W.H. Auden once said “Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.” I feel the same way about movies. For every Snowpiercer that I enjoy watching, there are about four John Hughes or Wes Anderson films that I love with a capital L. Seeing as this is not a blog for movie lovers, I wanted to share five films about religion that make me laugh. Some had been banned in certain countries, some had been protested, and some bombed at the box office. But all of them made me laugh at loud. Please feel free to reply to this post your favorite movies about religion- especially ones not mentioned- in the comments section. These are not in any particular order because it is impolite to rank them- like my children. Continue reading
Are you able to say to yourself “It’s not your fault?”
“Good Will Hunting”
One of the hardest things for people to do is forgive themselves. Compassionate connection, one person to another, can be a way people can touch the pain of wrongs done to them, or by them, and begin to let that go.
Robin Williams, the comic genius and actor of great insight who died today, was able to show that deep, deep capacity for connection that can heal.
Williams played a grieving therapist in the film Good Will Hunting and in this scene he tells Will Hunting, the gifted young man whom he is counseling who has been so grievously abused, “It’s not your fault.”
Watch Robin Williams’s eyes in this clip:
There is a ring of truth to this portrayal, perhaps from the depths of what Williams himself struggled with in his own life. Williams apparently committed suicide after struggling over many years with addiction and…
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For today’s Karma Upgrade, I am going to take a cue from Matthew:
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:35-36
“For the religious person joy is happiness in God.”
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
In May of 1909, a woman by the name of Elizabetha Mayer sailed from Havre, France to New York. Her trip actually started in Bačka Palanka, a town that was once part of Austria-Hungary then Yugoslavia and now is part of Serbia. But just like most people from this area around the Danube River, Elizabetha was actually of German ancestry and spoke German. How she got from Bačka Palanka to France is anyone’s guess; perhaps there was some sort of train travel or a donkey drawn carriage or a very awkward piggyback ride. After first stopping at Ellis Island, Elizabetha made her way to Denver, Colorado, where relatives welcomed Elizabeth into their home. After living in Denver for two years, Elizabeth sent enough money back to Bačka Palanka for her soon-to-be husband, Joseph, to join her in the United States. They married in Denver where Joseph worked as a tailor and Elizabeth was a stay at home mom to their two girls; later she would became a maid. Thirty years after her arrival- on June 8, 1939- Elizabeth was sworn in as a US citizen. That’s right: Elizabeth was an illegal immigrant in the US for 30 years.
The Fast and the (Not So) Furious
Here at Theologee, I am thoroughly fascinated with those people of faith who practice fasting in their religions. I am one of those people who can’t miss a meal without becoming hangry (hungry + angry), so I am impressed with the conviction it takes to fast in order to come closer to God. As the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is upon us, I have decided to explore the many fasting rituals and holidays of different religions- but just after I finish this pizza.
“Another Quarter Pounder sometimes seems like a good idea- but I always regret later. Only in hindsight do we see how God would not let us settle for our well-intentioned but limited desires, but called us- sometimes weeping and kicking- to something more enduring and satisfying.”
– Christopher Ruddy