Post 3 of 40 of the Humanist Lent Writing Project
Identity politics dominate a lot of conversations. Religious conversations are no different. I’m encouraged to identify in certain ways based on the situation or even when not encouraged sometimes I shorthand things and just claim a single identity that helps people move forward in the conversation. Tonight I had the pleasure of not needing to do that as much as normal. I attended a gathering of Hamline’s Multifaith Alliance where the discussion was about Atheism and Interfaith work.
Did I shorthand things some? Yes, of course. But I was also to hear from others and share more facets of my worldview/theology/lifestance than is normally the case. It was a space of opening the conversation, sharing questions, sharing resources, and learning.
On my drive home I thought a bit about it and I thought about my primary religious identity of Humanist, more specifically Religious Humanist (I plan on blogging about this more during my Humanist Lent). I thought about my various religious identities and exploration. I also thought about how all these things, even those I’ve left behind still impact how I see the world, what I value, and my moral compass. I thought how it really isn’t a single term, or even a sentence or list of words that makes up how I see the world. Then I thought of this blog and the tag cloud, so I went online and made a Theology Cloud to summarize it in a snapshot. I didn’t spend a long time on it and I know that this would be a constantly shifting thing from moment to moment and situation to situation. It would also encompass my other identities beyond the theological/philosophical: my race, ethnicity, sexuality, sex, ability, education, geographic location, socioeconomic class, relationship status, age, parental status, and about every other conceivable piece of myself. But to make this at least conceivable for now I kept it to a short list and even that paints a complex picture. Try it out yourself (I opened Excel and in each column copied a single term differing numbers of times to get the amounts right) at www.wordle.net.