SP Demographics

I’ve realized this past week that keeping up here has become less of a priority. A few weeks ago, I was caught up on every post and diary (except some of the obviously Christian things like Noonday Prayer).

Then I fell behind, and spent two days catching up. Then I fell behind again, and decided that trying to catch up completely was too much and so just caught up from the day before. Now, I’m just dropping in every day or two and skimming open threads and the occasional diary with an interesting subject.

Maybe it’s just the novelty wearing off, but I don’t think so. At a guess, I’d say I’m tired of being one of a small handful of non-Christians trying to keep the site being/looking reasonably diverse.

In addition to the Daily Prayer on the front page, there diaries fill up with Bible in a year, Christian Carnival, and Noonday Prayer. This is offset by the Humanist Network News (not daily IIRC) and Spiritual Persistence Point to Ponder. Most of the other diaries take an openly Christian PoV, not surprising but still not looking like the demographics I remember from a poll back in our first month where Christians held a solid plurality but not quite a majority.

For a while there I tried the Daily Deity, but it started feeling like people expected an essay full of research and personal insight every day, and I’m just not up to that. I’ve been trying to think of something else to post regularly, but haven’t thought of anything.

After doing Samhain, I thought one of the other pagans would do Yule. I mentioned being willing to help, and got a “go for it” response. “Help” in my parlance doesn’t mean “take point on,” and so no Yule sabat was done. I know we’re all busy that time of year, but it was still a missed opportunity. If I’m still around, I hope to do something substantive for Imbolc (seeing as how Brigid is one of our household gods), but I don’t want to feel like the only pagan clergy here.

Comments? Suggestions (that don’t involve inviting Jesus into my heart — BT DT)? Brickbats?

Poll

What do you consider your primary “faith” group? (there’s only 12 slots, so I had to lump)

• Baha’i 0%
• Buddhism 6%
• Christianity 40%
• Hinduism 0%
• Islam 2%
• Judaism 3%
• Pagan/wiccan/etc. 10%
• Unitarian-Universalism 5%
• Generally spiritual 10%
• Mixed 9%
• None 5%
• Other 4%

Votes: 86

116 comments

Tip jar (4.00 / 17)

The three foundations of Spirituality: Hearth as
altar, work as worship, and service as sacrament.

by Morgan on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 12:24:58 PDT

Not my feeling by commenter (4.00 / 4)

although your point about the diary level is certainly legitimate. I find myself wondering if people are still sort of “warming up” after the new year. As you observe, diaries take a lot of work (especially here, where we seem to expect fairly thoughtful entries) so a lot of the dialogue goes on in the open threads. That’s why I rarely post a diary – I mostly don’t have the time (not that I’d mitigate your Christian domination problem).
I think part of it is that the Christian themed diaries are easier to write – with Bible study per day, that’s a relatively quick cut and paste if you’re doing such study anyway, and the vast majority of news stories featured are by default Christianity-based because of the demographics of the country. I don’t know if there’s a good way to solve that, unless non-Christians want to start some sort of “guild” to try to space out work and make sure there’s a steady flow on non-Christian participation.

Myself, I’m awaiting with baited breath a diary from Dervish on the Hajib, and I always enjoy immensely the Malochet front page diaries, when they happen.

Street Prophets Livejournal Feed

by Expat Briton on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 12:44:57 PDT

a tyranny of the minority (none / 1)

The bad U.S. political news is usually Christian because certain types of Christians are the big problem now, starting with the President – & his expresses a tyranny of the minority.

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

by Asbury Park on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 13:44:59 PDT

Confused (none / 1)

Do you mean tyranny of the majority?

This is the expression I am familiar with, when the majority by sheer force of their overwhelming number squash the needs, rights, voices (whatever) of the minority.

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

by shakti on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 14:09:09 PDT

Button issues (none / 1)

The type of Christianity George W. Bush seems to embrace (or at least endorses) corresponds in size, to his lowest point in the approval polls, if not lower. What the protestant far right does so well is to juggle various “button” issues to gather in the largest possible coalition. I happen to think they have too many “buttons” in motion right now.

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

by Asbury Park on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 14:24:03 PDT

Aaaaaaaaaah (none / 1)

Now I get it….tyrany of the minority! Just like you said. 🙂

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

by shakti on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:44:09 PDT

Please, Morgan, don’t go. (4.00 / 8)

I answered the poll with “other” because I really don’t know what I am.  I’m certain that I’m not Christian, although I suspect that there was an historical Jesus, probably a wise rabbi.
I’m probably too old (or too lazy) to explore many of the other “religions”, and don’t think I could be called “spiritual”.  Again, too lazy, and too pragmatic.  But, it is so helpful to know the different beliefs that are represented in this group.  I often look for the similarities and ignore the differences, unless they are too dominant to ignore.

On one of the demographic surveys, I created a chart of those who responded (about 100), and about 50% were, or had been, Roman Catholics.  I realize that particular group seems to dominate the posters, or the diarists, but if this became the Catholic Prophets website, there would be nothing for those of us who are intensly interested in the range of beliefs that drive the human condition.  

I, too, skim the postings, and ignore those that seem to be too dogmatic or doctrinaire, but your postings, and those of Dervish, and Irishwitch, to name only two of those who come to mind easily, have enriched my life.

Thank you for your presence.  And Please, Don’t Go.

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

by Aunt Em on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 12:51:50 PDT

I agree. (4.00 / 7)

Please don’t get overwhelmed as a minority voice on the site.  I have enjoyed the diaries you’ve posted tremendously.

“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 Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 13:11:24 PDT

absolutely (4.00 / 3)

I know a little something about being a religious minority — I’m a Jew who has lived in Wisconsin most of his life! And other than my experiences with fanatics who insist on proselytizing or attempting to kill me because I’m not one of them, I enjoy being a member of a religious minority. I get all the benefits of being exposed to the good things about the religious majority group around me, while being left to practice my own religion in peace.

Two of my favorite things about this site are that it is exceedingly rare to come across an anti-religious comment of the sort that is common (in my experience) from non-religious people who share my social action-oriented political leanings, and that the diversity of religious orientations here provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about the traditions and practices of a wide array of people. If minorities are scared away, though, by their minority status (and perhaps “scared away” is too strong a phrase — I don’t mean to be judgmental), we all lose out on both accounts.

Please stick around, Morgan. I’m not very well versed on pagan holidays, rituals, traditions, etc., and I never will be if there aren’t people like you around to teach me.

Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978.

by wiscmass on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 19:55:13 PDT

Me too. (4.00 / 8)

I was wondering if it was just me and did a mental inventory of the people/voices that no longer seemed to show up. It isn’t just you and me Morgan. Things will be what they will be, but showing up here is becoming less of a priority for me as well.

I am trying to be diplomatic, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Theoretically, you can say we are responsible for providing content, and that is true up to a point. But this site is also interactive, and it seems that some content is more attractive or welcome than others. Personally, even when I considered myself to be a Christian, I was always extremely interested in learning about other religions. Apparently for a lot of people, that just isn’t the case.

