Friday, October 5, 2007

The Red Sox and Religion

It’s nearly a quarter past eleven on a Friday night. Tonight I split my attention between the Red Sox winning their second straight game of the playoffs and finishing the Christopher Hitchens book God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. It was a fine book, as far as anti-religious screeds go. It’s the third books that I’ve read of the so-called “big four.” The other three being The End of Faith by Sam Harris, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, and Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett. The last title is the only one so far that I haven’t read. I might get to that weighty treatise early next year. The evening after my return from Madison I’ll be starting a Wednesday night lecture series entitled: Religion, Politics, and the Modern American Presidency. In addition to a packet of relevant excerpts and articles, there are a number of books recommended by the professor. I’ve picked up a couple of the titles including American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation by Jon Meacham. It was only a week or so ago that I saw Mr. Meacham debating Mr. Hitchens on a show moderated by Tim - “What’s your favorite bible verse?”- Russert. Meacham’s book is purportedly a evenhanded history of religion’s role in the shaping of our nation. I’ve seen him on a number of shows and he seems to be a pleasant enough guy . . . for a believer. All of the books that are recommended for the lectures seem to take a unbiased view of the subject and I suppose that’s pretty much mandatory in a university setting (contrary to the ravings of David Horowitz.)

The Saturday evening after my return from the FFRF convention in Madison I have a ticket to see Julia Sweeney perform her latest monologue, “Letting Go of God.” I listened to the CD recording of it recently and, yes, I laughed and cried. I have a lot of the same sentiments that she has had along this journey to unbelief. She’ll be speaking on Friday night of the convention, and the latest news is that they will be showing the soon-to-be-released DVD of “Letting Go of God” after her speech. That showing will be from 10:45pm to 12:34am, so I may take a pass since I will be seeing her perform it live the following weekend. My life has recently become busy and, more importantly, full of thought provoking ideas. The effect of parenting and possibly the prospect of reaching 50 years of age. Whatever the cause, I’m enjoying the effects.

Sometimes it’s difficult to give up what little solace I have in an evening, so instead I stay up much too late reading, writing, or trying to catch up on my movie watching. Justin was quite cranky after going to bed tonight, basically whining for about an hour and a half before dropping off for any length of time. When he woke up screaming at ten o’clock, I decided to give him some Motrin. He’s still congested from this cold that we’ve all been battling over the past week. I’m going to miss the little guy while I’m away next week. Oh, you can be sure that I’ll enjoy the solitude and peacefulness of that first night, but I’ll soon miss his smile and quirky antics that usually fill my day. Maybe I’ll be lucky and he’ll finish up any serious teething that needs to be done while I’m away. I can dream can’t I?

I think the next book I’ll read will be Michael Connelly’s Angels Flight. It’s another in his Harry Bosch series and I’ve been reading them in order over the years. In the last installment Harry got married in Las Vegas to a former FBI agent that Harry himself had sent to jail at one time. Of course, in the start of Angels Flight the marriage is already on the skids. Surprise, surprise! Any reader of the series knows that Hieronymus Bosch is destined to be a loner. It’s the nature of the hard boiled thriller. I’m in need of some serious escapism after some of my recent reading, and looking ahead at what I’ll be reading in the near future. This book may even last me through my flight next Thursday.

This is a photo I snapped of Justin during our recent trip to Vancouver Island.

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