to get an Interweave group up and running at the Fellowship.  The movie and extended discussion afterward, over coffee, at much of Monday afternoon.  Today was devoured almost completely with a budget/bequest meeting and a traumatic meeting with the architect and general contractor for our new building (hey, it’s only a half million that things look like they’ll cost… more than the top range projection…).

In my copious spare time, I’m trying to remember to do some household chores, keep my kids on-track with their education… and starting to blogg UU stuff.  Plus I got fired up and wrote most of a sermon.  It was either that… or go work on actually finishing the master bathroom that I gutted at have substantially put back together.  Scrape/sand the ceiling or… write?  Hmmm.

by ogre on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 23:44:52 PDT

re: O-dox (none / 1)

one [me] rarely pops by even though he’s a front-page poster because he’s very busy trying not to be homeless and unemployed in the near future, the other [as he said] was supposed to be off the site for good already and is indeed making good on that, the third is prolly still around but he’s a busy man as well. this is the first time i’ve run into the site in a few days and i wonder whether it’s worth getting into the discussion i had left hangning.

Join the battle against cosmic evil!

by gzt on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 15:21:31 PDT

As for me… (4.00 / 6)

I’m a non-Christian, but it’s hard to say exactly WHAT I am.  I study the Tao Te Ching and Taoist writers, but I hesitate to say I’m a Taoist.  I have the greatest admiration and respect for progressive Christianity but often find it difficult to commit myself 100% to Christianity.  I was pagan for a long time but lost my connection to it some years ago; hard to say why.  I’ve lately been intrigued by Sufism but know very little about it.

I said once, “Sometimes I’m not sure exactly WHAT I believe in,” and that’s true.  Free-form spiritual pilgrim, maybe?

And I haven’t been active here much because I’ve been busy and often too tired to do more than just glance at what’s being posted.

by Vagrarian on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:21:50 PDT

Welcome t’the Club (4.00 / 5)

I said once, “Sometimes I’m not sure exactly WHAT I believe in,” and that’s true. Free-form spiritual pilgrim, maybe?

Hey, I like that phrase! Describes my beliefs and attitude (or what I’d like to be my attitude) quite well. 🙂

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:24:35 PDT

daily spirit (4.00 / 5)

I’ve been so annoyed by some diaries that I  nearly walked away from SP a few times over the past month. I don’t because there’s nothing to walk away from: I mean I didn’t join an official club so there’s no club to quit. Just wait awhile &  diaries move off the page & new ones appear. That fluidity is what I enjoy about the SP & the internet. You don’t step in the same river twice.

Actual discussion of political issues, as posted by PastorDan & Chuck Currie especially, usually don’t generate much comment. Granted, lot of times there’s really nothing to add to some more sorry news about the Bush Junta or nutball right wing statement.

I wish there were more color, culture, & humor here. The daily spirit of SP community  shows up in Mrs. P’s coffee hour & polisigh’s prayer corner.

“There ain’t no sanity clause.” Chico Marx

by Asbury Park on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 12:36:54 PDT

More of… (4.00 / 5)

color, culture, & humor here

Expand on that, please.

If there’s a place you think we ought to go, let’s talk about that….

I do think it’s interesting that some of the sorts of topics that might fire up a heated discussion on DKos get more of a <sigh> and <headshake>… move along… here.

by ogre on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 23:47:36 PDT

I’ve been gone for three weeks (4.00 / 5)

with computer problems, myself.

I don’t post as often as I should to up the “pagan diversity” here (committed pagan/Wiccan in a household of such), but it’s because I hold myself to a high standard and don’t want to look like an illiterate fool posting things I haven’t properly thought through. There’s a pretty high standard around here. (grin)

The greater the circle, the more the love grows.

by Alexandra Lynch on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:03:38 PDT

Welcome back. (4.00 / 6)

And the high standard is mostly stilts.

by ogre on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 23:48:07 PDT

Hi Morgan (4.00 / 5)

Every poll I’ve seen has shown this site to have a solid Christian plurality and no majority.  Non-scientific polls all, of course.  Might want to do the poll again but I don’t expect that this has changed.