Sometime ago someone raised the same question in a diary, and Empathy responded to the effect that if people are uninterested in other faith traditions it is a way of being unwelcoming. I agree with her.

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

by shakti on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 12:58:53 PDT

My perspective (4.00 / 5)

as a majority Christian…

In addition to the Daily Prayer on the front page
I know a Catholic runs that, but I’m pretty sure Poli Sigh intends that to be ecumenical and I know Christians don’t have a lock on Prayer.

there diaries fill up with Bible in a year, Christian Carnival, and Noonday Prayer.
This I can comment on (being one who runs the Noonday Prayer).  It is easier to do a repetitive prayer cycle than to come up with insightful essays each day on a different deity.  That being said, this is the most overly Christian thing I think I’ve ever done.   The reason I choose to share it as a living ritual is to showcase one side of Christianity (for those unfamiliar with it) and as a response for people who wanted to pray in an active, ordered way but couldn’t do Compline (The Noonday Prayer is an earlier office in the same prayer cycle as Compline).

That doesn’t really answer the whole Christian majority thing but I think Street Prophets is doing a pretty good job of not looking like bible.com (which sadly recently shifted even more to the right than it already was).

I’d love to post more pagan things, Lord knows my brand of Christianity is pretty pagan as is, but if a Christian had offered to help run a Yule Sabat, wouldn’t you be offended?

I read this diary as a plea for more non-Christian religious liberals to join the Street.  I’ll see what I can do, but maybe we can all ask a few good friends to join and post.

Does that sound like an actionable item?  And more importantly, is that what you are asking?

“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 Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 13:02:39 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 4)

…if a Christian had offered to help run a Yule Sabat, wouldn’t you be offended?

That would have depended on the Christian and the tone of the offer. I’ve run rituals in realspace with non-pagan assistance before, so I wouldn’t reject anyone out-of-hand for an honest offer :-). I just don’t want to be the ONLY pagan running rituals!

I’m not sure I feel a need to recruit more non-Christians — rather, I’d like to see more from those who are here, and more understanding from the Christians that some of us are (or at least feel like we are) having to climb a steep hill while they sit comfortably at the top wondering why we’re breathing hard. Rough analogy — treat it gently :-).

by Morgan on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 13:31:24 PDT

just to clarify– (4.00 / 2)

I was raised Catholic, but I no longer consider myself to be a Catholic–but that’s how I was taught to pray–and I still love the mass, the tradition, the pomp and circumstance–but NOT the policies/dogma of the church.

For everything its season, and for every activity under heaven its time.Ecc. 3:1

by PoliSigh on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 11:17:18 PDT

My answer? (none / 1)

Not a bit.  Hmmm. I wrote a bit for a writing lsit (interactive fiction in a world where magic is real) in which there was a colelctive gathering on the sosltice a few years back whichalso coincided with a full moon–and I wrote bits to cover a SOuthern BAptist minsiter (based on a man I knew), a Jesuit priest, a Kabbala scholar talkign baout Chanukah, and the local WIccans–and I think I  had a Tibetan monk in there too (probably SHOUKLD have made him Japanese because that is the form of Buddhism I know best). Maybe I’ll post it soemtime.

by irishwitch on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 00:38:02 PDT

Right On! (4.00 / 3)

I think your assessment of SP is correct. Some of the diaries here really belong over at Beliefnet. I enjoy the community aspects of SP (coffee hour, prayer closet), & many of the more personal diaries  dealing with real current situations & problems. I like SP as a sort of digest of political/spiritual news. I also think some members need to go work out their deeper spiritual/doctrinal dilemmas & questions elsewhere. There’s  too much “What would Jesus do?” mentality here. If one concludes Jesus would come to SP, that ought to settle the matter.

Probably the most valuable on-going series I’ve read here was Laura’s Ramadan diary, which was open, non-confrontational, & very educational for me. & there isn’t nearly enough humor.

& there’s a few Christians who just cannot get it into their heads & hearts that some of us will not accept compromises on certain issues with Levitical evangelicals period! I’ve kncoked heads with these folks, too, as they wrestle with & often rationalize the  anachronistic  prejudices that they find in their “divinely-inspired scripture.” Makes me wanna shout, “If you still believe that gawdawful crap, the good news is that you can get rid of it now, please.”

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

by Asbury Park on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 13:30:22 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 3)

Some of the diaries here really belong over at Beliefnet.

The content of this site is what people post, and we all have differing tastes in what we like best to read. A recommended list would help, but since we don’t have that yet, the good, bad, and indifferent all gets lumped together.

I am glad for the contributions of all the diarists here.

& there isn’t nearly enough humor.

Then post more. 🙂 If everyone took initiative to post what they wanted to see and discuss on here (for instance many people talk about wanting more substantive news/action stuff), and invite more people who would post and discuss the sort of stuff they wanted to read and discuss, that would be great.

by Elizabeth D on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 14:35:52 PDT

Some of us were looking to this place (none / 1)

to build that kind of community, because we don’t have it in daily life. In that case, bringing the people who will want to discuss the things we are interested in is not an option. The visual image arrising from the Buddhist koan “What is the sound of one hand clapping” comes to mind. It is kind of like reaching out for something and getting no response. 🙂

And I am not trying to be a whiner, I don’t expect people to read and take part in stuff they are not interested in. As I said before, things will be as they will be.

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

by shakti on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:21:01 PDT

asdf (none / 0)

I don’t have that kind of community (or any other kind of community) IRL either. But I do belong to other internet communities (Daily Kos for instance, where I do actively encourage people to come to SP) where potential Street Prophets are. And other internet communities are much more likely sources for avid blog participants than most real life communities.

by Elizabeth D on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:30:26 PDT

We have that in common Elizabeth, (none / 1)

that is why I responded in this way. And I barely have time to skim the front page of DKos and check news, so I do not have the opportunity to build community elsewhere and bring them here.

And truthfully, I am just sharing my observations in this discussion. I don’t expect anyone to make anything better for me. My options are just to adjust as the site evolves and participate differently. Things will be as things will be.

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

by shakti on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 04:49:40 PDT

no, (none / 0)

you should expect people to make things better for all of us and so that we can be a more effective community. 🙂

by Elizabeth D on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 09:37:47 PDT

You are sweet. (4.00 / 3)

All morning I have been thinking about the phrase “be the change you want to see”. It is one I agree with, and basically try to live my life by. The other side of that though, is accepting that even though you are implementing change in yourself, somethings are never going to be the way you want them to be. At that point you either have to adapt or move on. (speaking strictly in the abstract here)

While I was offering up my observations for discussion, I still am very happy to be a part of this very special community. Truthfully, I am so far outside any orthodox faith tradition, I would never expect to find anyone with a spiritual path like mine. But I am also flexible and I can adapt. If, on balance, my participation here turns out to be more social than spiritual, I can live with that. I am not going anywhere. 🙂

Also, I kind of wonder if the subtext of this whole debate is not really about Christian vs.non Christian content as it is about religious content as opposed to spirituality and mysticsm.

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

by shakti on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 10:07:36 PDT

“Amen, Sister!” (none / 1)

What you said!

