So I have been thinking about loving-kindness, the emotion that Judaism calls chesed and Buddhism calls metta.
Loving-kindness isn’t just love+kindness. Rather, it’s an unconditional, universal love: love for people not because they are good, or because they are lovable, but because they are people. Even broader: love for all life, for no reason than because it is alive.
(Embedded in this emotion is also the practice of kindness, but particularly, it is the practice of non-reciprocated kindness: the kindness of an (ideal) parent to a child, the kindness to a stranger you’re never going to see again.)
In Judaism, chesed is the emotion that God feels towards us (the Jews but, also, all humans and all creation.) And it is also supposed to be the emotion that we feel towards God.
This – that chesed is the emotion that we ideally feel towards God – has some interesting to say to me about God’s perfection or lack thereof. If God is perfect, then we will love God for being perfect. And loving someone for being perfect is a conditional love (indeed, it is a surefire way to heartbreak).
But that’s not the emotion we’re supposed to feel towards God. We’re supposed to feel an intense, world-spanning, unconditional love. Our love is supposed to be without regard to God’s lovability, or God’s perfection, or any of God’s particular traits.
If God is perfect, we cannot feel loving-kindness towards Him. The best we could manage would be admiration, or worship. So.
Ridiculously exciting personal news: I wrote a book!
For more than a year now, I’ve been working on a project about the overlaps between LGBTQ communities and atheist/agnostic/secular communities. I’ve been talking to atheists, LGBTQ people, and progressive people of faith about the ways religion impacts the equal rights movement – the bad ways and the good ways – and how nonreligious folks can make a positive difference.
Queer Disbelief is a nonfiction book focusing on the similarities and differences between these two communities, the ways religion can help and hurt LGBTQ people, and ways atheists can make a difference in the movement.
It’s full of interviews, anecdotes, data, and a good number of personal stories about my growing up as a closeted queer kid with two different religions and no real beliefs. I also tried to interview folks from as many different backgrounds as I could, and some of you have been really helpful in recommending sources!
Like I say in the video, this book is for anyone who cares about equal rights – you don’t have to be an atheist, LGBTQ, or any particular identity to get something out of it. (At least that’s my goal!)
My editor and I are now raising funds to be able to publish the book. If you’re able to support the Kickstarter by donating, ordering the book, or even signal boosting, I would be so grateful. I’ve worked really hard on this, I’m proud of it, and I hope it can make a difference. Thanks for reading. <3
As much as I love the witch craft community, there are some flaws needing to be addressed such as the clear racism in white magic and black magic, implying that “bad” magic is black and “good” is white. The unbalance in gender of witches is also annoying, witch craft was not created for women, you cannot force out men and nonbinary people because you don’t believe we qualify. You don’t need a lot of money and supplies to qualify either, and there’s no set rules or right and wrong for magic because magic is all about your personal connection to the world. Also shocker, some witches aren’t religious, I along with 2 other witches identify as atheist, there are ways to be a witch and not dedicate everything to the gods. For example, space nerd has dedicated a lot of their magic to the moon, they feel pressured to worship goddess Diana because of that. They worship the physical moon and a lot of their magic has science and logic in mind and that’s still magic! Same goes for witch’s who are jewish, muslim, buddist, hindu, etc, no matter what you believe your witch title is still hella valid. Magic is about worshiping the Earth as we are all creatures of it, no matter your race, sexuality, body type, gender indentity, religion, fucking anything.
I will practice my religion regardless of anyone’s problems with it. I do not care what conquerors did centuries ago. I do not care that you disagree. I do not care that Christianity as a whole rejects us like that cousin you avoid at Christmas.
I am Catholic. The only thing that will stop me from being Catholic is if God himself tells me so.
Schools: do not EVER teach a history lesson, and then have the reason for the horrors of 1609 be “because the king was Catholic”.
That’s not right.
Don’t claim that “Catholics worship Mary”. We don’t, we respect her.
Don’t EVER say “ there is a difference between being Christian and being Catholic ”. There is none.
Don’t tell me that because I don’t follow every practice of my religion that I’m “not devout”. I pledged myself to my religion when I was fifteen.
Catholic people are Christian.
Do not speak about my faith as if you know what you are talking about when you don’t have the decency to say the right things.