I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also was a chasing after wind.Ecclesiastes 1:17

by DanielMN on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 14:14:45 PDT

Muslims and Jews? (4.00 / 7)

I’m interested by the emphasis on “non-Abrahamic” diversity. While, such is certainly welcome and appreciated, I have not noticed that the number of either Muslims or Jews is very high and I for one would like to see more Abrahamic diversity as well!

Unfortunately, I have found it difficult to participate as much as I would like due to my work schedule.

“Riches does not mean having a great amount of property, but riches is self-contentment.” (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him)

by lauramp on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:38:32 PDT

absolutely agreed (4.00 / 6)

I think I was using that term for the benefit of Buddhists etc., so that I wasn’t using terms such as “other religions” or “minority religions” when describing them, as if they were a footnote.

Absolutely this site could use some intra-Abrahamic diversity, as well.

by Betty Black on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:42:10 PDT

just starting to (4.00 / 5)

And I was just starting to enjoy my proudly humble footnote status.:p

As a mother with her own life guards the life of her child, have all-embracing thoughts for all that lives. -Metta Sutta [-8.38,-6.15]

by Jeff G on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 10:33:20 PDT

Good point (4.00 / 6)

I guess it’s just that, to my mind at least, Jews and Muslims share many core beliefs with Christians (and I realize I’m talking in generalities here and that there’s a lot of diversity within those terms), as opposed to those of us not “of the Book” (hope I used the phrase right ^_^).

You’re right that diversity within broad-labels is valuable as well, be that label Christian, Abrahamic, or pagan. I’m still waiting for someone to question my use of “pagan” as a general term to include the wiccan/druid/etc. types ;-).

by Morgan on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 15:59:03 PDT

non-Christian diversity (4.00 / 6)

Definitely, there are a lot of similarities, but I think any Muslim or Jew would agree that having lots of Christians is no substitute for having more Jews or Muslims.

Because, besides the similarities, there are also some very significant differences, especially in regard to the role and nature of Jesus, and Christians do not speak for Jews or Muslims on this.

So I think that simply having a “non-Christian diversity” is best.

“Riches does not mean having a great amount of property, but riches is self-contentment.” (Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him)

by lauramp on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 22:49:00 PDT

the more (4.00 / 8)

the merrier.

I believe it is very important in these days for people of different beliefs to get together and yak not only about faith and politics, but cookie recipies and quilts and sports.

Not only different religions, but different flavors of each religion.

by A Missionarys Kid on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 09:27:41 PDT

Spiritual Persistence… (4.00 / 8)

is about as inclusive as you can get, and I had hoped that Street Prophets (which shares Spiritual Persistence’s acronym 🙂 would be an open and receptive place to share and exchange spiritual ideas that are common to all religions… with the added spice of a spiritual perspective that takes them one step further.

Unfortunately, except for a few posters, SP (my SP, that is) has been virtually ignored. Egarwaen contributes his wonderful insights to what has become a stimulating source of conversation for him and me, and several others including shakti, Tejana, Morgan, and Betty Black.

I like to tell myself that if even a few people find what I have to offer worthwhile, and if I find what a few people have to offer enlightening and fun… musn’t forget the fun factor! then it’s all good. But sometimes I wonder whether anyone else is paying attention, and whether the energy I expend on posting is balanced by the energy I receive in responses. Sometimes the answer is yes, but more often these days it’s no. Frankly, it feels discouraging.

So, all this is a long way of saying that if folks here really want more diversity, they need to put their posts where their mouths (or typing fingers) are. And PD and the frontpagers (sounds like a singing group) need to be more intentional about highlighting diverse voices. And if they don’t, the conclusion we might have to come to is that diversity of thought is not valued as much as the comfort of agreement or the release of venting.

