The Looming Schism in Methodism

This week, the United Methodist Church held a special conference to address the issue of what to do about same-sex marriage and gay clergy. And, after not dealing with these issues, exactly as they’ve done at the past several (quadrennial?) General Conferences, the UMC has decided, once again, to do nothing. Same-sex couples cannot be … Continue reading The Looming Schism in Methodism

Link Round-Up: December 18

Last night, after work, I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens with my coworkers thanks for an end-of-year work function. Here are my non-spoilery thoughts, posted on social media last night and this morning. First, Facebook: My non-spoilery reaction to the new Star Wars movie — I was entertained, but it’s best to have tempered … Continue reading Link Round-Up: December 18

Link Round-Up: December 17

We start today’s link round-up with something I wrote on Facebook this morning. It relates to two of today’s links, and I’ll link a third article in this: Christians and Muslims worship the same god. This isn’t and shouldn’t be a controversial statement. As a matter of history, it’s as much of a fact as … Continue reading Link Round-Up: December 17

Link Round-Up: December 15

Our second link round-up! These are things I read today that interested me, with some commentary on what I read and what I thought. BBC World Service: Space – The BBC World Service has begun an occasional podcast series of podcasts on an astronomy/space exploration theme. As of right now, there are four episodes, ranging … Continue reading Link Round-Up: December 15

Taking Action and the Limitations of Prayer

When I was young, I never prayed. I never understood what prayer was for. If god were omniscient, he should have already known what I was thinking and doing. Plus, he should already have known whether I was repentant or not. There was nothing I could have expressed through prayer that god wouldn’t already have … Continue reading Taking Action and the Limitations of Prayer

Syrian Refugees, Meme Wars, and Ethical Imperatives

I tried to steer clear of the Meme Wars over Syrian refugees on Facebook last week. I saw things on both sides that irritated me; from friends on the right I saw things that were occasionally racist, and from friends on the left I saw things that mocked both religion and culture. I learned a … Continue reading Syrian Refugees, Meme Wars, and Ethical Imperatives

America’s Increasing Secularism and Its Personal Aspect

This morning, on my way into work, I heard a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition about how a new Pew survey indicates that Americans are becoming less religious, and this decline in religious belief has happened over a short frame of time. The share of Americans who say they are “absolutely certain” that God exists … Continue reading America’s Increasing Secularism and Its Personal Aspect

On Constitutional Worship and Historical Trends

I have a friend — he and I go back over a decade — who, in the past two years, has turned into a rabid right-winger. He’s always been out there on the right, but ever since Obama was elected, he’s gone off the deep end. Obama is a socialist, a Marxist, a totalitarian fascist, … Continue reading On Constitutional Worship and Historical Trends

On Barack Obama’s Religion

Wasn’t it P.T. Barnum who said that “You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public?” That’s how I felt this morning, when I heard NPR’s story on a just-released Pew Research poll that indicates that a growing percentage of Americans — now 1 in 5 — believe that President Obama is, in … Continue reading On Barack Obama’s Religion