another reason is because i really don't know what to put. it's been about 6 years since i started blogging here, 8 total years as this blog was spun off of Politik7, a political blog a few (6 to be exact) of my friends and i started back in 2002. i spun this off of P7 to have my own space. P7 went idle and then we decided to delete it, although I do have a word file of all the posts. it is interesting reading those, because where i am now is so far from where i was back then. so i guess i can talk a little about that journey and what i have gained from blogging.
when i started i was hopelessly liberal. Al Franken and i were best buds and we hung out with Mikey Moore and toilet papered Ann Coulter's house ever weekend. i was purely motivated by the injustices of the Bush Administration and had a blind hatred of all things Republican which included Christianity. so i turned Buddhist. a lazy buddhist, a buddhist without a community, a faith gleened from books like "An Idiot's Guide to Buddhism" and "Living Buddha, Living Christ." i described myself as "Spiritual but not religious."
that was during college... i married Kate and we moved away from our protective bubble that surrounds Athens Ohio, and into the DC area. we found we needed a community, so we tried the various churches around and even the Buddhist temple. the temple didn't fit because we, namely I, wasn't Buddhist. i was Christian. and before I could move on to become a Buddhist, i MUST heal my wounds from Christianity which i felt were legion.
- the pain of growing up Catholic with a priest who thought my single mom was going to hell.
- the slash and burn style of many Christians
- the hypocrisy and materialism of "pop" Christianity
- and many others... fill in your own...
we found Emmaus and we were at home. and healing had begun. Emmaus was progressive, Open and Affirming, and liberal in thought... however, i came to realize that the wounds i felt i was healing FROM i also happened to be inflicting as well. i was just as closed-minded as the conservatives i was railing against. nor do i think it is healthy to have a theology based over and against something.
seminary has brought a whole new set of considerations as well as a new way of articulating my thoughts. what i have learned in seminary that being "spiritual but not religious" is a cop-out. being spiritual means i can customize any faith tradition to fit my needs. this can result in an extremely misunderstood and colonialist thought system which goes against the original intent of the doctrines, creeds, and ideas i'm smashing together. religion demands something of you. it causes you to change and consider things you would rather not.
so now i find myself religious and spiritual. spiritual and religious. i may fly off on speculative flights of fancy, but i am grounded by my community, my denomination and it's history, and by the wider Christian history. i now think that there is no way one can fully understand US history without considering the church movements. we gotta know this stuff, it has effected us in ways we don't know. example: if your frig is Amada and your silverware Onieda, congrats! you just bought something from a Christian Utopian Movement from the Second Great Awakening! it permeates our culture in ways we can't begin to comprehend.
now you may say "well Luke, that's fine and well and good, but i think you're biased. and what about the separation of church and state?" well, first the separation of church and state deals only with funding meaning that there will be no state-sponsored church. it does not mean prayer should be kept from the public forum. however, if Christians want to keep public prayer public, then they had best get more inclusive and think about their theology inherent in their prayer before spouting off at the next city council meeting. and i am biased. absolutely. i like history. i like knowing why California and Texas and Florida have Spanish style Churches... or why Lancaster PA has a 60% inner-city Puerto Rican Population and what considerations and changes that causes on the wider community.
history leaves marks, scars that never fade.
i've found that while i still lean left, i can communicate much better with those who think different from me. i would now call myself "progressive" which is neither left nor right but forward. i would also say i'm an aspiring "Neo-Orthodox" guy, but still young. still likely to fall back on liberal things, but that's not a good nor bad thing, but a product of who i am and how i came to be.
i am a student of history and have learned to affirm my own.
i've learned i have a slap-dash style of blogging that needs tightening up.
i ain't got the best grammar or speeling, and i never capitalize much. the capitalization is on purpose as i try my best to be humble on here as a reminder not to spout off too much at those i think are crazy.
and i've had my fair share of crazy traffic.
without this blog i would have not known of the gnostic revival thanks to Yuergen, thelema practice, that Marcionites are still around thanks to Beowulf, that Anglicans are the true church, but yet the Jews are still the chosen ones, and that Atheists could have a spiritual side. so a big thanks to many of the crazies who stuck with me and became my good blogging buddies. This goes out to the Anglican Family, Sabio, Cody, Jacq, the canon of Yael, Doug, John T, and Jay Bird, and those 30 some ppl who visit the site but never comment.
thanks for your time and considerations.
thanks for keeping me humble.
thanks for offering your two cents.
thanks for all that you have said and done and please forgive me for anything i have said or done or have not said or done.
if you want to keep in touch, drop me a line at omega[UNDERSCORE]raven AT yahoo DOT com. the part in brackets is this "_" which was done to keep spammers away. i will blog again but in a different setting and under much stricter rules... it won't be done here again. this blog needs retired. i will leave it up for another two weeks and then it will go private.
thanks again and i hope that you find life good and enjoyable. may you feel blessed in however you understand that term. may you serve something bigger than yourself, may you treat others how you wish to be treated. until we meet again... RAWK!!!!!!