"Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously..."

Welcome to Filthy Rags & Dirty Cups. It's a blog I'm creating to have a place to post my thoughts about belief and religion and personal faith (oh my!). It'll be my home on the web where the crazy thoughts that range from sacred to profane and back again fall out and become a matter of public record.

They sky's not yellow. It's chicken
I fully intend to accomplish several goals with this blog.
  1. Embarrass myself by having the audacity to say stuff I think you should believe. 
  2. Embarrass myself by saying stuff that would offend my grandmothers. All of them. 
  3. Speak honestly about my experience in growing in grace and faith and belief and understanding. 
  4. Offend those who divide the world into simple black and white categories like sacred and profane. 
  5. Offend those who refuse to ponder the wonders of faith simply because they don't like the outcome of those thoughts. 
  6. Make new friends and lifelong connections with people on both sides of the faith fence. 
  7. Shatter your preconceptions of what a follower of Christ should say and do socially. 
  8. Ignore your preconceptions of what a follower of Christ should think and vote politically. 
  9. Cause you to doubt my own faith in what I profess to believe from time to time. 
  10. Love and cherish all who read and post here without regard to our differences of opinion.

A long time ago (but not in a galaxy far away, sadly), I used to run a website called Form & Matter, and I'll recycle some of that content here, but not all of it. That site was the product of a different man. That site chronicled the thoughts and beliefs of a different man. That man has grown and changed in many areas of his life and ungrown and changed in many others. In the immortal words of St. Bob Dylan (one of my heroes in trying to understand how faith and action and just "being" fits into the the "flesh and blood" world we live in and wrestle with, I believe he and I must struggle with some of the same issues after having listened to his music for most of my adult life): "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

Allow me to reminisce a moment, if I may.

Back in college, in between classes of Late English Poetry and Early American Literature, I'd hang out with my friends David and Ralph, and we'd wax on and on about anything from faith to football to post-industrialism to the price of pipe organs. We knew where each other stood on the important questions in life, and we each respected the others' beliefs. I was (still am) a Southern Baptist (gasp!) Christian. David was a self-confessed lapsed Catholic. Ralph was a medievalist agnostic. The cool part was that we could talk about important things like faith without trying to belittle each other's views. I miss that.

This blog, I hope, will be that kind of place, a different kind of place for people to visit and connect. (And not just because I'm a geek who may reference Blake's 7 in the context of religious faith, or someone who isn't afraid of so-called "bad" words.) I really hope it is a safe place to examine together the eternally confusing mystery of faith, the strange bond that makes brothers and sisters out of people who can barely stand each other at times, and the weird, mystical, unbelievable wonder-stuff that causes otherwise sane people to subscribe to a worldview that can often sound like a third-grader made it up.