Three hundred and fifty years ago, the philosopher Baruch Spinoza was excommunicated from his Portugese Jewish community. As the author of this op-ed piece, entitled “Reasonable Doubt,” writes:
[Baruch] Spinoza’s reaction to the religious intolerance he saw around him was to try to think his way out of all sectarian thinking. He understood the powerful tendency in each of us toward developing a view of the truth that favors the circumstances into which we happened to have been born. Self-aggrandizement can be the invisible scaffolding of religion, politics or ideology.
Against this tendency we have no defense but the relentless application of reason. Reason must stand guard against the self-serving false entailments that creep into our thinking, inducing us to believe that we are more cosmically important than we truly are, that we have had bestowed upon us — whether Jew or Christian or Muslim — a privileged position in the narrative of the world’s unfolding.
Still seems somehow apropos, eh?
Good article from the New York times about ritual and fashion at a gay wedding between a former seminarian and a former monk, complete with huppah. Good read.
I have no idea what this is, but I went ahead and ordered it. Should be entertaining, I think.
[Editor's note: Deana did fieldwork in Rocamadour, a small town in France known as a pilgrimage destination.]
It’s my first time linking to Newsvine, but this opinion piece is really well done: America Was Not Founded on the Ten Commandments. The comments are worth a scan, too, though they devolve into the usual Newsvine shouting match.
My ordination sister, Kila, just founded The Foundation for the Advancement of Women in Religion. This foundation will offer scholarships, sponsorships and project funding for women who are working on religious issues (hint, hint Deana!). They are currently looking for members to join the organization to help get it off the ground. Their Board of Directors includes some impressive wimmin, including M. Macha Nightmare and Patricia Monaghan. Figured this group might want to click on over, take a look and maybe even join like I just did!