Saturday, February 12, 2011

Michael Webb

Hello and Happy Saturday!

I wish to thank Tricia for sharing her journey with us. Thought provoking and unique, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you Tricia!

This week we have a new interview so please welcome Michael Webb. Michael is an Agnostic and I know you will enjoy his post as well!

Here Is Michael Webb's Introduction:

Michael Webb has been blogging, among other things, since 2003, but hasn't really been good at it until recently. He remains lousy at the rest of the things. His blog, which contains too much Boston Red Sox nonsense, is located at

1) What religion do you practice?
Currently, I would say I am an agnostic. I believe in the teachings, if not the divinity, of Jesus Christ.

2) Did you convert or were you born into this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
I was born a Protestant, into a local branch of the United Church Of Christ, maybe the most liberal Protestant branch.

3) Would you consider yourself a moderate, conservative or other.

4) In your opinion, what makes you moderate/conservative/other?
I believe, to the maximum extent possible, scriptures of any sort must be read with a skeptical eye. To take a relevant modern example, yes, the Bible condemns homosexuality. It also condemns sitting on a chair that has been previously used by a menstruating woman.

5) In your opinion, what makes someone conservative? What makes someone moderate?
A conservative believes in fidelity to an ancient text at the expense of common sense.

6) What's your heaven/paradise like?
Box seats to a baseball game that never ends.

7) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
I find it hard to imagine a just and righteous God would condemn anyone who was honestly trying to do the right thing. People who are sociopathic, maybe.

8) What makes your religion a good fit for you?
I don't know anything about anything. I am constantly learning that things I thought I knew aren't true, or at least are much more complicated than I thought they were.

9) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
Opening Day? I don't know. I celebrate Christmas, but that's peer pressure more than it is an actual observance of anything.

10) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
I don't consider anyone my friend. That being said, as long as you can laugh, I am willing to be your friend.

11) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
If they asked, certainly. I'd be uncomfortable, but if someone wanted me there, and it meant something to them, I don't have a problem with being there.

12) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law?
It's tough. I have read accounts by people who find it very comfortable to wear a burka. I went to college with people who did (pre 9/11), and it wasn't really an issue. I don't have a problem with people doing it, if that's what they want to do. No one should be compelled to do it.

That being said, we live in a society with other people in it-we all have to make sacrifices. If that means you can't wear a burka once in a great while, like at an airport, well, that's the price you pay for living in a society with other people in it. If you don't like it, I'm sorry-but there are lots of things in this society that offend me, too-and I don't get to ban them.

13) What are your thoughts on women not being allowed to become priests?
I recall a joke by the Boston comedian Jimmy Tingle: the disciples were men, yes. But they were also Jewish fishermen. It is hard to find a Jewish fisherman who wants to join the church.

It's silly. It is the ultimate "because we've always done it this way" argument. There isn't any rational reason to keep them out.

14) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel?
No. I don't think I could have gone very long to a church who keeps anyone out. One of the wisest things my pastor ever said to me was that our congregation takes you as you are-from men in suits to teenagers in sweats, everyone is welcome, whatever state you find yourself in.

15) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
I don't think a lot when making decisions. I may reflect on the more Christian way to go at times, but I'm much more of a gut level thinker.

I wouldn't say my religion has much impact on my views on abortion or gay marriage, except in the most theoretical ways.

I am personally against abortion-but that view only extends to a fetus that I have helped create. And since I have a vasectomy, it is now an utterly theoretical view. I think that God is saddened when an abortion occurs, but I think He is also wise enough to understand why they are sometimes necessary.

The gay marriage question is mostly addressed above. The Biblical prohibition on homosexuality is real-but there are a number of other prohibitions that we feel free to ignore, so there isn't any reason why this one is more special. I've never heard a single good reason why gay marriage should be outlawed.

16) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion?
If he finds someone he wants to marry that makes him happy, that is absolutely fine with me, whatever their creed. Or race. Or gender.

17) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?

18) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not?
I would point to Richard Dawkins or maybe Christopher Hitchens, I guess. I generally agree with them-they are formidable logicians.

19) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.
I have been hated-everyone who has a teenager has been. But seriously? No.

20) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?
I have bouts of pointlessness. I think if I had a stronger faith it might be of some comfort when everything seems senseless.

21) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
No. I haven't had that in a while.

22) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
No. It just doesn't hold much appeal or sense for me.

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