Thanks for bringing this up, Morgan.

by sunflight on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 16:05:05 PDT

You’re welcome 🙂 (4.00 / 8)

Also, I know that giving 4s is often used as an “amen,” but I know I don’t pay much attention to what scores comments have gotten. It’s rare that I notice the rating on a comment (with the exception of the occasional “amen-jar” on rituals).

It’s a nice idea, and I’m sure not suggesting people stop! But remember that just rating something without making any further comment may fall under the radar.

by Morgan on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 16:19:30 PDT

I’ll give you a 4 for that 🙂 (4.00 / 5)

by sunflight on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:43:21 PDT

btw… (4.00 / 5)

I love 4s and do pay attention to them. Also, I always leave a pith jar 🙂

by sunflight on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 20:35:02 PDT

Ways of Speaking (4.00 / 6)

I think the problem might be that most people here don’t really know what to make of your SPtPs in terms of contributing to the discussion. They get seen as insightful statements, but they’re not really sure about the context or what’s expected of them. The reason I’m able to post there so regularly is that I actually did some Googling and tracked down who Rikkity is. Maybe including a bit more of an explanation with each one, even just a paragraph, might help elicit more comments?

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 17:09:24 PDT

that’s helpful (4.00 / 6)

I’ll take your advice and do an intro and link to our website… maybe something about expectations, too.

I’m wary of explaining too much for 2 reasons: first, we’ve been told to keep the focus on the message rather than the medium, and also because we want people to make the PtoPs their own–taking from them whatever they want or need.

Thanks for your suggestions, Eg!

by sunflight on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 19:02:21 PDT

Understanding and Context (4.00 / 6)

Wait, you’re one of the people behind that website? Cool!

IIRC, you may want to look into a slightly less garish colour scheme, but that’s just my inner designer talking.

The reason I suggested the link was to give people some context for the quotes you’re posting. I read a couple of your diaries before I did the Googling, but I didn’t really have much to say comment-wise. After I did a bit of Googling, the context sort of clicked and it became easier to come up with productive things to say.

Might just be me, though. I fully acknowledge that I’m weird.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 19:40:29 PDT

blew my cover LOL (4.00 / 5)

Wait, you’re one of the people behind that website? Cool!

Yep… the cute one 🙂

IIRC, you may want to look into a slightly less garish colour scheme, but that’s just my inner designer talking.

It’s supposed to be a rainbow 😛

After I did a bit of Googling, the context sort of clicked and it became easier to come up with productive things to say.

That makes sense. Well, I’ll try it and we’ll see if it helps.

Might just be me, though. I fully acknowledge that I’m weird.

In my family, calling somebody weird is a compliment.

by sunflight on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 20:43:22 PDT

Colour Schemes and Oddness (4.00 / 5)

It’s supposed to be a rainbow 😛

I gathered, and it isn’t bad. It is a lot of colours. Unfortunately, I just know barely enough about design to be dangerous to myself, so I can’t give any tips for better colour schemes.

In my family, calling somebody weird is a compliment.

Among my circle of friends too. We’re all totally insane.

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 20:52:34 PDT

There, you see. (4.00 / 4)

I read your diary almost every time its posted, but never comment.

by Aunt Arctic on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 17:24:23 PDT

Maybe I should add that (4.00 / 5)

this was very much what my diary about calling cards was about.  If you missed it

http://www.streetprophets.com/story/2006/2/15/183953/901

The truth is we don’t all have all day to make comments, and when I make comments, I like to keep an eye on things so that at least I can see who disagrees with me etc. etc.

There should be some way that we can let people know that we appreciate what they did, even if we don’t have time to stop and chat.  And I agree with Morgan, 4’s don’t do it, although they do tell me who has at least read what I wrote.

by Aunt Arctic on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 17:29:32 PDT

thanks for letting me know (4.00 / 5)

I’m happy to know you read the SP diaries! And I liked your diary. It’s an important issue to consider, I think. Maybe simply saying (as shakti has done a couple of times) “I’m going to think about this one” would work.

by sunflight on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:53:52 PDT

Diversity is a blessing, (4.00 / 4)

but we can never expect it to merely come to us, we have to reach out for it.

