I personally am a Christian. I’m proud to have been baptized as a Christian and to have served as a minister in a Black Church for four years. I’m proud to have taught at Christian colleges and seminaries. I’m proud to have spent my whole adult life studying the Jewish and Christian scriptures. They are so, so amazing.
There’s so much beauty to Christianity, not just in its texts and liturgies, but also in its art and its science, both through the years and now. There are so many amazing people today and through the centuries that deserve our admiration and respect, including Scientists and Artists and Dramatists and Filmmakers and Writers and Musicians and Poets who were and are Christian. So much beauty! So much truth! So much life to be found in the Christian tradition! It truly takes my breath away to think about how many examples there are.
But all of that life, truth, and beauty is not endemic to Christianity. Christianity does not own or control life, truth, or beauty. Christianity does not own god. As soon as some Christians start acting like they own god, like they exclusively speak for god… it’s bad. It’s just bad. I’ll leave it at that for now.
But why? Because
god is life, truth, and beauty
[If me not capitalizing the word god offended you, well, did you know there aren’t any capital letters in the Hebrew Bible? Or in the early Syriac-Aramaic Bibles written in Jesus’ own language? And the same is true of lots of our earliest Greek Gospel manuscripts–scholars call them minuscules for that reason. But I digress.]
Christianity is beautiful because it is human, just like us. Being human is what makes everything beautiful. It also is what makes everyone horrible at the same time. So much joy and so much pain–all of it wrapped up in being human.
Still, my heart is full, because God is good, Jesus is extraordinary, and the Holy Spirit is moving on this beautiful world of ours, hovering over the chaos, raising up prophets everywhere, and bringing life, truth, and beauty to everybody who is open to receiving her. [Yes, “her.” The word “spirit” in Hebrew and Syriac and many other semitic languages is female. The god of your bible is pictured in feminine ways and words in its original languages. But no one ever told you that. Why?]
I also love Jack Black and Bo Burnham and Eddie Murphy and Bill Maher and George Carlin and bunch of other comedians. Some of them, like some of you out there, find far more truth in atheism or agnosticism than in any religion. I get that. I really do. I’ve seen way too much religious hypocrisy and bigotry and stupidity in my own lived experience not to understand.
My decision to make Esqueleto the Patron Saint of the Qn Movement is for you, our Atheists and Agnostics, our Skeptics and Disaffected. It’s not my place to preach at you. It is not my job to tell you what to do or think for you. You have to think for yourself and make up your own darn mind. That’s human freedom, and it’s an amazing thing.
All I can say is that somehow, I experience god in both Science and Faith, at least when they are done in the service of humanity, and not out of selfishness or greed. That is, I believe, what Qn, the original Gospel, the Gospel of the Poor, is all about.
It’s about seeing if Science and Faith, Knowledge and Meaning, Intelligence and Mystery, can actually co-exist in our lives, communities, societies, nations, and world.
I think they can, if we just got the hell out of god’s way and our own limited, selfish way.
No matter what you believe at the end of the day, all of us should be able to be friends and get along. Rodney King was exactly right about that. He brought healing to the pain of a people with those words after the LA Race Riots in the 90s, and then he got ridiculed for it outside the Black community. F*** that prejudice.
Team Science… Team Faith… Let’s Tag-Team this Digital Gospel Science revolution!