[T]his whole debate is not really about Christian vs.non Christian content as it is about religious content as opposed to spirituality and mysticsm.

Walking our own paths, finding Creator through our own journeys – it’s hard to discuss meaningfully or in the context of organized religion discussions.  But that is why I came here, too.  Looking for community and growth, and a chance to “give back.”

by Unknown Quantity on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 16:51:21 PDT

None of these hear that I have seen: (none / 1)

Levitical evangelicals

That includes me btw.

And I have tried not to judgementally “go off” on people I do not agree with like this:

as they wrestle with & often rationalize the  anachronistic  prejudices that they find in their “divinely-inspired scripture.” Makes me wanna shout, “If you still believe that gawdawful crap, the good news is that you can get rid of it now, please.”

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

by JCHFleetguy on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 19:23:39 PDT

I’m with you on this (none / 1)

I haven’t seen any Levitical Evangelicals around here.  And the bit about “getting rid of it now” is out of line.

I’m tempted to give out one of those hunter 2’s, but maybe these few words might serve better.

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 Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 20:02:54 PDT

nope. (4.00 / 2)

I thought that was a bit over the top myself. Unless the reference was to those of us who like to throw the Bible on the grill and poke at it a few times.

Even you JCH – I think you’re very reasonable and we probably couldn’t be farther apart in our thinking. I just consider you to be a more traditional Christian thinker but not a Levitical Evangelical (although I do reserve the right to use that term for someone because I like it!)

by michele2 on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 07:57:36 PDT

you’re right. (4.00 / 5)

I mentioned on another topic that I’m not sure what SP is. I’m not really a Christian but I’m not really anything. I’m just generally spiritual. There are a lot of prayer type threads and Christian leaning diarists.

That said, I’m fascinated in what makes religion tick – unfortunately as far as Christianity is concerned – that’s belief in that book called the Bible. My diaries are about that and believe me, I know that among the Christians my views aren’t particularly popular since I do consider it to be a book not the word of God.

I am interested in some broader intersections of the Bible with just plain ole’ human themes so I’ll try to do the next diary about that and not strictly “bible” study.

You have a very valid point, Morgan.

by michele2 on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 14:12:56 PDT

What could I do (4.00 / 6)

differently that would make you feel more welcome?

I have to write from where I am – I’m extremely conscience of the point your making – and yet I’m reeling a bit from being called “too religious” last night – in a setting where I specifically go out of my way to put a sock in it.

I hear your frustration, even as mine is somewhat different.

I’m also aware that the site has been VERY quiet today.  PD and Jen are out, I was busy at, well – Church…,  MK wrote a long form piece last night, Deb promoted another.

Since the last coffee hour I posted – a bit over 24 hours – we’ve had a critique of Robertson,
a challenging piece on Sharon
a challenge to the IRD
and a piece on another mine disaster, along with the daily prayer thread – which while hosted by Poli Sigh – is open to all.  (How could we make THAT more inclusive?  should we rotate hosts? – could people provide Poli with artwork that specifically invokes other traditions?  I know many – most of our traditions use prayer – can we find a way to share that space without counting it as xtian?

As for the side diaries – yes – we have a number of prolific christian voices – but diversity requires diversity.  Participation is needed – I DO HEAR you not wanting to be one of a handful.  I know the pressure to create content – I’m supposed to be doing that daily on 2 sites…  the other of which I really can’t talk religion on without being hounded.  So – what do I write here?  I suspect some of the other folks who share my tradition feel similarly.

So – what changes can we make that help solve the problem?

We can’t write from another tradition, and I don’t think you’re saying we should stop writing from our own.  But it seems to me the solution has to be more diverse voices.

I hear your frustration on writing daily – and that we expect long form in depth stuff – but realize that is not supposed to be pressure on you but is a sign of INTEREST.  Like you – we want MORE of these other voices.

– I personally AM trying to find some things I can do that bring up other perspectives (Native American and Celtic spirituality in particular – but then I’m out of my element and possibly offending / misrepresenting another’s tradition…   I have enough on my plate just trying to share and defend my “heretical” verson of Christianity without stepping into other folks turf wars 🙂  y’know.

I encourage us all to write what we feel, share what we have found to be true – skip the stuff we find unproductive – and enjoy this intersection on our paths.

Namaste.

Join Soulforce-seeking Justice for God’s GLBT children.
Read My Left Wing

by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 14:29:55 PDT

tangential question (4.00 / 4)

This seems as good a place as any to slip this general question in…

What are the boundaries of what is considered to be on-topic? I lurked before registering, etc. but haven’t quite figured that out yet.

For instance I’d thought about writing up a This is the expression I am familiar with, when the majority by sheer force of their overwhelming number squash the needs, rights, voices (whatever) of the minority. (short piece about Distributed Proofreaders, the volunteer group that proofs most of Project Gutenberg’s free online e-books. The project of course i 40% dlncludes proofing books on religion, philosophy, other cultures, etc., but it’s more about the doing, rather than any particular issue of faith. Too far off the path?

My background and real loves are in the arts and literature, so not sure what I could contribute that wouldn’t be a little OT. Also, snails could write faster than I do.

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. – Buffy Anne Summers

by lunacat on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 14:51:53 PDT

that sounds like on topic to me (4.00 / 4)

Arts, Literature….  sounds on topic to me.

 I’d love to see what you can share.

I suppose if something were posted that just really didn’t fit at all people might suggest where it would fit better – but faith and politics – pretty wide net.  

Image hosted by Photobucket.com        Share what you have –
    we’ll make it fit 🙂

Join Soulforce-seeking Justice for God’s GLBT children.
Read My Left Wing

by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:04:59 PDT

thanks! {{{{{{simplexity}}}}}} (4.00 / 2)

And in my book, you totally rock.

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. – Buffy Anne Summers

by lunacat on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:44:41 PDT

very much ON TOPIC, imo (4.00 / 5)

A direct quote from my first diary here at SP:

God is art, as it were.  God is despair.  God is all that is awesome and awful in our lives.

by Betty Black on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:25:50 PDT

really like the quote (4.00 / 2)

in fact it went into the commonplace book I keep. Will definitely check out your diary when I get the chance.

Art can provoke some real a-ha! moments, because it can’t say directly what it “means”. Even the words of a story don’t do that. So art bypasses a lot of the random brain chatter noise and goes to a deeper place.

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. – Buffy Anne Summers

by lunacat on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:55:47 PDT

Thanks (4.00 / 3)

I find Mike Finley to be the best source of quotes.  I thought about using one of his as a sig: a phrase containing something like “inflated with spiritual flame retardant” when speaking of nonbelievers having intellectual allergies to religion.

Art is the most profound language available to us.  Not to self promote, but my second diary (lol — is my sin here vanity, or laziness for not rephrasing):

[…]

  1. I believe that experience coupled with logical reasoning and personal introspection are the proper source of knowledge; thus, science is a powerful proxy for the sum of human experience of the universe, but is not sufficient to describe what it is like to be a human being in the midst of the universe.
  2. To properly describe “what it is like” to be a human being in the midst of the universe, language will never be sufficient; art, poetry, spirituality, mysticism, etc. are our best methods of doing so. […]

by Betty Black on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 18:23:24 PDT

right (4.00 / 2)

and it’s a question of finding a balance between “ways of looking” at the world. Or even holding two seemingly contradictory ideas at the same time.

