Browsing All posts tagged under »religion«

Related by Blood

May 17, 2014

83

When we were young, my cousins and I got together at least once a week. We all grew up in big, Italian-Catholic families that were in a constant state of competition — the fathers vying to see who could smoke the most cigarettes, and the mothers to see who could have the most babies. Holidays […]

Afterthoughts (Part 4)

October 2, 2013

75

Time, I eventually figured out, was a critical factor. Centuries could pass, and you might sit there in Purgatory, shuffling from one depressing room to another, and watching as your great-great-grandchildren are born, grow up, die, and through some fluke of good luck, go straight to Heaven. By then, of course, no one would be […]

Afterthoughts (Part 2)

September 16, 2013

0

If Hell was the bottom of existence, a fiery chasm where the despicable and the disobedient sank and settled and stayed forever, then Heaven was the top. Floating above the loftiest peaks and even the highest clouds, it was a place infused with yellow sunlight and immeasurable goodness. All interactions there were calm and devoid […]

Afterthoughts (Part 1)

September 9, 2013

106

I think about the afterlife a lot, mostly because I no longer accept that there is such a thing. The wish is still there, but the conviction has vanished. This process of changing context, of moving from faith to doubt to skepticism, has been long and gradual. There was a time when I was thoroughly […]

Where Has All the Magic Gone?

April 5, 2013

123

Someone sends me a link to a video. I click on it, and within seconds I’m watching a man who seems to be striding on foot across the surface of the Thames River. Onlookers in the video are leaning over railings and peering from windows, pointing at him, astonished at the sight. I ignore the […]

Wondering What to Believe (Part 4)

October 12, 2012

120

The Mormons came to the door again last night, and I didn’t handle it well. The last time they showed up – several months ago – I invited them in. Maybe I was in a better mood then, or felt sorry for them because it was raining so hard, or because it was late and […]

Wondering What to Believe (Part 3)

October 4, 2012

0

“I knew I was finished with religion.” Well, not quite. Actually, not even close. I went through a period of resentment and anger toward my early education, feelings that dissipated over time, day by day, as I drifted into my twenties. But when necessary or convenient, it was always easy to blame the Catholic Church […]