A Call to Activism

Skelligs - 2009

On the 8th of May we mark the 69th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allied Forces. The horror and the tragedy of the rise of the Nazi party and the Nazi ideology in Germany is that so much of what happened might have been preventable if people had been willing to stand up and say “This is wrong!” when it was first noticed that the powers that be were imprisoning, killing, and discriminating against their own citizens. The Holocaust did not happen overnight, it happened in … [Read more...]

Religious Shop Talk

Formal Language in Ritual

Social media is such a wondrous tool.  I graduated from an Evangelical Lutheran high school, and so I still have a number of very conservative Christians on my friend's list.  This past week, I was able to have a discussion with a friend I haven't seen in years, who is a student of theology and is heavily active in his church (a non-denominational, but strongly Evangelical organization).  He posted a question about the use of language in prayer - specifically, why many Christians use … [Read more...]

Down South Diversity

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The other day, I read a "you know you're a New Yorker/ Californian/Midwesterner/Southerner when..." post in my G+ stream that consisted primarily of mildly to moderately negative stereotypes. Needless to say, this is not a form of "humor" I enjoy. Not only do Southerners rarely have names like "Jim Bob" and "Billy Sue," but there is also a high degree of variation in dialect rather than a single "Southern" mode of speech. And I'm going to need y'uns to spell "y'all" correctly if you're going to … [Read more...]

Who Are We Kidding?

Interfaith2

All right, I admit it.  I am off on a bit of a rant this week.  At the moment I am feeling more than a bit frustrated.  Many of us are active in community interfaith work because we sincerely believe that it is important that we open honest discussions with people of other spiritual practices because understanding and openness can and will lead to better communities.  Since moving here to Huntsville, my husband and I have been active with both the Interfaith Mission Service and more recently … [Read more...]

The War on Christmas

Poinsettia_2

Several excellent authors have already covered the so-called "war on Christmas," but since the holiday season provides plenty of opportunity for interfaith interaction, I wanted to touch on this subject a little bit here at Wild Garden. I've been trying to figure out what, exactly, the "War on Christmas" is. From our house, this is a time of good cheer when we stick a tree in the living room and drink a ridiculous amount of hot cocoa. As I write this, the sun is hitting the tinsel just so and … [Read more...]

The Problem with Proselytization

Assimilation is not just something that happens in Star Trek.

I wrote some time back about how it is imperative for me to be courteous to those who come to my door. This is part of my upbringing as well as a moral obligation stemming from my religious convictions. By and large, I see proselytization efforts as futile and mostly harmless, but the practice has certain assumptions at its core that can lead to behaviors and attitudes that can be quite harmful to those of us in the minority. The assumptions are as follows: There is one true way. Because … [Read more...]

Hospital Chaplaincy, an Interfaith Challenge

Huntsville Hospital

Hospital chaplaincy is an often misunderstood vocation. Many unfamiliar with the work of the hospital chaplain equate it with ministry, but that is not what it is at all. Ministers seek to bring a specific message to those with whom they work. Hospital chaplains lay aside their personal beliefs at the door to the patient’s room and seek instead to immerse themselves in the spiritual worldview of the patient or the patient’s family. At Huntsville Hospital where I am working we have one … [Read more...]

My Long Strange Journey to the World of Interfaith

Wild Garden: Pagans in the Growing Interfaith Landscape

I am a relative newcomer to the world of interfaith work, but the idea of involving myself in this area of practice has been with me for a long time.  When I received my Third Degree initiation in the Oak, Ash, and Thorn Tradition of Wicca in 1996 my goal was to become active in interfaith work and start trying to build bridges of understanding with those of other religions.  Unfortunately for my stated purposes the Gods had other ideas and within three months of my initiation I was running a … [Read more...]


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