It’s as if we have a divided self, like the story of the two guys riding on opposite sides of the train. One looks out the window and says he sees a wide open space. The other looks out his window and sees a mountain range. And then they argue about what kind of landscape is outside the train when actually both are correct.

Gotta go for now but will pop back later.

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. – Buffy Anne Summers

by lunacat on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 18:46:11 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 3)

I’m reeling a bit from being called “too religious” last night

I’m sorry, I winced at that too… I know he respects you, he’s just uncomfortable with your church involvement and another friend is labeled “a hypocrite” and far stronger terms largely because of anxiety toward his religious involvement…

by Elizabeth D on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:09:20 PDT

WhatI love about this site (4.00 / 4)

is the willingness on most posters part to be inclusive and sensitive toward others ideas, and beliefs.  If there is not enough different stuff then we need more people to come here.  The best thing is the love and joy I feel here.  I think it is a perfect compliment or addition to DK.
     I do sense that you all go out of your way to be patient and to discuss things in an open, accepting way.

by tobendaro on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:26:57 PDT

From my perspective (4.00 / 5)

I don’t know if there is anything you can do about it. If people from faith traditions are posting and the majority of Street Prophet members do not seem to want to read and/or participate in those diaries, that is not something you can fix. If people are disinterested, that is just the way it is.

I will say I had ideas for lots of different diaries explaining different beliefs and cultural traditions of the Eastern traditions I practice, and have lost my motivation because of a seeming lack of interest in that kind of information and fear of presenting some ideas, because there are some Christians who are a pretty quick to jump on ideas that are not a part of the Christian belief system.

My ego is not so big that I feel I have to be “writing for the masses”, and I could be wrong about the lack of interest. But I have to say I am more than a little intimidated by the idea that presentation of certain ideas may result in an instant need for defense of same.

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

by shakti on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:08:59 PDT

I hear you (4.00 / 5)

I also encourage you to write those diaries – I would find them very helpful I suspect.

I’m especially interested in how similar an encounter I have with the ideas of Tao and Chi with the way I hear John 1:1  (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God).

I have a very similar reaction to the concept(s) of Tao and Chi that I do that line – and that line, further developed, is why I identify as Christian.

So – could I not also find Truth through Tao and Chi.
I think I could.   So while I claim a path – I don’t think it’s the ONLY valid path – EVEN for ME – let alone anyone else.

Namaste.

Join Soulforce-seeking Justice for God’s GLBT children.
Read My Left Wing

by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:21:31 PDT

Oh absolutely you could find that truth. (4.00 / 5)

You will find that concept reiterated in many places. My first exposure to any kind of spiritual path outside Christianity was through Theosophy. While a lot of the stuff in those books written “channeled” by Alice Bailey is flat out screwy and historically proven wrong, there was still valid spiritual information presented in them, and a treatment of the verse you quoted was one of those ideas addressed in them.

I still am not sure about the diaries. It is something I need to think about long and hard, but I appreciate your encouragement. Thank you.

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

by shakti on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:45:42 PDT

sorry you feel that way (none / 1)

Don’t worry too much about needing to defend yourself – there are plenty here who will jump in and help you. Just as I have seen you do for others.

I have all kinds of ideas for diaries too, but I don’t really have time to put one up and critique the responses. Life is just very hectic.
I’d just add to the Christian clutter, even though I am fascinated with other traditions and think they are beautiful. It’s so interesting that the fundamentalists and the mystics are split in almost every faith.

I’ll try to leave more tracks on the non-Christian diaries, but often I want to write a book but don’t have time. It’s so unsatisfactory to write “Wow!<n/t>” as a comment.

Would it work to write a diary asking about other faith traditions? e.g. the Christian diarist can describe some detail about a non-Christian faith, why that’s interesting, and ask for information.

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

by Lefty Mama on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 19:14:56 PDT

I “feel that way” along with (none / 1)

feeling blessed to be a part of this community. Perhaps people may be getting the idea I am unhappy by my comments on the diary. Truthfully, this is just the other side of the equasion of all the other remarks about how happy I am this place exists.

Since Morgan asked, this seemed a good place to share these observations.

If you have questions about other faith traditions, a diary asking those questions would be entirely appropriate, I think. Andy Tiernay did one some time ago like that which asked people to just explain some things he did not understand about Christianity, and it sparked a beautiful discussion. It also would be a really nice way to reach out to other faith traditions. Bless you for asking Lefty Mamma.

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

by shakti on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 05:04:10 PDT

oh please oh please (4.00 / 2)

I do think you should go there.
Non Christians , non monotheistic are the minority, but We need to be here for each other.
And as to ho wsome people might feel offended…if ther is anyone here who can have these discussions without animosity, it’s you!

by empathy on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 14:25:29 PDT

Empathy! You are too kind. (4.00 / 2)

And I have been missing you.

Whether or not I should “go there”, I am still trying to figure out just where that might be. But it is sure nice to hear from you!

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

by shakti on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 14:49:55 PDT

A good line from “Bull Durham” (none / 1)

is that the Lord blesses those that are not self-aware.

I kinda assumed they were called diaries, rather than posts, is to imply that we were sort of speaking out loud to ourselves in front of people in areas we think are important to faith and/or politics.

I certainly look to see if people actually respond to what I write – but I have gotten past filtering what I write to what people read. Maybe that is wrong.

I think you just have to have “faith” that if you write something important to you in your understanding of faith and/or politics that the people who need to find it will – and those that don’t won’t.

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

by JCHFleetguy on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 22:02:07 PDT

All of your points are valid, and I agree. (!) (4.00 / 3)

On the other hand, I am leary of spending precious time doing a lot of research to make sure material I am presenting is precise and correct if people here are uninterested in reading and discussing.

I have been thinking all of this over a lot since Morgan posted the diary. Some of those thoughts appear here in the comments, some are still percolating. In meditation, I keep getting that I should be sharing mystic experience, but I find this to be a frightening idea for many reasons. Chief among those is my opinion that those things are personal, not meant to be shared, and doing so is akin to bragging and setting oneself up as something special. This is however, something I could write about without research. And it is also something I could be very comfortable about NOBODY reading. 😀

Nice to see you in waiting comments this morning JCH.

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

by shakti on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 08:17:26 PDT

Yeah (4.00 / 2)

I find myself “baring my soul” (and sins, weaknesses) a lot here, and at Brain Cramps. One of the reasons I am still here is that it has “never been used against me in a court of law”.

Even with me so close to representing what folks here see as a real enemy (fundamental Christianity) – my disclosures about my past have not been flung in my face. That is grace.

