I was 12 years old and away at summer camp for the first time. She was the counselor assigned to my cabin. I remember her long dirty blond hair, wavy and wild. Her weathered hiking boots and the lilac shirt she tied around her waist each morning.
Her birch-bark name tag read Marion, but we all chose French pseudonyms for our two-week cultural immersions.
In my younger, decidedly anti-Christian days, I did not like the way Christians asked God for mercy. It reinforced my idea that “the Christian God” was cruel and punishing. After all, if God was a loving and compassionate God, one would not have to beg for mercy. And if God was cruel and punishing but at the same time righteous and just, then human beings were clearly bad and unworthy.
This whole system of thought—shameful people and cruel God—made me want to stay far, far away from Christianity and Christian churches.
My son and I are sitting on the floor of his room in front of a tub of Legos. I played with most of these exact pieces when I was his age, and I've been excited and proud to see him so interested in them as well.
(RNS) When I was a young girl, my mother taught me to add “x” and “o” — a kiss and a hug — after my signature. So deeply embedded was this English-language tradition that it never crossed her mind that these symbols had anything to do with religion.
Last month, I spent some time at the Sundance Film Festival. In a recent post, I noted the difference between marketing films to Christians and the possibility of film as a transformative space in the life of a Christian. Instead of imagining Christians as a set audience whose worldview we don’t want to disturb, I wonder if we could use Christianity’s specific theological language to enliven our understanding of film. Could Christianity’s theological lens illuminate elements of film that other cultural perspectives miss?
Perhaps the best example of this possibility that I saw at Sundance came from watching the Justin Kelly film I am Michael.
We lack the historical perspective in the present moment to realize how much impact has happened (we are like fish in water, yet we don’t know anything else so it all seems right). The truth is that Christianity, or better yet, a fragmented Christendom civil religion begins to grow around the beginning of slavery and begins to crumble right as the southern freedom movement (or civil rights movement) really gets going in the 50s.