I am reminded of something I read a while ago about friendships between people of different races. While white people claimed they had friends of different races, their minority associates did not feel the same. Their criteria was how many of you who say you have friends of color, have actually been to your friend’s houses to visit? Just that one question changed the whole conversation.

If we value diversity, we cannot always expect those who are different than us to meet us in our comfort zone. I think this is a very important discussion here as well, not comfortable perhaps, but still important.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:05:13 PDT

yes, very important (4.00 / 5)

And I agree, it’s important to make the effort to reach out… and sometimes it really is an effort.

by sunflight on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:50:49 PDT

Paying Attention (4.00 / 5)

But sometimes I wonder whether anyone else is paying attention

Rest assured, we are.

As a mother with her own life guards the life of her child, have all-embracing thoughts for all that lives. -Metta Sutta [-8.38,-6.15]

by Jeff G on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 10:36:30 PDT

We need to continue to invite people here, I think (4.00 / 6)

I have put in a plug at NewsHounds and even told them about our first book discussion.

I am guilty of being very tired and not able to read all the diaries.  I usually don’t wear a label on my forehead, but I like the spiritual pilgrim idea.  Doesn’t that fit us all?  

Maybe we could mention on other sites that term and how we like to have people share their thoughts.

Blessings on all here!!  

“The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.” Kurt Vonnegut

by cfk on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 16:10:09 PDT

Not an excuse, but just an explanation. (4.00 / 6)

I realize that my posts are pretty much innocuous asides… that has been my pattern most of my life.  I feel like I lack the intellectual background of most of the posters.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t daily read and enjoy all the stimulating conversations in this place.  Because of my lack of “religiousity”, I tend to avoid most of the series devoted to the Bible or other Holy Writ.  But I do feel kinship with other S.P. “members”, mentally embracing those who love music, who read Science Fiction, who attend cons and SCA events, and who express their spirituality in such fluent and deeply held manner.  The loss of even one voice removes a colorful thread from our coverlet of humanity.  I contribute very little, but, oh, I take away so much!

Both the Oak and the Maple are trees; we need not decide which is the correct version….Simplexity.

by Aunt Em on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 16:51:30 PDT

whatyou said… (4.00 / 5)

I don’t comment a lot; usually someone else has said it better.  Aunt Em, your comment is perfect; that is exactly how I feel.  I want to hear everyone’s voice, even if I don’t respond; think of me as the woman in the corner during Coffee Hour, nibbling on the chocolate chip cookie, drinking coffee, listening in on the conversations and nodding; not saying anything, but taking it all in.  

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.We are the prophets of a future not our own.– Oscar Romero

by hedgehog on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:10:53 PDT

hedgehog and Aunt Em (4.00 / 5)

If you get something out of a post of mine, I would love it if you made a comment. It doesn’t have to be brilliant, just honest. I believe that all perspectives are valuable, and add to the conversation.

by sunflight on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:48:31 PDT

Actually… (4.00 / 7)

I would like to post here more often, but my current schedule makes that difficult.  I’m still planning on continuing my “Basics of Wiccan Theology” series, but part IV is going to be a bear to write (tentatively titled “My God Has Horns”).  I’m also going to do an online ritual for Spring Equinox, and am thinking of doing the full moons as well.

Ya just can’t shut me up!

Blessed Be

Taliesin Athor Govannon
HP, Coven of Caer Arianrhod
Taliesin’s Witchcraft Page

by Taliesin on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:01:43 PDT

Yeah! (4.00 / 5)

Someone else posting rituals! 😉

I don’t mind doing it, I just don’t want to be the only one, and it feels a bit, well, “off” to post rituals here that I don’t usually do at home (like Full Moons) just so that someone does.

