Behind me, many leagues down a long and forlorn road lay the ruins of a city. Years have passed since a raucous mob burst through gates once thought impenetrable and pulled down walls once thought insurmountable. In the interceding years, rains have washed the fire-blackened soot from the streets. Ravens and swallows have built nests in the partially exposed timbers of burned-out houses. Rabbits have built warrens beneath the stones of the empty square and squirrels scamper along upper ledges, gracefully bounding across the void when they encounter a collapsed facade. No people reside here anymore: they all died in a futile attempt to defend the doomed polis as torches set it ablaze, fled in terror at the destruction, or else departed in its wake to seek greener pastures elsewhere. With that description, it would certainly be easy to look upon this scene in sadness and remorse, but not so for me. Were I to travel back along that rutted road to the place I left long ago, I would not see the remains of a place once happy and vibrant, but one that was full of oppression, confusion, and heartache. I would feel neither regret nor loss, but something akin to a soaring contentment, perhaps not unlike to the sort of feeling a freeman might experience were he able to look from a place of safety upon the decrepit estate of his deposed former master. This city is not a real place, as you may have guessed by now. It is instead a metaphor for something that once existed within and held great power over me but does no longer. That thing would be my faith. Continue reading
60 percent of North Carolinians voted to enact a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage yesterday. So, let’s just say that I’m pretty disgusted with about 60 percent of North Carolinians. It should be noted that gay marriage has been illegal in the state since 1996 but, apparently, social conservatives and culture warriors saw need to entomb their views in the state constitution.
Of particular interest to me is whether or not as much support could be mustered for a constitutional ban on adultery. Or, better yet, would 60 percent of North Carolinians vote to enact a constitutional ban on divorce? Both are even more insidious threats to “traditional marriage of one man and one woman” than same-sex marriage will ever be. But, we all know that neither of those things will ever, ever happen. Continue reading
Note: Unless you find language or history interesting (and/or have an appetite for mostly-useless trivia), this post will probably be incredibly boring to you.
In doing research for my senior paper, I came across a book with a chapter titled A Brief History of the English Language. It wasn’t information relevant to my research, but I found it interesting and read it nonetheless. In the section on Old English, as an example the authors had shown how the Lord’s Prayer was written in Old English:
Fæder ūre þū þe eart on heofonum,
Sī þīn nama ġehālgod.
Tōbecume þīn rīċe,
ġewurþe þīn willa, on eorðan swā swā on heofonum.
Ūre ġedæġhwāmlīcan hlāf syle ūs tō dæġ,
and forgyf ūs ūre gyltas, swā swā wē forgyfað ūrum gyltendum.
And ne ġelǣd þū ūs on costnunge, ac ālȳs ūs of yfele.
Sōþlīċe. Continue reading
As of 5 p.m. this afternoon, 22 of my Facebook friends had shared this video on their walls–or, I’m pretty sure it’s timelines now, but whatever. It was uploaded to YouTube two days ago and already has almost 2.5 million views. This is unfortunate, because it demonstrates the degree to which the word “religion” has become a pejorative and used to describe what could be most accurately billed as “legalism.” Furthermore, it highlights the ambiguity associated with “religion” when that word is tossed around by Christians (usually non-denominationals) who claim to be up on Jesus but low on “religion.” As the British would say, that’s bollocks, and I’m about to tell you why. Continue reading
More evangelical Christians than not believe the government should do more to protect morality in society, according to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life. The survey also showed a majority of evangelicals support measures to protect the environment.
The survey examined the demographics among people who hold religious belief, their practices and beliefs, and their views on various social and political issues. It included responses from 35,000 people. Continue reading