Bryan Paul Sullo

Archive for the ‘Faith & Religion’ Category

Why Work Hard?

In Faith & Religion on 15 May 2015 at 2:46 pm

I_work_hard_because_millions_of_people_on_welfare_depend_on_me.preview

You’ve seen variations of this phrase on bumper stickers, T-shirts, and Facebook posts: “I work hard because millions of people on Welfare depend on me.”

If you work for a living, you’ve probably seen this and laughed. (It’s probably not as funny if you’re on Welfare, but I don’t know.)

I was recently asked whether or not I “agree” with the statement. That’s a yes or no question about something that’s not a yes or no subject, so, here’s my nuanced answer:

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Things to Share 2015-03-14

In Arts & Entertainment, Character Development, Faith & Religion, Family, Writing on 14 March 2015 at 8:49 pm

Volume 2 of things I’ve found to share recently:

In this installation, we have . . .

  • “Hacking Vehicles”
  • Маша и Медведь
  • “Making Selves Without Straw”
    and . . .
  • “Is that a Gun in Your…Pants?”

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Things to Share 2015-03-01

In Arts & Entertainment, Faith & Religion, Writing on 1 March 2015 at 6:13 pm

I’ve decided to try something new—sharing interesting things I come across online. Here’s what I’ve found recently: Read the rest of this entry »

Some of My Favorite Quotes (a Number of which are My Own)

In Faith & Religion, Life in General on 10 May 2014 at 2:15 pm

From a list I compiled some 13 years ago:

“In the path of the saint, remain the footprints of the Savior.”

 

“A dream is a priceless gift given to the fortunate few. If you receive one, protect it, nurture it, follow it, live it. But, whatever you do, do not take it for granted! There are those who have never had a dream, and they would give up everything for one of their own.” Read the rest of this entry »

If you Believe the Bible: Miraculous Acts

In Faith & Religion on 6 April 2014 at 7:54 am

People who believe the Bible believe a lot of strange things. For example, they believe in miracles. There are at least 31 miraculous events recorded in the book of Acts alone. If you believe in the Bible, you believe these occurred. Specifically, you believe . . . Read the rest of this entry »

Skinless Jesus

In Faith & Religion on 9 January 2014 at 4:32 pm

Recently, I heard someone on a Christian podcast claim that she had to be “Jesus with skin on” to her children. The expression immediately made my skin crawl, as I imagined some fleshless version of Jesus. How had he gotten that way? Was there some sort of flesh-eating bacteria in the Bible?

The woman’s sentiment was clear enough from the context: She wanted to be a representation, a likeness, an icon of Christ for her kids. The way she put it, though, really bothered me. The podcast ended, but I couldn’t get that phrase out of my mind. “Jesus with skin on.” Did Jesus lose his skin at some point along the way?
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In Defense of Scripted Prayer

In Faith & Religion on 26 December 2013 at 4:08 pm

I’ve always thought of scripted prayers as something one step above a magical incantation: a particular set of words, designed to control a stronger force (in this case, a deity), and bend it to your will.

Facebook is full of posts that begin, “This is a Powerful Prayer.” When I see that, I keep scrolling, rolling my eyes along with the wheel of the mouse. Even the phrase, “There’s power in prayer,” sets my teeth on edge. Certainly, I’ve experienced the power of God in response to prayer, but to assign power to a specific recipe of pious words is just hocus-pocus. Right?
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Prophetic Excuses

In Faith & Religion on 18 November 2013 at 1:19 pm

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

— 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NIV)

We Christians love to quote Biblical passages like the one above. I can see a group of us sitting in a circle of folding chairs, nodding our heads, wearing expressions that are a mixture of deep concern and haughty piety.

“That’s right,” one will say.

Another will observe, “We’re living this today.”

Others will point to examples of current events that prove the world is going to Hell, and that these are the “last days.” Read the rest of this entry »