Most of the people on the parade route absolutely LOVE the fact that the faith community is so active in the parade
One of the MANY things I’ve worried about as a parent is, while trying to instill values, trying not to turn the Daughter into some sort of philosophical mini-me. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work.
Five or six years ago, when the LGBTQ Pride Parade was on Sunday, as it is this year, I took her along. I’m sure the marching and seeing all the people along the parade route was FUN. But was it really her choice?
The great thing about her getting older is that now I know she gets to make decisions for herself. Not only did she help decorate the church’s van, she helped led the Presbyterian Connection contingent.
When she was younger, she knew a friend with two mommies and thought that was fine. Now, though, she’s more aware of the bullying and discrimination that still takes place against LGBTQ people.
And she knows the world is not always a safe place. Back when we left the Tulip Festival in Albany’s Washington Park in May, she noted the concrete barriers at certain locations. These were deployed, no doubt, to try to prevent to ward off people using motor vehicles as weapons, as has happened in Nice, France; London, and elsewhere.
She expressed surprise that such measures weren’t used in the Pride Parade, given the increased backlash against equality. Indeed, during the parade, I’ve been long been wary of the intersection of Madison Avenue and Lark Street, where the religious resistance against the parade appears strongest. I waved at the guy with the giant 10 Commandments sign, but he scowled back.
Conversely, most of the people on the parade route absolutely LOVE the fact that the faith community is so active in the parade. And not just the Presbyterians, but the UUs and quite a few others.
It’s local election season, and a ton of political candidates actually led the parade.
I mentioned to one of our church members, who is gay, and suggested that I think the Pride Parade is more important than ever. He agreed, though five years ago, he thought the time might be right to abandon the event.
Next year, should the Daughter participate, I’ll know it is entirely her decision, based on her proudly wearing an Ally rainbow button.
How do you spiritually reconcile your faith with your acceptance of science?
I don’t really see a problem with this. Faith is what I believe, and science is what I know, or what is reasonably knowable. There’s no contradiction. My running joke used to be “God allowed the Big Bang,” which is overly simplistic, I suppose.
This Slate story about a 2015 Pew Research Center survey on religion and science, indicates: “Highly religious Americans are less likely than others to see conflict between faith and science.”
I think this is true: “The people who are farther away from religion themselves tend to see stronger conflict, because they’re not as close to actual religious people… They aren’t seeing all those people who don’t have a conflict.”
The problem happens, I think, when people use, for instance, the Bible as a history book – mostly, it is not – or as science book – surely, it is NOT – rather than as a series of stories, written by a bunch of different writers, over a long period, that help shape a theology.
And of course, this was established long ago, well before Galileo and Copernicus got jammed up with their heliocentric “heresy”.
Currently, “the media tends to focus on those rare flashpoints of controversy, such as fights over evolution and the content of science textbooks, and to highlight the most outspoken conservative fundamentalists. For the nonreligious, these strong voices become the faces of religion, and these flashpoints become evidence that religion and science are in conflict. In fact, religious Americans by and large support science.”
What was your favorite or most memorable science demo as a kid?
It was almost certainly at the Corning Museum of Glass, an hour west of Binghamton, with a bunch of “I didn’t know they could do THAT with glass” moments. We went there at least four times before in 1972, when it was damaged in the flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes and was subsequently rebuilt.