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Creedless Religion: Work Out Your Own Beliefs

It is always interesting and sometimes perplexing to come across religions that readily admit that they hold no creed. It seems so strange because when people think of religion, they still often think of a set of rules or beliefs that one must believe in and live by in order to be “saved.” (And such creeds are often the reason that people have no time for religion).

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Resurrection Reflections

Dogs Barking in the Distance

I still remember the existential gut wrenching I felt when I first read John Dominic Crossan’s assertion that underneath the resurrection story that cracks like holy thunder on Easter morning was the more likely scenario that the crucified body of Jesus was probably consumed by wild dogs.

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How to Read the Bible

2) The Hebrew scriptures, or the Old Testament, represent a religious tradition that is independent of the later Christian faith. The Hebrew scriptures aren’t about Jesus, although the Christian scriptures include many references to the Hebrew scriptures. To honor the fundamental differences between the two sets of scriptures doubles the spiritual significance of the entire Bible.

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Pentecost: Celebrating the Gifts of the Spirit

found at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Begin your meal by holding hands and saying to the person on your right: “You are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells within you.”

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The Forest v. The Faithful: A Born-Again Environmentalist Tells All

Brenda Peterson is a nature writer, born into a family that believed that we are living in the end times. We talk to her about her Southern Baptist background, what fundamentalists and environmentalists have in common, and about her new memoir, I Want to Be Left Behind.

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“Our Mother…”

Before it became common to avoid its gender specificity, I long ago changed the “Our Father” to “God, Mother and Father of us all…” in my daily recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. “Father” as a metaphor did not contain all of God’s attributes, in my experience. And, I must confess, the metaphor of “Mother” contained the divine attributes I found most positive.

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Gay Marriage and the First Amendment

There is much discussion in the public arena about homosexuality, access to birth control and access to abortion. I have not heard one person say anything about First Amendment Rights in connection with homosexuality or access to birth control.

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When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the “Office of Same-Sex Union” (10th and 11th century), and the “Order for Uniting Two Men” (11th and 12th century).

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Coming Out As a Heretic

Not religious, not spiritual, not atheist—what’s left?

Embracing heresy is a way of asserting my place—however tenuous—in this ancient tradition, while acknowledging that most of what I think and do will not pass creedal litmus tests. In a religion of more than two billion adherents, this is hardly a surprise.

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Asking Jesus Forbidden Questions: Thoughts in the Middle of a Recent Night

…while they no longer accept such teachings as the virgin birth, nor the miracle stories, some still consider Jesus to have been divine, and most, if not all, consider him a model of the most perfectly spiritually developed human on the planet, the perfect example of the love of God on earth.

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Beltane – May Day: Celtic Spirituality Celebrates the Bright Half of the Year

May Day or the festival of Beltane celebrates the start of the bright half of the year. One of the four main festivals of Celtic spirituality, it’s a time to make merry.

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The Capacity and Compunction for Compassion

Beyond any question of ethical and legal right or wrong, reason or rationale, human goodness or human evil, guilt and judgment, worthiness or worthlessness — when all is said and done — does there remain yet a response that is not only possible, but necessary, to acknowledge the dignity and worth of every human being? Do we have both the capacity and compunction to include in the mix some expression of compassion in such tragic stories of brokenness and estrangement, violence and vengeance.

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