For my own sake, I do my best to avoid the LCMS entirely, but sometimes the world likes to tempt me by dropping pieces of anti-trans Lutheran literature directly in my lap. This is one of those times.
This week I had the privilege of reading a free booklet distributed by Concordia Publishing House entitled “In the Image of God: Gender & Sexual Identity.” If you want to spare yourself from a discussion of the unmasked disgust with gender-expansive people that lies within these pages, just know that it says exactly what you think it says, and go about your day.
I have always felt most at home in communities of nonbelievers. In my very first-ever blog post in 2016, I said this for the first time.
The only problem is that I only know one atheist other than myself. I have almost no outlet for my discoveries or my questions. I hope that this blog acts as a way for me to go from being a rogue atheist to a member of a community of individuals who are either in a situation similar to my own or who were brave enough to be able to come out. I intend to share my experiences and discoveries with you as I make my way through works of atheistic literature, learn more about natural science, and form my own opinions and lifestyle choices based on my beliefs.
For the past few years, I have been inching closer to Progressive Christianity. Before you ask, I’m not going to become a Christian. However, since exiting my Angry Atheist phase, I’ve felt confident and curious enough to explore who Progressive Christians are and what they believe.
Being friends with people of different beliefs and opinions than us is usually seen as wholesome. I used to think this way when I viewed the world as a dichotomy of Christians and atheists. In a way, I had to see it like this because I was an atheist who knew, and therefore was friends with, almost only Christians. No Christian friends would have meant no friends.
The Piltdown Man hoax is the perfect story for the anti-evolutionists at Answers in Genesis to hold up as proof that evolution is false and its proponents are dishonest. The story has everything they need: faked fossils, infighting between scientists, and 40 years of overlooking a grave mistake right under everyone’s noses. Answers in Genesis claims that something like this is the all-too-obvious outcome of the baseless and backward worldview—they even like to call it a religion—of evolution. If only the men involved had had the right starting point, the Word of God, this never would have happened.
If you’re reading this blog, then chances are that you have a pretty good grasp on what Christianity is. But did you know that Christianity as we know it almost didn’t succeed in early centuries? You may have heard whispers of various ancient sects of barely recognizable Christian beliefs, and it turns out that the rumors are true. The ancient Christians that we know—whether we love them or hate them—had to struggle against their competitors known as the gnostics, better known to history as heretics.
For centuries, historians have known about the gnostic Christians and their texts only through the writings of their enemies, the orthodox or catholic Christians (which gave rise to the many denominations of Christianity existing today). You can imagine how hard it was to understand the gnostic point of view with their only documentation being from those who despised them. So it was immensely exciting for historians when the gnostic gospels themselves were discovered near Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1946. The discovery was an exercise in patience, though; it would be thirty years until an English translation of the full library would be published in 1977. Elaine Pagels must have gotten to work quickly, then, as her book The Gnostic Gospels was published in 1979.
This is the first time that I have ever reviewed a memoir. I’ve joked with my husband about it: how do you critique a book recounting someone’s life story? “Good job having a life, it was really interesting”? However, there is a lot to reflect on in On Her Knees. Before I get into it, as a graphic designer, I have to applaud this book’s incredible cover art. I love to pick apart designs and think of how they could be improved, but as for On Her Knees‘ final cover, I came up empty. It’s perfect.
As someone who is hoping for a brighter and fairer future for my country, I found hope and reassurance in watching the inauguration of our new President and Vice President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. But as someone who is not religious, and who knows all too well the harms of Christian Nationalism, I also found division and exclusionary language.