Go for it, brother! Meanwhile, I can start thinking about Beltane :-).

by Morgan on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:12:27 PDT

Titles (4.00 / 6)

I’d go for “My God Is Horny”, but that’s because I’m a disrespectful little git who likes going for the funny. 😉

“To make life easier and to be happy ended up being two different things.” – Arjuna’s Father, Earth Girl Arjuna.

by Egarwaen on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 18:41:59 PDT

okay (4.00 / 4)

Is it just me, or does it feel weird saying Spring Equinox?  I much prefer Ostara.

I’d also like to chime in for more discussion of ritual.  I’d also like to see more “fairy tales” if at all possible.  How many times can you really read
[http://www.ladybridget.com/mp/trolltear.html]The Troll Tear?

by bendygirl on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 20:16:52 PDT

Dwindling population? (4.00 / 6)

   I certainly don’t feel that the pagan/wiccan types here (such as myself) are unwelcome on SP in the least. Just the opposite, in fact. I feel that the Christian-types here have been quite tolerant in letting us post rituals and such… which I personally don’t think it appropriate for what is basically a religious-politics ‘blog. I’m very much interested (as I imagine most of the readers here are) in getting diverse viewpoints on religious topics. However, I imagine there aren’t a lot of even the progressive Christians (I’d say almost all of the Christian readers on SP are) who care to read our rituals. While I’m glad someone cares enough to transcribe their group/tradition’s rituals… I don’t even care to read someone else’s ritual (and I’m a wiccan myself), so why would a non-wiccan/pagan want to?
   Personally, I think we ought to stick to commenting/writing diaries on topics that touch on religious politics… there are plenty of places to talk about ritual, and the Christians here are more than clever enough to find those places if they’re curious.
   I also think that one we open the proverbial floodgates of people posting their various rituals, we run the risk of marginalizing ourselves… one of the arguments wingnuts have (not the progressive Christians here, of course) against Wicca being a religion is that we don’t have a unified dogma or liturgy. So, if Morgan posts her druidic-style rituals, I post a SerpentStone/Ravenwolf/eclectic ritual, and everyone else posts their versions; we’re more likely to be seen as dabblers… and our movement as worthless. We know our strength is in our diversity, but sometimes it’s difficult to see that from the outside.  

by Puma on Tue Feb 21st, 2006 at 23:46:22 PDT

no, I like the diversity too! (4.00 / 4)

I like the fact that you play with the ideas and find something that rings true to YOU. I also resonate with the feminine nature of God, which is not portrayed very well in Christianity.
And the diversity is to be expected. After all, Christian rituals have a lot of different manifestations too, from inscense to foot-washing and snake-handling.

Black cat, white cat – if it catches the mouse, it’s a good cat! –Deng Xiaoping

by Lefty Mama on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 01:30:23 PDT

Amen n/t (4.00 / 3)

by True Blue on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 06:13:06 PDT

Oh, and see… (4.00 / 4)

I really do want to read rituals of other spiritual backgrounds, especially those that are less like my own. Some give me more context around those that I practice myself. Others simply open my eyes to more of the variation and beauty that is all of creation. All expose me to the wealth of forms of resistance that are out there, if one chooses to define ‘resistance’ to include shining lights in this time of darkness.

To me – that’s religious, and also so very political.

I don’t write as much about the Buddhist elements of my practice as I do the Catholic parts. I experience them very differently, and the Catholic path is more traveled these days, simply because with my kid in Catholic school, it pervades more of my time.

Those of us who are part of the “dominant paradigm” – at least by being in the US and identifying as Christian – might do well to deepen our understanding of other spiritual paths. Let’s say some wingnut state legislature tried to establish Christianity as a state religion. (Nah. Would never happen. Right.) I would want to be more articulate about the beliefs of others to be able to participate in the struggle against that.

