Developments of Interest


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Monday, July 16, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"The Idealogical Turing Test"

Greg recently sent me a link to a great post on Patheos, called the "Idealogical Turing Test."

I was intrigued, so I entered. One of the questions is:

"Write a brief (~50 word) bio of yourself and your religious affiliation. These get published at the end and help me build up a range of interesting participants"

Well ...I started writing and....  a few more than 50 words spilled out, so I thought I'd share them here!

"I was raised Roman Catholic and attended 12 years of Catholic School. Grades 1-8 at a small diocesan elementary school where I was always getting into trouble with the nuns. High School was at a private, independent Catholic prep school run by an order of very progressive and (then) left-leaning brothers. I attended college at the Quaker-heritage University of Pennsylvania, where I came out as a gay man.

I spent many years angry with and estranged from the Catholic Church and considered myself agnostic. I was raised to think most other faiths were "shams" or pale imitations. Eventually I began reading more about Wicca, Quaker, Buddhism, Mormon and other faiths and began to become more open.

In my 30's, feeling a spiritual void, I began to explore Unitarian, Congregationalist, MCC and progressive Episcopal churches. I found some touch points with each - but none felt like "home."

Almost at 40, I moved from the city to a rural, small ranch in the high desert near Joshua Tree with my partner. The beauty and rhythm of the natural world were ever-present. I began to explore earth-based ritual, religions and Wicca. They seemed "natural" and right there.

After a series of personal tragedies, addiction, etc in my life I became angry with God, the Universe etc and moved to L.A. At MCC L.A. at a low point near my "bottom" I was re-baptized and became open to The Spirit again. My life changed.

I eventually found a safe, comfortable home with St Thomas the Apostle, Episcopal Church in Hollywood. It's very old-school, high church, but feels familiar and comfortable.

At this point in my life my theology is a hybrid of good bits from all I've sampled. However I feel they are all poor metaphors attempting to describe the ultimate indescribable mysteries of incarnation, the nature of God and the Spirit of the Universe. I find the traditional Christian metaphors I was raised with to be most comfortable - but I still consider them useful metaphors. My actual theology today more resembles Quakerism + Sagan's Contact + Battlestar Galactica than St. Paul, but I am now comfortable with celebrating old-fashioned ritual amidst personal ambiguity."