While it is hard to write about that stuff, we do not come to faith in anything “intellectually” – except perhaps faith in atheism or faith in evolution (and even there I think the “true believers” are moving from an emotional level)

Sharing our faith with others implies a small to large degree of transparancy – and the willingness to expose those spiritual experiences that brought us where we are.

I admit to not being very interested in the negative aspects of those – the “I left there” because they “did this” kind of experiences as much as I am interested in the “I came here” because “I see this” kind of positive stuff.

I would love to hear that – but for someone who is not “evangelical” about where they are – there is little reason to expose it.

As to the bragging, or being better, that is all in how you view yourself – and that will shine through the “testimony”

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

by JCHFleetguy on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 11:20:22 PDT

I had been thinking about some of the (4.00 / 2)

goofier experiences I have had. It is less threatening to think about sharing light hearted experiences. In light of some of the experiences I have had, I would have to say that God has a highly developed sense of irony.

Now, in response to your remarks I am going to have to think more deeply.

Regarding “true believers” they are something I think about a good bit simply because I too think they are coming from the emotional level. And I wonder if perhaps that is a big part of the reason our society is so polarized. So many people on both the political right and left are so stuck in their emotions and can’t get beyond that. Sometimes when I stand back and look at the current situation it seems to me that our country is populated by people who never really grew to emotional adulthood; metaphorically speaking, I see them all standing apart pointing their fingers and yelling at each other like a bunch of cry babies.

One of the reasons I like this place so much is because it seems to be populated by a good portion of emotional adults. Maybe that is the channel the grace you speak of arises through.

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

by shakti on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 12:25:58 PDT

Re: Daily Prayer (4.00 / 6)

Since a couple of people have mentioned it, I want to make clear that I realize it’s not just for any one tradition. Heck, I’ve posted there myself when I feel a need.

I’m certainly not asking anyone to stop being who they are and posting from their hearts and souls, so long as they’re not “my way’s better than yours ” or worse “you’re going to burn because you’re wrong” about it (NOT something we have a problem with here!)

I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t even know if there is one. But I had to say something, and I appreciate the understanding :-).

by Morgan on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 14:51:15 PDT

Morgan… (4.00 / 6)

first of all, thanks for mentioning Spiritual Persistence.

I don’t know whether you’ve seen RevRandy’s post about his new online worship space. It occurs to me that maybe you could use it for a pagan worship here if you’d be interested in that. I’m sure he’d welcome yours, and everyone else’s, contributions. That’s just the kinda guy he is 🙂

Hopefully when PD gets back, they’ll be talking about front-paging it as an alternative to St. Gracie’s <hint hint wink wink>

I’ve noticed that since the holiday season ended, a lot of people seem to be having difficulty getting back into their routines… including moi.

by sunflight on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 14:53:54 PDT

Sorry I’ve been a bit AWOL lately… (4.00 / 7)

But working on finishing my book (on Traditional solitary practice) and prepping for my new baby (who’s due on the 13th) have had me swamped.  I’ve been working on a third installment of Basics of Wiccan Theology, but have had a hard time refining it.

I’m currently working on several projects, including an in-depth study of classic Neo-Pagan texts (The Charge of the Goddess, the old Gardnerian laws, etc), but that will be ongoing.  Perhaps I should start a daily Magickal/Pagan meditation?  If people are interested, that would be easier to maintain.

Don’t go!  I’d hate to be the lone heretic here.

Blessed Be

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

by Taliesin on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:39:50 PDT

Dearest Morgan (4.00 / 3)

Don’t catch up!

If you need to take a break, come back and don’t catch up!  I hate to admit but thats what I do.  

Just please don’t leave us. You bring sanity.

by A Missionarys Kid on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:42:44 PDT

Spiritual/None/Other (4.00 / 5)

if I could vote for three.

Good sig name that “Spiritual Noneother”

The open minds is what keeps me engaged here, and the friendliness. These are perfectly wonderful attributes for a site. At least for starters.

I wrote very early on that the dominant Christian attendance to this site might very well make this a primarily Christian site of which I would no longer feel I could belong.

But the people are so kind and open hearted. They are interesting and some are interested in learning about others. I enjoyed Laura’s writings, shakti’s for personal growth as well as Morgan’s. They spoke most to my belief system.

There are many diaries that simply ponder questions I do not ponder or theological questions with which I have no interest.

I like the quilting idea and all moves toward community sharing, such as the coffee hour.

Hang in a bit. This place is far from designed and still a babe in the woods, a babe with lots of potential.

by one bite at a time on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:45:46 PDT

a babe in the reeds (4.00 / 4)

</snark>

by Betty Black on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:51:21 PDT

Betty, Betty, Betty… (4.00 / 4)

I do love you 😀 You do great snark.

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

by shakti on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:50:45 PDT

[grinz] (none / 1)

:-*

by Betty Black on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:21:16 PDT

That is (4.00 / 3)

not snark…it’s just plain mischevious!:)

by one bite at a time on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:04:37 PDT

Whatever… (4.00 / 3)

It was good! 🙂

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

by shakti on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:13:54 PDT

Yes it was, (none / 1)

or “whatever”

by one bite at a time on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 20:57:09 PDT

The quilting thing seems to be taking (4.00 / 2)

on quite a life — I think we may already have a virtual SP quilting guild without realizing it.

by Rain on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:26:15 PDT

yeah, (4.00 / 3)

I had a good idea today for a quilt…but then I don’t know if anyone would want a collage that includes W’s face hanging around. LOL. I’m a little too interested in the German Expressionist protest quilt direction for my own good!

by michele2 on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 19:21:23 PDT

Heavy art can be done in a soft medium. (none / 1)

Express yourself!

by Rain on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 23:08:19 PDT

minority viewpoint (4.00 / 4)

SP is a sampling of American (mostly) religious viewpoints.  Most religious people in America (liberal or conservative) are Christian, so it shouldn’t be a surprise most SP posters are, too.  Take a sip of a glass that contains mostly water and a little orange juice, and what you’ll taste is mostly water.  I’m not saying this is good or bad, it’s just statistics.  Is it important to you that everyone else continue to taste that orangey flavor?  If so, keep posting.

by HeyMikey on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 15:55:50 PDT

exactly! (none / 0)

well said Mikey.

by Elizabeth D on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:32:24 PDT

Um, except… (none / 1)

…Christians here are not a majority, merely a plurality, even now, if the polls are any indication. Yet it is Morgan’s feeling that the Christian ‘feel’ of the site is strong enough to make it seem like a Christian site. (She adds: “Sometimes.” I can say these things on her behalf because she’s literally right next to me as I type this.) If SP feels like that now, when there have been active Hindu/Vedanists, Muslims, neo-pagans and others who fit no category at all, what’s going to happen to it as those people leave and it becomes more Christian by demographic?

Personally, I don’t bother with SP much any more because explaining my belief system requires more space than a comment or a diary, and (many of) the questions have gotten more hectoring and snarky as time has passed. It’s simply not worth my effort any more; it’s not as if I don’t have plenty of other places to put that effort into (including the in-progress novel in which I describe said philosophy/spirituality at the length required).