Hope that’s sorta clear. My ‘sacramental coffee’ is just sinking in now…

by paxpdx on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 07:12:58 PDT

au contraire (4.00 / 6)

I imagine there aren’t a lot of even the progressive Christians (I’d say almost all of the Christian readers on SP are) who care to read our rituals.
Nope.  Just the opposite, speaking for myself obviously.  I know full well that my understanding of Pagan/Wiccan/Druidic traditions is all bound up with tons of misinformation, slander and fiction.  There’s the part of me that wants a better understanding of history, and has lead to writers like Jared Diamond and Howard Zinn, and also wants to understand the history of repressed faiths.  There’s also the spiritual pilgrim that prizes others’ experience of the divine, that relies on the conversation between your perceptions, and your choice of language, and mine.  I haven’t been very active here – work’s been really busy, and home is ALWAYS a race to exhaustion.  But I did see Irishwitch’s GBCW, and was really saddened to see her go. It does seem like the diversity here was much more obvious a few months ago, and that it’s not so much so now.  Maybe that’s because we had a strong group of just a few diarists, especially Morgan and Lauramp doing daily and (seemingly) multi-daily diaries that were very visible, and I think a catalyst for other discussions.  But as noted, that burns you out.  No one can carry that load alone.  It suggests to me that we may be just shy of a critical mass of [non-abrahamic? non-Christian] active diarists to keep those discussions going.  So we need to recruit.

by Austin in PA on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 09:08:46 PDT

I would challenge (4.00 / 7)

the assertion that SP has gotten “less hospitable” to those who don’t share the majority view.

First off there is no “majority view” here to speak of, no two of us are quite alike. Even those within the same faith often have enormous differences between them.

Secondly, imho we are the very picture of tolerance. You would be hard pressed to find an environment more tolerant than this one, especially vis-a-vis minority faiths.

If you don’t think there are enough wiccans, buddhists, hindus, or whomever, then do us all a favor and go encourage some more to participate here. Also, this type of forum is not necessarily a substitute for intrafaith dialogue. Participating in some other forum within your own faith group as well as here might be advisable.

To God belong the east and the west: Whereso ever you turn, there is the face of God. For God is all-Embracing, all-Knowing.

by dervish on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 01:58:14 PDT

Last straw… (4.00 / 7)

Dervish, I never perceived that Morgan said that SP was less hospitable to certain people these days, and indeed, I have gone out of my way to indicate that I do not think this has anything to do with hostility.

Some of us think that SP is less overtly diverse now than it used to be, and apparently quite a few others interpret that as an accusation. I thought that was an interesting response, but now I am getting kind of frustrated by it.

Truthfully, I think it is a metaphor for the way minority/and majority populations deal with each other throughout society in general, and if people would stop reacting as if they are accused of doing something wrong and be willing to look deeper we might learn something really big.

The difference of experience between minorities and majorities is great, but because so much of those differences is outside the general awareness of the majority population, they frequently do not understand why minorities are unhappy.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 10:33:27 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 2)

I just don’t agree that diversity has declined (except in the sense that overall participation is down). And I don’t feel like the binary majority-minority talk describes our patchwork community very well. The main thing it does is set the plurality of Christians and everybody else on opposite sides of a teeter totter. If everybody’s on, the non-Christians probably outweigh the Christians slightly in numbers. But if you put only the Buddhists and Hindus on opposite the Christians, I think you could scare yourself a little bit with feeling at a disadvantage. I can understand why someone would feel unhappy thinking about it that way.

But I don’t think it’s necessary to. I have faith that we can play on level ground here, with friends of our own faith group and with others.

by Elizabeth D on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 14:27:01 PDT

When I look back through the comments (4.00 / 4)

it does not appear to me this discussion has divided us along Christian/non-Christian lines. There are a number of people who seem to agree with Morgan and me and a number of people who feel otherwise. In all but one minor incident the discussion has been temperate and respectful.

