Good morning all. I'm sitting in the office with my green tea and I decided to finally set down the things that have been swirling around my head for the past few days.
Let's see... Okay, here are some spiritual topics that have come up lately:
1. On the last day of my trip, I was having lunch with Program Coordinator and some of the fellows. Fellow #2 mentioned that he had a dream about the world ending. This prompted P.C. to say that she is currently reading Left Behind. She seemed surprised that Fellow #3 and I were familiar with that series. Fellow #3 explained it a bit, and P.C. said, "I would think that people would just do whatever they want since they're damned already." I said, "They do. Chaos ensues. But you're not necessarily damned. You could always be beheaded." It was a funny conversation to have over lunch, but it was a light one because it seemed that no one really believed that those things are true. On the other hand, I know many, many people who do believe they're true and will happen in our lifetime. Strange, huh?
2. On Monday I met up with Fellow Seeker, Skeptic, and their friend, Former Quaker, who I was meeting for the first time. We had dinner and Former Quaker regaled us with descriptions of what Quakers are like and what they believe in (well, in the Northwest, apparently they're different everywhere.) He had been a youth pastor at one time. He said that Quakers won't swear on a Bible in court, feel that communion is symbolic and doesn't necessarily involve bread and wine, and are serious pacifists. I asked him if he still believes in all of that. He said he still believes, but he doesn't think God is as involved in our lives as we think. "If He was, there wouldn't be so many Christians who are sick." Good point. F.S. also showed me a book on Judaism that he is reading, specifically a poem in there that was written by a gay man during the Middle Ages, wishing that God had made him a woman. It was a very good piece. I don't remember what conversation followed, but I must have said something irreverent because Skeptic laughed and said, "In Narnia, you would so be the White Witch." I replied, "She represents the devil. Thanks!" Skeptic said, "If you think about it, of course the lion hero is a man and the evil witch is a woman." I didn't comment, only laughed.
3. Yesterday I was reading an article online about the Locke v. Davey Supreme Court case. I did not hear about this when it happened, but I would have found it extremely interesting. I was going to major in pastoral ministry, after all. I find it unfair that Joshua Davey had his scholarship revoked because of his major. I understand that the state is in no position to train future clergy, but it is not like they are seeking out future clergywomen and men to fund. They offered a scholarship to all college students that meet the criteria, and all college students - regardless of major - should have been able to benefit from it. The state is not supposed to impose a specific religion on the people, promote a religious life over a secular one, or promote a secular life over a religious one. By taking his scholarship away, wasn't the state promoting a secular life over a religious one? As long as that scholarship was equally accessible to a future Rabbi, Imam, or head of American Atheists, I don't see why Davey shouldn't have had it. It wasn't promoting a religious career choice - it was promoting any career an exceptional student chooses to pursue.