I want to start off by telling you a bit about me. I’m closing in on 50 years old.
I’ve noticed there are 3 factions in Seattle that have pretty much squeezed the life out of the ‘traditional’ religions in Seattle and that’s what got me thinking about this blog.
1. ‘Non-Corporate-Christians’. I don’t have a good name for this uber-group because they cover a lot of ground. To me they are everyone who is not a member of a ‘mainline’ religious organisation like ‘Episcopal’, ‘Presbyterian’, ‘Methodist’, etc… I’m pretty sure this represents the majority of ‘Christians’ these days. Unfortunately, there is a misperception among the media and non-religious that they are all cut from the same cloth. You know this ain’t true… For example, ‘Fundamentalists’ and ‘Evangelicals’ have nothing to do with Joel Osteen’s brand of ‘Christianity’. I think the media lumps y’all together as a political convenience… after all, the only thing this group seems to share in common is an overwhelming allegiance to Republican voting.
2. ‘Spiritual But Non-Religious’. Most ‘true’ Seattle-ites would fall into this group. This also covers a lot of ground… various eastern philosophies, new age ideas, wiccan jazz, but mainly, it seems to me, a vague idea that there is ‘something’ out there beyond ‘us’, but certainly nothing that can be answered with traditional religions. These guys are about 98% Democratic in politics.
3. Bust out agnostics and atheists. They have a -lot- in common with Group #2 (although their politics are slightly less predictable.) Lately they have come out of the closet and are now vocal in the ‘zealotry’. It seems like they feel a need to push back against what they perceive as the ‘creationist threat’.
As I say in the intro, I feel squeezed by all three of these meta-groups. I can’t figure out how they have come to dominate the media landscape. I know there are still a -lot- of ‘traditional’ church-goers like me… but you never hear about us so it seems like we’ve become irrelevant.
Well, I’m not quite ready to go quietly into that good night. I frankly find all three groups to be seriously deficient in their respective outlooks and I intend to explore these problems here. There is a real intolerance developing which has contributed to the polarization in the West and it is largely because each group has developed quite the ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude which would seem to contradict centuries of progress towards tolerance and communication between people of different belief systems.
I also want to provide a forum for anyone else out there who feels, as I do, that ‘faith’ and ‘science’ -do- go together—without apologies and without a bunch of lengthy circular logic. I’m talking about unabashed belief in God… yes, a ‘personal’ God that runs the whole show. But not finding that incompatible with ‘evolution’ or ‘string theory’. And not feeling a need to destroy our faith when it’s leaders are found wanting. And not denying scientific reality because of various phrases in a religious text.
There’s a lot to cover, but I’ve gassed on enough for now. Trying to keep these things ‘bite-sized’ will be a challenge for a world-class ranter such as meself. 😉