(/) Roland X
Not that I don’t still stop in now and again… 😉

by Roland X on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 16:39:40 PDT

asdf (4.00 / 6)

I have only commented on others’ posts, and feel I owe my own.  Here it is:

I have been noticing a downturn in pagan content, as well.  I have never been one who keeps abreast of anything approaching 100% of the content of this site; probably more like 30%, if that.  I do self-select what that 30% is, but even then I am not even reading 100% of the contributions of the community members I admire most.  I would not want to see you go.  You like Boingo, after all.

As someone who works regularly with statistics, that our community skews so strongly from the national average (less that 50% Christian on this poll last I saw) speaks to the fact that SP–even in its infancy–is either doing a great job in attracting a diverse population, or it is a spurious correlation with the religious affiliations of (mostly religious) progressive internet users.  Or both.

What I have also noticed (though this could be a function of the diaries I am reading) is the absense of some of the more literalist Christians which started out with us, such as martinguerre.

by Betty Black on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:13:13 PDT

My diaries (none / 0)

tend to be mo
sp-highlightre personal than theological.  Probably comes from most opsp-highlightf my energy going into fiction–I tell stories.  I osmetiems idenitfy with Blacky Ryan of ANderew Greeley’s mystery novels who beelives we find God in Story.

by irishwitch on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 16:05:56 PDT

Hmmm… (4.00 / 4)

speaking as a fellow minority (although one of the most vocal, since we all know “Jews run the world” </snark>), I have to agree with you that this place is becoming more Christo-centric.

It happens.  Things move from one place to another, and PD has talked numerous times about finding more non-Christian front-pagers than just me and Jeffrey Feldman (and we’re both Jews, even – although our interests are WILDLY different).  For all his talk, though, PD has not managed to actually do this.

He’s only human.  “Only,” of course, being a silly word, since being human is such a wondrous thing to be (you may disagree, not coming from a man-as-master tradition).  The point is, that although SP is becoming more Christian, management (and I use that term VERY loosely) is not losing sight of the larger proposition – to grow a Religious Left of ALL faiths.

Let me conclude by offering this hypothetical situation.  I probably am the least prolific of the front-pagers (I or Jeffrey Feldman, but I have no other blogs), so let us set my level of contribution as the minimum.  IF PD were to ask you to front-page here (not saying he will, just asking what if), could you be as prolific as me?

“This is nothing less than a battle for America’s soul.” – Jimmy Carter, 2004 DNC

by Matthew Krell on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:18:19 PDT

Simply (4.00 / 3)

As a writer, I have priorities.  My book, my writing for my coveners, and my open study group take priority because that’s how I contribute to the spiritual community with the most impact.  I have a feeling that many others on here are with me.

If any Pagan voice were to be front-paged, however, I have a feeling that it would become a priority for them, because having one’s thoughts on the main page as opposed to the sidebar does tend to inspire one to shut off Firefly reruns on SciFi and type! 😉

Blessed Be

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

by Taliesin on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:54:54 PDT

I *wish* I had SciFi! 😉 (4.00 / 4)

Anyway, responding to an more relevant point from up-thread:

…being human is such a wondrous thing to be (you may disagree, not coming from a man-as-master tradition).

I most certainly agree that humans are wonderous — we’re proto-gods, after all :-).

Taliesin hit it in that if one of us were to be given front page status, the great power/great responsibility thing would kick in and we’d make more time for it. But the actual content would require a bit of thought, since a “pagan pov” is sort of hard to pin down. We’re not all wishy-washy, we just realize that any given 10 of us will have 13 viewpoints on any given subject ;-).

by Morgan on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:13:20 PDT

Guest front pagers (none / 1)

Guest front pagers not associated with SP who contribute a topical post, participate in the commentary for 24 hours,  & move on. This could include “syndicating” a post from another blog (rather than just linking), for a writer who would like a chance at broadening readership.

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

by Asbury Park on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:31:42 PDT

asdf (none / 0)

PD’s take on it is apparently that he has chosen front pagers from among those people he has gotten to know fairly well and trust and that diversity is important but secondary to that. I think respectfulness toward individuals, other faith traditions, etc is probably also a factor.

by Elizabeth D on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 17:41:40 PDT

well (none / 1)

To tell the truth, I don’t think it helps to shy away from conflict. I think disparate viewpoints get a lot of discussion and one thing about diaries – and often front page diaries – is that the discussions are often really short (few comments). That’s good or bad depending on your perspective.

I’m fully aware that provocative is not disrespectful – but I think we could use a few more provocative front pagers or ideas. Naturally that’s just me – your mileage may vary.

by michele2 on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 08:04:54 PDT

“Provocative” (none / 1)

can mean thought provoking, or provoking discussion. As you said, provocative does not have to mean disrespectful.

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

by shakti on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 08:48:02 PDT

asdf (none / 0)

I didn’t say anything about not being provocative, only that I thought respectfulness was important. Provocation in the sense of trying to anger members or stir up an anthill or create conflict between different beliefs here probably doesn’t belong on the front page and would not serve the goals of this site well. If building true community and making a difference in the broader spheres of Ameican faith and politics is a goal, then hurtful, divisive debate on marginal topics is at odds with that.

by Elizabeth D on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 09:36:04 PDT

asdf (none / 1)

Elizabeth,

That was a general observation on my part – not a little attack on your statement, at least – I didn’t mean it that way.

My point was really just that there is a fine line in making everything so cozy that it gets boring – discussion boards/blogs need sparkiness (and you know the trouble making trolls are always gonna surface at some point).  

by michele2 on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 10:13:13 PDT

ahh (none / 0)

I see what you are saying, it’s a fine line though. Speaking for myself, I like lively discussion but I do not like it when it gets so heated that people start getting really hurt and angry. Like on the “debate and challenge” boards at Beliefnet where it’s like hacking at each other with broadswords…. that’s just depressing. 🙂

We expected to have troll issues here from the start and remarkably enough it really hasn’t happened. So I feel a little optimistic that we can keep that in hand.

by Elizabeth D on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 10:25:46 PDT

I see a podium (none / 1)

Wouldn’t it be good to read a  guest post by, say,  a Buddhist environmentalist, or an Islamic feminist?  We don’t seem to be growing them here. This site generates a community, & that’s great. But it’s a bit like a building, & although the door is left unlocked it’s still a door. & I see a podium & a congregation…..
 

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

by Asbury Park on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 12:28:38 PDT

more Jews please (4.00 / 2)

I’m kinda sad there aren’t more Jews posting. I love and appreciate that tradition so much (not one though). Right now in the poll we Buddhists outnumber you Jews!

And surely there are some Jewish Buddhists (Jews who seriously practice Buddhism) out there–I’d love to hear that perspective!

gretel

by gretel on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 10:13:18 PDT

I would nominate dervish (none / 1)

for a Front Pager, myself.

And lauramp.

by loggersbrat on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:27:47 PDT

well, (none / 1)

we’re not taking nominations, as far as I know.  And I certainly don’t want to give the impression that the front-page slate may expand – I don’t know AT ALL what PD has planned.

