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I don’t normally do two hodgepodge posts in a week, much less twice in a row, but I have some excitement and some other random things to share.  Sometimes it just rolls like that, ‘eh?

Exciting News: That job interview I blogged about the other day?  Yeah, they called me back two hours later to offer me the job!! Its only part time, and it might only last for the summer, but your’s truly will be working in a pretty cool place.

Opinion Diversity Alert: There’s been an ongoing discussion in the Pagan Blogosphere over this essay by M. J. Lee, written for the Humanistic Paganism site.  IMO, its a good article–I didn’t agree with it entirely, but I got what the author was trying to say, and I think she has some valid points.  I’m not going to post a play by play, s0 if you are interested in following the discussion, check out this post and this one from John @ The Allergic Pagan (there are lots of links to follow).

Thoughts on my view of deity: So, in some of the comment discussion with  John, I’ve mentioned a bit about my theological opinion (or perhaps non-opinion) on the nature of the gods.  I thought I’d do some CTRL+V and mash together a snippet about my current ideas about deities (maybe I’ll get all in-depth about this in a future post).

I don’t think it matters if gods are literally real or subconscious projections of anthropomorphic symbols (of a greater Divine, according to my pantheist half). I acknowledge and worship literally existing entities at work in the world but intellectually I doubt their very existence. And I don’t really see a conflict there, because I don’t think what is “real” is as important as what “works” (or perhaps, if it works, its real, even if its not factual or literal).  What matters (what makes the diety “work”, if you will) is our actual experience with the them.  Some people never experience god, some people experience god incredibly realistic ways….I fall somewhere in the middle, and I fully acknowledge that it might just be a figment of my incredibly fertile imagination.

I might also add that I agree with Star Foster and (another) John @ Under the Ancient Oaks on what I call the “Triple O” issue of god (omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent).  I also like what Literata has said here about the “language” of discussion regarding gods, I agree with some of her points.  And there is always the ongoing Pagan Forum discussion over what makes gods “real” (I think we are in our fourth or fifth version of this thread from over the years) particularly when it pertains to individuals the worship of fictional (like from books or movies) or modern deities.

Religion and Science and Bears–Oh, my! Part of what has come out of the comment conversation with John (@ the Allergic Pagan) is a mention of my all time favorite modern biologist and intellectual hero, Stephen Jay Gould (is awesome).  Sorry about that, its just that you can’t say his name, Stephen Jay Gould (is awesome), without adding the caveat of his awesomeness.

Stephen Jay Gould (is awesome) is important to this conversation because of something he wrote about, called “non-overlapping magesteria”  or NOM (nom-nom-nom…yummy! Yeah, I know I’m in  a weird mood).  NOM is essentially the idea that religion and science are two different ways of looking at the world and they answer fundamentally different questions in fundamental ways and that their realms (magesteria) do not overlap.  You can also read what he has to say for yourself.

On one hand, I agree with the spirit of the idea.  In my opinion, based upon observation and education, religious and spiritual thinking is distinctly different than scientific thinking, and I don’t expect it to follow the same rules because it doesn’t have the same purpose–its a different lens by which to view the world.  But, in reality, things get a bit messy in the middle because the non-overlapping magesteria do overlap in the perception of individual issues by individuals (which, as a pragmatist, is where it counts).  And so, NOM starts to look like a poster my first undergrad advisor had in his office:

And now for something completely different… I’m the recipient of the Inspiring Blog Award from lazyhippiemama, who happens to have a lovely blog that I comment on all the time!

So, I have to share something about myself:

  • This is embarrassing, but…I love SpongeBob and Phineas and Ferb.  Almost as much as I love Adam Levine on The Voice and NCIS.  Almost, but not quite.
  • I love horseshoe crabs.  They are one of the most fascinating animals ever.
  • I think it would be sort of cool to get an interfaith blog party going on,  If anyone is interested, or know any bloggers that might be interested, leave a comment!

And, part of the deal is that I have to pass on the blog love.  So, I’m going to give this lovely award to Deb @ Small House, Big Picture (whose blog is always inspiring), to my good friend over at Great Grandmother’s Kitchen (whose blog often inspires me to cook or drool), and to John @ The Allergic Pagan (whose blog has been inspiring me to think on some different, and difficult ideas lately)!

Quote for the Day: from Deb’s latest post, which I teared up a bit at… “But why not see the (birthday) candle as another year given?   If death is walking along beside us every day, then our proximity to it isn’t so closely related to our age as it is to our luck.  In that sense, birthdays don’t bring us closer to death; they simply bring us closer to oldness and the privilege of dying quietly in our beds. ”

Plug of the Day: My good friend B. de Corbin @ Splendid Fish Studios, longtime favorite member of Pagan Forum (not sure if admins are supposed to have favorite members, but I confess to having a few), alchemist and artist of fantastical jewelry (with an Etsy shop where he sells his wonderful wares) whose most interesting works almost always have a story to share.   Last year, when I graduated, he made me a lovely little horseshoe crab, which I wore to my interview today, and which was just as lucky as a horseshoe (crab) could be–it totally opened the conversation right there (and the tail even wiggles!).

Plans for tomorrow:  I’m off to a homeschooling confrence with two of the other UU homeschooling moms from our church!  Richmond better be prepared for us!  (Although, I am kind of bummed that it means I’m missing the OpSail tall ship parade, which will come right past our beach).