The last two weeks, I have spent time in two deeply spiritual locations: Land’s End in Cornwall, and Avebury – at one of the famous stone henges. These locations have afforded opportunities to develop relationships with people from other faiths and to engage in spiritual discussion and gatherings with them. In Saint Buryan at Land’s … More Land’s End and Avebury: engagement with other faiths
Words, words, words…we are inundated with words. They come as promises. They come as protests. They come as expressions of frustration. Most of us have fallen to one side or another of the debates and word-wars of politics and social issues. And I say “fallen” purposely. We are all either falling for something, or falling … More A Voice from the Dark – Prophets of Exile
“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15) Every liberation is followed by a new oppression, or so it would seem in the light of history and human relationships. From Egypt to Babylon … More Our Experience and Our Interpretation of the World Around Us
This issue keeps popping up. First, I told a story of interaction with former friends from my former denomination, after reaching out to see if they were up for reconciliation. The response was somewhat remarkable, and required some follow up. Then, a few people questioned whether I was speaking out my pain through bitterness or … More From Victimization to the Seat of Power: responding to betrayal from church leaders
Over the last few days of telling stories of church abuse and/or poor leadership, I have been asked about the issue of the experience of pain a handful of times. The stories I have been telling happened between 2005 and 2010. A significant amount of time has passed, and someone can legitimately ask if I … More Stories of Betrayal: Speaking about Your Pain Without Speaking Out of Your Pain
I was completely surprised by the response to my last post “Leaders Do Not Have the Right to Pretend it Didn’t Happen.” Hundreds of people responded to my simple story of email posts and responses from a former friend who was part of a team of abusive leaders that shafted our little church, and more … More Their Light is Their Darkness: exposing shallowness of leaders who don’t get it
Leaders Do Not Have the Right to Pretend it Didn’t Happen It has been a little over 10 years since I was falsely accused of being a heretic by my former denomination, followed by the apparently more heinous sin of questioning the actions of that same “authority,” that made the accusations against me. There were … More Leaders Do Not Have the Right to Pretend it Didn’t Happen
The book Burning Religion is a study in the spaces between people in disagreement, between political and national views, between church and secular life, and even between nations. The rise of Donald Trump’s run for the Presidency, and last week’s successful “leave” Brexit vote in Britain highlights the issue of the spaces and the boundaries between … More Brexit, Trump, Fences and Neighbors
Burning Religion arrived at 2nd Congregational Church in Peabody on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day 2015. This portion of the message highlights the existential isolation we experience because no one understands how we view the world, we will all experience the sense of feeling alone. In cases of radical differences in worldview, … More Our Isolation and Our Violence Needs a Miracle Cure
A cultured individual does not talk about certain things in public. Well, not at least in cultured settings, but the taboos of discussion have expanded far beyond the realms of the cultured, and are now coffeehouse, and pub taboos as well, unless of course, one is willing to tacitly agree with the most disagreeable things. … More Trump, Wasserman and Taboo Talk as Social Justice
May the Farce be with you. We watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We were surprised. We were laughing. Some of us were crying. Some of the audience around us clapped and cheered when familiar faces and gadgets appeared. Star Wars is an institution of important childhood memories for many people today. Somehow the cheesy, the … More The Farce Awakens!
One man’s culture is another man’s cult. At least that has been my experience. This is the mildly famous sign from in front of our church’s former location at The Vault in downtown Salem. I say “mildly famous,” because every tourist season people from around the world would stop, and stare at the sign. Many … More One Man’s Culture is Another Man’s Cult
On Sunday night, Glenn and Mara Coleman set up the first Burning Religion Party at their wonderful house, so nicely named “Willowkeepe.” After the party officially ended and the hanging out began, I asked if I could try an experiment. I had people talk about a subject that they were passionate about. First, they just spoke … More The Power of the Clown Nose
These thoughts from the Chapter “Imago Dei and Developing Subcultures” are echoes from Emmanuel Levinas’ thoughts on murdering the “other.” In the polarizing debates of our world, our response to a radical other is one of the most important aspects of our character development that we should monitor and discipline. To discipline and to control … More Burning Religion Reading #6: on Murdering Otherness
Sections of Burning Religion are anecdotes from recent and distant history. This comes from the chapter outlining the noble actions of people from many different religious and non-religious persuasions. You can find Burning Religion and join the revolution at the Amazon order page.