This has been a very busy week. Although I normally am trying not to turn my blog into a diary, this week I have no over-arching things to get off my chest. So I guess I’ll just post a quick rundown of my week and maybe something interesting will appear.
On Monday I went to USC and participated in a panel discussion about religion. The panelists included Jack Miles who wrote “God, A Biography” which won him a Pulitzer. I've read that book and I really liked it quite a bit. I haven't read his more recent book: “Christ, A Crisis in the Life of God.” But now I really want to. He was quite astonishing at our panel discussion at USC. He arrived on campus straight from the dentist's office, where he had an emergency appointment for a horrible tooth abscess. He was on pain medication for it. He gave an interesting talk on the panel-- about religion as art that inspires; and how precarious our situation is ecologically and that perhaps our only hope is a new kind of religion that makes the Earth’s environment (as habitable for us) the first priority.
Jack does not claim to be an atheist, but I felt from his talk that he sees religion as a human artistic expression and not supernaturally inspired. I was riveted by his comments.
The moderator of the panel was Dr. Kevin Starr, and he is the California State Librarian as well as a professor at USC. He was very sweet but it bothered me that he described my religious views as a “conversion to atheism” twice! That really bugged me but I didn’t get a chance to make a comment about it. "Conversion to atheism" – that’s a good one. That phrase manages to accuse me of being smitten with a crazy idea at the same time it denigrates the religious experience of conversion itself. Amazing.
Oh jeez. I wrote the above a few days ago. Now I’m in my kitchen, home from the Jill and Julia show at the Renberg Theater and wired. We had such a fun time doing the show tonight. I cannot wait for a real run of this show. I love Jill Sobule. What an honor to be on stage with her. And Dave – our bass player, he is great too. He adds just the right third-piece-of-energy to the show. I think we will open a show in late August or September. I am really really happy to be doing this show, it's just a joy to be onstage with Jill.
Oh - I can’t see straight – jeez. More to come.