Annoyed and Paranoid

Sent this text to a student/friend of mine whose mother might be into witchcraft. Thought it might make an interesting blog post, out of context.

Okay.  I’m paranoid because I identify as a Christian which in this neck of the woods is regarded with enmity by people who practice witchcraft and therefore maybe even your mom.

I learned after a hard experience with a Pagan lady that the Pagans and witches in this area are quite adversarial toward professed Christians. This was not my experience in the Bay Area, where i was often advised I could be a Pagan and a Christian simultaneously.

On rational reflection, since your mom has always appeared to be favorable, I tend to doubt she’s about to go cast a spell against me.  Therefore the paranoia is probably unfounded (except in the case of some previous Pagans, such as that other lady.)

Oddly enough, the Christian thing didn’t really become a public statement till I moved up to Idaho. Down in Berkeley, I was regarded as a Pagan–pentacles, circles, the whole shebang.  The Christian thing there was a function of churches often needing piano players, though it is true that I have embraced an inner spiritual reality. But I have also always enjoyed digesting the teachings of all the many conflicting denominations and cults.

A position as a church pianist was a perfect way to learn of these denominational differences, since I wound up losing jobs with every major denomination. But here I am up in Idaho and writing for a religious news site, somehow having had the effect of dredging up personal beliefs from out of my inner heart of privacy, and making my weird notions known to the masses (albeit largely misunderstood, as stated earlier.)

In my experience, psychologically speaking, paranoia is a product of guilt.  As a guilt-ridden individual, it’s often challenging for me to determine whether I’ve actually done something wrong, or am merely feeling guilt out of a guilty nature.

A religious upbringing during a very staid and repressive decade no doubt contributed to the guilty excess.  However I do feel there is a transcendent spirituality that can be sought and found, and I don’t feel that Christianity, despite its many problems, should be excluded from that realm.

Christ is real. This is a real Spirit with whom people interact and who assists them in their decision making. How that relates to the Christian religion is another story, and would be the substance of an extended conversation.

Odd I would even become paranoid at all, actually. I very often felt paranoia down in California, but very seldom since I’ve moved to Idaho. Last time I was paranoid, I was concerned that a biker might have been out to get me. But that was over a year ago. Now he and I are cool too, thus demonstrating that it was only a paranoid fiction.

So that’s all really.  I’m not paranoid anymore but just kind of annoyed with life, which usually happens at around this time every month before I get paid, three of four days from now. However, I may need to explore what is making me feel guilty.  This seems the most critical matter in terms of psychoanalysis.

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Corona and Community

Here’s a brief (four minute) video clip from last Thursday’s meeting of “Theology on Tap” on Zoom.  Kurt Queller, retired Professor of Linguistics, is a Stanford Ph.D currently teaching German at the University of Idaho. The “alleged scientist” in the clip is Bob Ritter, who teaches at the school of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, seen with his wife Sue.  Others present are Garth and Nancy Sasser, Oz and Genny Garton, and artists Chris and Karen Watts.  Chris Watts is a retired Art professor at WSU; and of course, the uneducated boy with the beanie is Yours Truly.

“Theology on Tap” is a low-key theological discussion group created by Walter Hesford, a retired English professor at U.I., and comprised largely of members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Moscow, Idaho.   In this excerpt, we discuss the political and philosophical issues around the wearing of masks.  The person referred to by Kurt Queller is the pastor of a local megachurch who encourages his parishioners not to wear them.    

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