To the Pagan Community: A Love Letter

Real community crosses boundaries. Real community has ragged edges: children and parents, lovers and spouses who don’t quite fit the easy boundaries we’re tempted to draw. [Read more…]

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On Nature, Human Ugliness and the Problem of Evil

This world is so beautiful. And yet, in spite of that, we humans manage to bring so much ugliness into it. [Read more…]

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Theism, or Down to the Sea (Of Limitless Light)

I’ve never seen a point in piecing together a purely intellectual theology for an experience as visceral, as immediate, as spiritual communion. I’ve never found a set of names that didn’t invite more argument than it settled, didn’t diminish more than it expressed what I encounter in worship. [Read more…]

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What Do You Mean, “God,” Cat?

As a Pagan, I learned to listen to the spirit within the parts, and of relationships among them. As a Quaker, I learned to listen to the Spirit within the whole. [Read more…]

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Hands-On Worship

What does it mean to worship a god or goddess of smiths, but never to have worked with iron or bronze? What does it mean to worship a goddess of the hearth, but never to learn to bank a fire to last through a winter’s night? How can we understand gods of brewing or hunting or grain if we never make our own beer, clean our own game, bake our own bread or grow our own food? [Read more…]

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My Polytheistic, Mystic, Monist Heart

Setting aside thoughts on how lots of people seem to substitute a blind adherence to a creed, and wave allegiance to it like a flag of loyalty, I think there are real differences in how humans are drawn to religious experience or not–and, among those who are drawn to the spiritual encounter, how we perceive it. With the exception of those who would turn Mystery into an excuse for a tribal loyalty test, I don’t think these differences are moral in nature. It seems as though they simply are. [Read more…]

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What Kind of a God?

The moon is not forever. Worlds are born and die. All of creation is like drawing with paint dribbled onto the surface of moving water. Constant creation, constantly swept away. What kind of a God would have conceived of a universe like this one? What God would give us reproduction and evolution instead of immortality? [Read more…]

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Peter asks, “By what name?”

This is Peter writing, for the first time in much too long. Quaker meeting was good for me today, and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that. For months now (maybe even years) meeting has been about trying to tune out the incessant internal chatter of my own brain, or about [Read More…]

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Peter on When Words Fail Us

I have been really struggling with how to respond to the controversy that keeps rearing its head (most recently at Quaker Quaker) about Liberal Quakers’ supposed “hostility towards Christianity.” I’ve been disappointed in and saddened by some of the Quaker bloggers whom I have respected as intelligent and thoughtful Friends with integrity but who are [Read More…]

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Peter on God and the Gods

I’ve become quite lax in the last few weeks about throwing around the word “God.” I talk about “the light of God” and I don’t really stop to ask which God. Quaker worship and Quaker conversations tend to encourage that. The Light that we experience in meeting really doesn’t announce itself by name, and the [Read More…]

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