I’m just asking, since Morgan seems to be worried about a lack of non-Christian content (a valid worry), would she be willing to provide it if we offered her a larger forum?

“This is nothing less than a battle for America’s soul.” – Jimmy Carter, 2004 DNC

by Matthew Krell on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 16:34:50 PDT

I don’t know (4.00 / 2)

the reasons for having certain people be front-pager, but I agree that more non-Christian perspectives would be good.  The posts I think are most powerful come from a specific religious perspective and implicate larger issues that touch us all.  But the diversity of those starting perspectives is still important.

“As scientific knowledge advances, it does not mean that religious knowledge retreats.”
– horse69 on the bnet recon C&C board

by lonespark on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 09:59:46 PDT

I’m very flattered… (4.00 / 3)

…but I hardly have time to post comments let alone diaries here as my work keeps me very busy.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more non-Christian people at Street Prophets than we realize, but they may not have the time to be active in posting about their religious tradition. Also, they may feel that they don’t have the knowledge or the expertise.

Being the main or only spokesperson for your group is a big responsibility because you want to make sure that you represent an entire group properly.

People may also feel that they might be able to write a diary on a specific topic OK but they may not be knowledgeable enough to handle all the discussion and questions that it evokes.

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

by lauramp on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 15:21:46 PDT

Hey there, Morgan and all, (4.00 / 4)

We woudl be poorer, and weaker, if we lost you and other voices from traditions and viewpoints outside mainstream Christianity.

My comment here turned into a full-fledged posting on the front page.  🙂  Thanks for getting the conversation going.

Add mine to the voices crying in the wilderness.

by Deborah Brown on Fri Jan 6th, 2006 at 19:11:43 PDT

Morgan (none / 1)

I hope you will stay and keep posting.

I really wanted to do, or help do, something for Yule, as it such an important holiday for us Heathens, but there was a death in the family and I just haven’t felt up to posting for a while.  

The Daily Deity thing seemed overly ambitious.  Maybe a weekly deity?  And I’m not sure of the best approach for something like that.  

I realize that this isn’t the same kind of site as Beliefnet, but I really like Beliefnet, and I guess I still don’t have a handle on this place.  I like what it can be, but it does sometimes feel lonely surrounded by Christians.  

“As scientific knowledge advances, it does not mean that religious knowledge retreats.”
– horse69 on the bnet recon C&C board

by lonespark on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 09:57:20 PDT

Deity Suggestion (none / 0)

One of my favorite blogs is The Gods Are Bored.

A riotous ramble through the Intelligently Designed universe with Anne, the hillbilly goat judge, and the many gods and goddesses who’ve been let go in revised head counts.

Anne is a hoot and would fit right in here. Maybe we should invite her to cross post.

Every thought you think is magick. Christopher Penczak

by Nixie on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 11:26:05 PDT

Actually, she already does. (none / 0)

🙂

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

by shakti on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 14:29:37 PDT

Really? (none / 0)

Kewl. Don’t I feel silly!

Every thought you think is magick. Christopher Penczak

by Nixie on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 14:43:03 PDT

Well, she hasn’t been around here so much lately, (none / 0)

but for a while she was posting a diary every day.

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

by shakti on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 15:29:56 PDT

Weekly Deity (none / 0)

Now that’s an idea. It would allow me (or anyone who wanted to “guest”) to spend a bit more time writing about the god/dess in question, and perhaps com eup with some thought- and conversation-provoking questions. I’ll have to give it some serious thought.

Thanks for the idea!

by Morgan on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 12:10:26 PDT

comfort zones (4.00 / 2)

It’s a truism that people like to stay in their comfort zones. When a majority here is Christian, Christian posts will naturally get the most readers and comments. That doesn’t mean people don’t like diversity, just that when a perspective is unfamiliar it can be uncomfortable and even scary. It also takes time for people to understand enough about something unfamiliar to begin to relate to it and formulate ideas and questions.

My point is that most of the comments on this site will go to what most people find familiar and accessible. If the diverse voices keep contributing and speaking their own truths, eventually they, too, will become familiar and accessible.  But if they give up too quickly, they eliminate that possibility.

We who want to show people a different way of looking at things need to be patient.

by sunflight on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 10:01:14 PDT

Morgan, perhaps some of the overload was (4.00 / 2)

due to the season.  With the phony “war on Christmas” going on and all, there was a lot more talk in the general culture (which SP diaries did reflect, as they should do given the mission of SP to express the views of the people of multiple faiths on the left) about Christianity.  Am I wrong in thinking it that a lot of the shouting was instigated to drown out a lot of useful conversation about many things, not just religion?  

Thankfully, that brouhaha is done.  For now.

I do have a sense that things generally will move more easily in 2006.  There is stuff to be done.  There are elections coming up that may turn the tide in this country — and this forum has the potential to be very helpful in that effort.  

You are so well loved here and your voice is so valued it would truly be a blow to many of us if you went away.

I don’t know that you have a true idea of how many people listen to what you have to say here and who look forward to and respect your views.

I am one.

by Rain on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 10:57:02 PDT

Consider a weekly diary, Magorn (4.00 / 2)

It’s tough for me to consider more than that.  I’ve been tossing around ideas for a weekly, but it hasn’t congealed  yet.  My favorite so far is a cooking diary!   Anything else would be extra.  

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kalhil Gibran

by x on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 11:05:39 PDT

I would enjoy your cooking diary. (4.00 / 3)

As I have commented before, the table may be one of mankind’s first altars.  There is a lot to contemplate in something as simple as a jug of water, a loaf of bread, a candle, and a group of sincerely thankful people.

How people eat says a lot about them, I think.

I love reading cookbooks.

by Rain on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 11:39:27 PDT

It’s stewing, LOL! (4.00 / 4)

& I’m not usually a stew fan!

When I do it, I hope to see you there.

I’m thinking about starting with a basic, like soup/stock, with variations for ethnic renditions.

Breaking bread is a universal spiritual/religious activity.  Maybe I should call it “Breaking Bread”?

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kalhil Gibran

by x on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 11:48:32 PDT

Maybe I should write something about altars. (4.00 / 4)

I look forward to your diary!

by Rain on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 11:56:30 PDT

Now That (4.00 / 3)

Would be beautiful!

Go for it!

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kalhil Gibran

by x on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 12:09:16 PDT

Now *that* I could … (4.00 / 5)

WAY get into, and in fact, would be happy to collaborate on, if you’re willing to put up with a wolf who has occasional “fits”, so to speak.

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 12:36:39 PDT

Okay.But give me some time. (4.00 / 4)

The next diary I need to write is about Jim Brandt, my candidate for this Congressional seat.  And I’ve been having a little writer’s block on that for some reason.  It’s still perculating in my head.

For an altar diary, I will write from my experience worshiping with American Indians, the shamans of Ecuador, and travels in ancient places in Britain.  Then, if you, dear Werewolf Prophet, and others would chime in with their own experiences and ways, that would be super duper.

