December 21, 2008
Your normal temperature on winter solstice is -8. Your temp is now -36 with a windchill of -48. This is NOT how you start our winter!
December 14, 2008
Through my atheist eyes I have stumbled upon interesting perspectives of the relationship between culture and belief. The places where I have separated the two are places where some think culture and belief are, in fact, inseparable – and should be practiced as such.
Take Christmas celebrations for example (‘Tis the season). I personally don’t believe that there is a real “anointed one” (Messiah/Christ), chosen by “God” to lead “God’s people” to the “promise land”. And yet I sing songs that assume these beliefs around the Church’s designated date to celebrate Jesus of Nazareth’s birth.
Why? Because, along with ‘a time for family’ and a sense of community, I enjoy the parts of my cultural heritage that tell ancient stories of heroes to inspire humanity to be better than they are.
According to the story, Jesus gave a group of people hope for a better life by gaining the social power to break through unrealistic cultural boundaries (Can you sense a little irony here?) under which they felt oppressed. Of course, other leaders in that society saw Jesus only as a threat to their leadership rather than someone benefiting their society; and Jesus was crucified as a result of it. But he died for an ideal he believed in, an ideal his future followers wanted to believe in.
What might be a surprise to some who have read this blog of mine is that my criticisms of the dogmatic affirmation of divine morality written in the bible are not meant to denigrate the cultural beauty that can be found in the keeping and telling of the stories themselves.
To me, Christmas is the celebration of one of the many stories that have not been lost to humanity; a story about a hero and his people, seeking freedom from spiritual and political suppression. Some, however, feel that this part of our diverse culture (Christmas) can only be celebrated in one way – worshiping Jesus. And they find it offensive when non-believers such as myself are next to them not giving the Bible and it’s heroes the recognition of worth they are giving.
It’s truly disappointing when no common ground is acknowledged in our celebration of Christmas – as if I have another belief competing for the sole possession of our shared Christmas culture. The attitude is odd, when you think about it. Why not embrace any appreciation of the good qualities found in the Bible, and in the heroes written about, despite rejections of the supernatural?
December 11, 2008
… at VOLUME 11!!!
Have a Merry long-hair Christmas everybody!