Bono’s Christianity

U2’s singer talks about God:

Reli­gion can be the ene­my of God. It’s often what hap­pens when God, like Elvis, has left the build­ing. [laughs] A list of instruc­tions where there was once con­vic­tion; dog­ma where once peo­ple just did it; a con­gre­ga­tion led by a man where once they were led by the Holy Spir­it. Dis­ci­pline replac­ing dis­ci­ple­ship. Why are you chuckling?

More on Frank Viola’s blog

Religion in the mainstream press

They default to the same bor­ing tropes, says Amy Levin at TheRevealer:

Reli­gious wars, reli­gious dress, reli­gious mon­ey – these are the real and yet superbly com­plex ele­ments of our cul­tur­al exis­tence. Scout any crack or cran­ny of pop­u­lar cul­ture and you find reli­gion cre­at­ing a glo­ri­ous maze of top­ics for writ­ers to dis­cov­er and sift and sing to the masses.

But late­ly, I find that a repul­sive plague of rep­e­ti­tion and banal­i­ty has swept over the dis­en­chant­ed cyber­sphere. Each day I begin my reli­gion news search with hope­ful eager­ness, sift­ing close­ly through main­stream and fringe out­lets, hun­gry for signs of a new trend, move­ment, argu­ment, study – any­thing oth­er than what I con­sumed the day before. But I search in vain, and my dol­drums have led me to take action.

(H/T to David Watt on Facebook)

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has a page devoted to issues of faith and next…

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has a page devoted to issues of faith and next year's presidential elections.

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2012 Presidential Candidates Religious Backgrounds | Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Interested in how religion could affect the 2012 election? Learn about the 2012 presidential candidate's religious backgrounds in Pew Forum online biographies.

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“The drafters of the statement included Quaker Symon Hill who has written of…

"The drafters of the statement included Quaker Symon Hill who has written of the statement: “As one of the drafters of the statement, I want to make clear that we want to act in solidarity with people of other religions and of none, not impose our religion on them or claim to be a more important part of the movement than they are. This point is made in the opening line of the statement."

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A Quaker presence at Occupy London
Almost 100 Quakers attended a Meeting for Worship on the steps of saint Paul’s cathedral in London on Sunday afternoon. The Meeting for Worship took place in support of the Occupy London movement that...

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Check out KD’s defense of organized (Quaker) religion

It’s up on the side­bar and fea­tured on Quak­erQuak­er, but I want to give an added boost to my friend Kevin-Douglas’ post “Why I both­er with reli­gion.” I’ve writ­ten about the Emer­gent Church / Quak­er exper­i­ment that Kevin-Douglass is help­ing to orga­nize down in Bal­ti­more. Check out their new’ish web­site, http://​www​.seton​hill​friends​.org/
Here’s a snip­pet of today’s post:

Orga­nized reli­gion is based in com­mu­ni­ty. Being in a com­mu­ni­ty chal­lenges me. Sim­ply hang­ing out with my friends and engag­ing my fam­i­ly isn’t enough. The risks of such an inten­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty and the sup­port avail­able there­in offer so much more than if I just do what comes eas­i­ly or go along with what exists around me. I’m chal­lenged in com­mu­ni­ty. I’m held account­able. And while it could be said that I could get this out of a gay rights group, or being part of an eth­i­cal soci­ety, the truth is that in a reli­gious com­mu­ni­ty, we all seek to go much deep­er than the psy­cho­log­i­cal or emo­tion­al lev­els. We seek to under­stand that Mys­tery — God. We seek to under­stand that trans­for­ma­tive and heal­ing pow­er that comes from that Mystery.

Kevin-Douglas orig­i­nal­ly post­ed it to Face­book ear­li­er today and I asked if he would sign up to Quak­erQuak­er and post it there. There’s a lot of great stuff that goes up on Face­book and it’s a use­ful tool for keep­ing in touch with friends, but most posts are not vis­i­ble beyond your own Face­book friends list (it depends on your pri­va­cy set­tings). If you post some­thing real­ly good about Friends or belief on Face­book, seri­ous­ly con­sid­er whether you might repost it some­where more pub­lic. If you don’t have a blog handy, you can do what KD did and post it on Quak­erQuak­er, where every reg­is­tered user has blog­ging capa­bil­i­ties (it cre­ates a bit of a meta­phys­i­cal con­nun­drum for the Quak­erQuak­er edi­tors, as it means we’ll be link­ing QQ posts to the QQ site, but that’s fine).

Pew survey on dogma and spirituality

Sur­vey: More have dropped dog­ma for spir­i­tu­al­i­ty in U.S. — USATO​DAY​.com

“Every reli­gious group has a major chal­lenge on its hands from all direc­tions,” says [Pew Forum direc­tor Luis] Lugo. When he fac­tors in Pew’s Feb­ru­ary find­ings that 44% of adults say they’ve switched to anoth­er reli­gion or none at all, Lugo says, “You have to won­der: How do you guar­an­tee the integri­ty of a reli­gious tra­di­tion when so many peo­ple are com­ing or going or fol­low­ing ideas that don’t match up?”

Lugo’s ques­tions is par­tic­u­lar­ly rel­e­vant for Friends, as many of us are con­verts. But the gen­er­al turn toward a more expe­ri­en­tial reli­gios­i­ty points to pos­si­bil­i­ties for fur­ther out­reach. Don’t have the time to check the sur­vey itself but USATo­day looks to have some good graphs about it.