I’ll reference your Samhain service, Morgan, because you had a top notch description of your altar for that.

by Rain on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 12:49:55 PDT

KEWL ! (4.00 / 4)

And I’d like to write about altars from a spiritual/conceptuial POV, as in focal point, event horizon, visual aid to worship / shifting consciouness, work of art, collaborative group expression, etc …

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 12:57:29 PDT

would love to read it (4.00 / 4)

and in turn you’ve given me an idea about writing about an artist or two whose works have an altar-like quality.

Some great brainstorming resulted from this diary.

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. – Buffy Anne Summers

by lunacat on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 13:03:12 PDT

that would be an amazing thread (4.00 / 3)

to participate in.  We would all love it!

by empathy on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 14:39:52 PDT

Can I suggest … (4.00 / 3)

“May You Never Hunger” ?

Regardless, I’d like to see a cooking-related diary, and would actively participate because I enjoy cooking.

Besides, it would be very hard for me & JCH to fight whilst sitting down to a delicious meal [Canine-Toothy Grin] …

+++++

Hmmm … OK, I’ve kicked into wordsmith mode, and I love titles, so :

The Humble Table (gentle parody of NPR’s The Splendid Table …)

Nourishment

The Prophets’ Palate
A Prophet’s Plate

A Place at the Table

Ingredient X

Street Food
Street Eats
The Street Kitchen

Edible Alchemy

Kitchen on the Edge of Forever

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 12:51:50 PDT

Those are good! (4.00 / 2)

Something to chew on, LOL!

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kalhil Gibran

by x on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 13:37:37 PDT

Thanks ! (4.00 / 3)

Titles are my specialty. I’ve given titles to several paintings an artist buddy of mine has done.

by Propheticus Lycanthroponica on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 13:46:24 PDT

My brain is swirling with such a mix (4.00 / 3)

of thoughts about the table as altar.

The family table!  The table for two!  The table laden with food for friends.  The Holiday Table.  The buffet table.  The dining table of my dreams.  Even the “pot-luck”.

I think you have focused on an elemental part of human existence.  I never saw things so clearly, but I realize that worship goes on at each of these locations/events.  

Such a subject for a dairy.

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

by Aunt Em on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 12:36:25 PDT

In many traditions, food is blessed before (none / 1)

it is eaten.  You could say, in such a case, the table is being used as an altar even if those saying Grace do not recognize it as such.

I’ll shoot for getting this diary up before the coming weekend.

by Rain on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 13:18:55 PDT

I like “PotLuck” (4.00 / 2)

I really like that.

Maybe that will be the one.

We can all bring something.

I like it.

Maybe I can work on it & maybe launch it next week sometime.

Thanks!  It’s simple & welcomes everyone.  

I love cooking from all cultures, & there’s nothing like a potluck to bring us together.

Thank you, Aunt Em.  I do believe you have struck the chord.

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kalhil Gibran

by x on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 13:26:18 PDT

Maybe “Potluck Recipes”? (4.00 / 2)

Let’s eat!

And let’s share.

The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
Kalhil Gibran

by x on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 13:57:44 PDT

Morgan (4.00 / 2)

I also hope you keep posting, because there are all sorts of pagan subjects I’d be interested in reading about, including urban practitioners to name just one.

Some of the best and most creative observations on spirituality can come from making connections to other things, so I’d be happy to see diarists pushing the envelope.

As others in the thread have said, I’m conscious of being in the minority here. That’s meant more as observation than complaint.

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. – Buffy Anne Summers

by lunacat on Sat Jan 7th, 2006 at 12:02:25 PDT

My two cents… (none / 1)

…not that anyone wants it.

I think the cart has been put before the horse. I read a comment upthread that said someone wanted to hear the perspective of a Jew who practices Buddhism. Perspective on what? What is Street Prophets? What do people talk about here? Until there can be a focus, there will be no voices.

by PerfectStormer on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 21:11:03 PDT

Heh (none / 1)

Preview is my friend.

That comment sounds offensive, I think. It’s a consequence of the fact that I’m having a fight in a  chatroom right now. I didn’t mean to sound so dismissive.

I just think that there needs to be a discussion of what issues are to be addressed at SP, before anyone can posit that the issues are not being addressed in the correct fashion.

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by PerfectStormer on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 21:13:17 PDT

asdf (none / 1)

I didn’t think your comment was offensive. I think SP is like Daily Kos or other such communities; it is what the members make of it. What do you think it should be? What do you want to talk about?

I think this site is and can be even more a place where progressives of widely differing beliefs and unbeliefs learn to understand each other and work together well, where members of the religious/political left support one another (including personally/socially/spiritually) and learn to talk and act constructively for peace, social justice etc, where the religious left develops its ability to make a compelling religious case against the religious right and in favor of authentically just and compassionate spiritual/human values, and where we explore what wisdom faith traditions have for how to go about all this. And, of course, I hope for this site to be enjoyable, interesting, and welcoming.

by Elizabeth D on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 22:47:22 PDT

I just haven’t been UP for explainign Wicca (none / 1)

to anyone since I had the ban on practicing my religion imposed onme. My hsuband and I are a pair of solitaries, and we’ve never done involved, written-ahead-of-time rituals. We simply cast a circle, and say what Spirit and the Lord and the Lady move us to, with an awareness of the special meaning of the sabat or holy day. Beigid IS Oneof my goddesses, along with the Morrigan,but it’s hard to thiunka bout a sabbat when you cannot hold one, even a quiet, inoffensive one.

by irishwitch on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 00:32:33 PDT

I’ll try (none / 0)

Lately, I haven’t had a lot of time for blogs – either reading those I enjoy or writing my own! But one of my promises to myself (I refuse to call it new year’s resolution) is to be more diligent about my spiritual studies (wiccan) and writing in my blog (dedicated to sharing my learning process).

I always enjoy the pagan/wiccan contributions to this site and hope that those who are more experienced than I am will take the major sabats. But to the extent that I am creating content for my blog, Blogickal, that is relevant here, I’d be happy to cross post.

I had done a post about Ephiphany, of which I was most proud. I could have posted that!

Every thought you think is magick. Christopher Penczak

by Nixie on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 11:13:19 PDT

asdf (none / 0)

Rain said upthread:

I don’t know that you have a true idea of how many people listen to what you have to say here and who look forward to and respect your views.

After reading the comments here, I’m starting to get an idea :-).

I’m not planning on going anywhere, not for the time being at least. If nothing else, this has revitalized the reason I felt being here was a good idea in the first place — to help educate others about the herd of cats otherwise known as neo-pagans. I’m getting some ideas of things to post on a semi-regular basis, with much thanks to all here.

Thank you all for your support and understanding!

by Morgan on Mon Jan 9th, 2006 at 12:16:35 PDT

Don’t forget lurkers (none / 0)

When pagans or other religious minorities post threads on their beliefs, the rest of us may read them but not post.  We don’t want the Daily Office thread to become a place for argument, so it’s fair that we stay out of arguments in expository threads about paganism or Islam.  That leaves little for us to say, so we say little.  What you hear is not the silence of shunning, but the silence of the concert hall when the orchestra’s on stage.  

by Yamaneko on Tue Jan 10th, 2006 at 05:00:11 PDT

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