Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Beautiful Post

I haven't been blogging lately, for the usual reasons. Add to that some logistical issues (my house was built in 1941, and the electricity to my basement office is on the fritz) and a recently intensified search for a PhD program (things are getting serious!) and I've all but abandoned the blogosphere.

But I had a little bit of goofing off time this morning, so I visited the usual suspects on my sidebar. There I find this beautiful post at Debunking Christianity. As a deeply if unconventionally religious person, I've found much of the content at that blog more than a little off-putting. It is argumentative (not such a bad thing), but in an oft antagonistic way, too often mirroring the combative evangelical strategies of the worst elements in Christian fundamentalism.

On the other hand, I have a great deal of respect for that blog's founder, John W. Loftus, who despite his occasionally prickly Internet persona, strikes me as a throughly decent and kind human being, who is also an excellent communicator and critical thinker. So, even though I often leave in a huff (especially after reading posts that John didn't write, or after reading the comments left by evangelicals attempt to convert a blog-community of atheists and agnostics) I keep returning to the site, hoping to be as pleasantly surprised as I was this morning.

The post, written by Shygetz, explores the social function of communities of faith, expressly separating that function from any creedal commitments. It does so in the form of a story about how the author - an ex-Methodist turned atheist and freethinker - and his wife - a secular Jew - joined a Unitarian Universalist congregation out of concern for the social well-being of their three year old daughter.

While I am no atheist, I appreciate the need to separate the various social and communal functions of any particular community of faith from their creedal commitments. This in part stems from my understanding of faith, which is distinct from belief, but it also comes from the deep disconnect between my own theological commitments and the various creeds of my tradition. If being part of a community of faith meant simply believing what the rest of that community confesses, all communities of faith would be both exceedingly small and theologically impoverished, and I may not be a part of any of them.

As such, I was encouraged to read Shygetz post, and happy for him that he has found a community in which he can find himself.

Check out his post.

1 comment:

John W. Loftus said...

"Prickly" eh? Okay, I guess. Thanks for your kind thoughts and for the link. I like visiting your blog as well. It's thoughtful and articulate.

We too went to moderation mode, and we may stay that way.

Cheers.