Contact Us    
The Christian Gospel and Recreational Religion

The Christian Faith is an Affirmation, not an Argument

by Everett Wilson
May 17, 2010

Bookmark and Share
The Christian Gospel and Recreational Religion
On my sixteenth birthday I was in the midst of a wonderful three weeks in a fine arts summer school for high school students at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I was in the theater department, toward the beginning of my stage-struck phase, loving every minute of it without being consumed by it.
Many happy memories of those three weeks are still subject to recall. One is buying a nickel Coke for a future Miss America from a hallway machine during a schedule break.
This is another memory from that time. At the evening meal in the Student Union a few of us at our table began talking about religion. Those were the years when Youth for Christ was influencing many high school kids, me among them, and the big mainline churches were filled with families every Sunday. The Youth for Christ types were evangelistic; the mainliners, not so much. Religion was a hot topic among bright, articulate teenagers of all persuasions and none; even if we knew nothing, we assumed that we knew a lot.
One way or another, we had opinions and we loved to swap them. As others finished their meal and came by our table, they paused to listen, then began to join in. Since the meal was well over, somebody suggested we take the conversation outside, to the steps of the Student Union.
I didn't stay long after the move, however. The conversation had become unrecognizable. What had begun as an opportunity to affirm faith had become instead a free-for-all discussion in which the implicit ground rule of recreational religion took over--that is, never speak as though religion matters or has historical significance and eternal consequences.  
Remembering this calls to mind something Flannery O'Connor, a very serious Roman Catholic, once said to Mary McCarthy, a not-so-serious one, about the Mass. "Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it." I'll add my corollary to that. "If religion is an opinion, to hell with it."

Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*

Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.

Please type the letters you see above.


Bookmark and Share

Real Things
A novel.
Published January 2, 2008
Temporarily Unavailable

Real Things first appeared in serialized form on the Partial Observer in 2001. It is now available in print for the first time.

Over thirty years after a senseless crash redefined his life, Greg Thompson and his family finally learn why.

More Information
RSS Feed for Everett Wilson: RSS Feed for Everett Wilson
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Everett Wilson
Necessary Things, A Companion and Sequel to Real Things
Available from Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, and Me!
by Everett Wilson, 2/16/15
Until Barrett is Free, Neither Are We
Freedom of the Press is not a whim of the state
by Everett Wilson, 2/26/14
Why the United States Will not Get Competent Universal Health Care in my Lifetime
Six Obvious Reasons
by Everett Wilson, 11/15/13
An Open Letter to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
Clean Sweep Time
by Everett Wilson, 10/2/13
An Open Letter to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
Clean Sweep Time
by Everett Wilson, 10/1/13
Excerpt from my new novel, Scoundrels and Fools
Chapter 5: Ellis Johnson
by Everett Wilson, 7/12/13
The Rev. Marjorie Drickey's Last Message to a Dying World
And all the trumpets sounded for her on the other side.
by Everett Wilson, 2/14/13
» Complete List (151)

RSS Feed for Everett Wilson: RSS Feed for Everett Wilson

Recently Published
View Article My Girl Friday
A toast to all administrative assistants
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/11/21
Two Giant Hands in Tulsa
Praying for forgiveness and healing
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/4/21
To a Field of Dreams
Memorial Day ponderings
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/28/21
Don't Mask! Don't Tell!
It's about time for about face
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/21/21
Liz Cheney's Not Lon Chaney
Why recent events on Capitol Hill resemble a horror show
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/14/21
A Mothers' Day Hymn
Remembering our moms with gratitude to our Heavenly Father
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/7/21
A Crumbling Foundation
What are we to make of Bill and Melinda Gates' divorce?
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 5/4/21

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.

RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?
Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2021 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top