I totally believe that your heart is in the right place, and I understand that you do not see what I see. I had to really dig back last night and think about this to remember there have been times I have been in similar situations and not seen what others have. Time eventually provided the opportunities for me to see what I was previously missing.

I understand that some people feel disomfort in a discussion like this, and this makes them want to see the lack of value in it. But IMO, looking at the things that make us uncomfortable is central to growth. If we turn away from everything that makes us feel uncomfortable, our world just continues to get smaller and smaller. And that is kind of where Morgan began, she seems to think there are some missing pieces in the patchwork.

Finally, this is about differing perceptions. The fact that there are a number of people from differing backgrounds appearing in these comments saying they agree in some way to Morgan’s premise is, to my mind, an indication there is indeed some validity to the idea.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 05:01:36 PDT

On the up side (4.00 / 3)

Quite a few lurking Buddhists seem to have started posting as a result of this discussion.

Not as sure about the Pagans but I’m getting the impression it’s the same for them.

Christian participation seems to have declined a little…

Now we need to get them posting again… Doh!

by kraant on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 05:15:20 PDT

Ebb and flow (4.00 / 2)

At the very least I think the diary has been successful in raising awareness.  The tough part is keeping the dialogue going.

And from us lurkers, thanks to Morgan for the kindly poke in the ribs.  🙂

As a mother with her own life guards the life of her child, have all-embracing thoughts for all that lives. -Metta Sutta [-8.38,-6.15]

by Jeff G on Fri Feb 24th, 2006 at 03:59:32 PDT

I am sorry I went off on you Dervish. (4.00 / 4)

Perhaps I am tired of this debate and it is time for me to take a break.

Blessings to you, my friend.

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 15:31:04 PDT

I didn’t perceive that you went off… (4.00 / 3)

your comment seems quite valid. Either way, blessings to you as well, and peace.

To God belong the east and the west: Whereso ever you turn, there is the face of God. For God is all-Embracing, all-Knowing.

by dervish on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 15:36:18 PDT

Thank you. (4.00 / 3)

I am That, you are That, all of this is That, and That is all there is.

by shakti on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 16:15:13 PDT

Totem (4.00 / 4)

Totem

I’ve got twelve disciples and a buddha smile
The garden of allah, viking valhalla
A miracle once in a while

I’ve got a pantheon of animals in a pagan soul
Vishnu and gaia — aztec and maya
Dance around my totem pole

I believe in what i see
I believe in what i hear
I believe that what i’m feeling
Changes how the world appears

Angels and demons dancing in my head
Lunatics and monsters underneath my bed
Media messiahs preying on my fears
Pop culture prophets playing in my ears

I’ve got celestial mechanics
To synchronize my stars
Seasonal migrations — daily variations
World of the unlikely and bizarre

I’ve got idols and icons, unspoken holy vows
Thoughts to keep well-hidden —
Sacred and forbidden
Free to browse among the holy cows

That’s why i believe

Angels and demons inside of me
Saviors and satans all around me

Sweet chariot, swing low, coming for me

   From the album Test for Echo
   Lyrics by Neil Peart, Music by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

As a mother with her own life guards the life of her child, have all-embracing thoughts for all that lives. -Metta Sutta [-8.38,-6.15]

by Jeff G on Wed Feb 22nd, 2006 at 11:00:00 PDT

atheists, agnostics, and pastafarians (4.00 / 2)

Sad to see that in this discussion of whether we’ve become less diverse, “atheist” and “agnostic” have so far appeared exactly once each (to Morgan’s credit, they were in the original diary entry), and “pastafarian” hasn’t appeared at all. 🙂

I completely agree with Egarwaen’s comment about assumptions by the majority and inadvertently offensive language, although I would extend it to cover the areligious in addition to members of minority religions.

by NoJoy on Thu Feb 23rd, 2006 at 12:42:15 PDT

[1] Link was to http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/lewis/abolition4.htm
[2] Link was to http://www.frozenreality.co.uk/comic/bunny/index.php?id=509

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