Today’s Reading is From the Book of Redshirts

This is cool: Redshirts being used as part of a church sermon (specifically at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Madison, Wisconsin). It is, logically enough, being used a bit like a parable (or at least a framing device) to help discuss a larger and more complicated theological idea. I like it when my work finds use in interesting ways like this. The sermon’s pretty good, too.

(Thanks to Pamela Grenfell Smith for bringing it to my attention.)

14 Comments on “Today’s Reading is From the Book of Redshirts”

  1. They do say the Lord works in mysterious ways.

    Also, I’m amused that as I type this, in the sidebar of Tweets, you do in fact enjoy pie enough to bake one yourself. If nothing explodes, maybe you have found favor with God?

  2. As a rather staunch atheist, I found that sermon far more thought-provoking than I’d expected. I think the core point is useful independent of theology; I should examine the narrative by which I’ve unconsciously ordered my life so far and better understand who benefits from my acceptance of that script. Something to think about…

  3. It would be cooler if the old mans war universe gets incorporated into core scientology doctrine.

    Its pretty cool that he is using this to liven things up.

  4. I’m pretty unsurprised that a cool of a sermon as this popped up in Wisconsin, it’s one of the coolest states in the Midwest. (Grew up in Kansas, tragically.)

  5. I agree that it’s an excellent sermon, influenced by two excellent thinkers. I was absolutely delighted to see Marcus Borg pop up — several of my favorite books on modern theology were written by him — and very, very saddened to learn of his death.

    The man was a titan. I don’t know that we’ll see his like again.

  6. And Jesus says, Nope. That’s not the story we’re living, Peter. Because that story, too, is false. Has always been false. We can’t protect or fight our way into justice, peace, or true human flourishing.

    That’s some pretty good sermoning there, if you ask me. Speaking as a recovering Catholic, I found it pretty well written and liked the ideas it espoused.

  7. One of the many reasons I’m proud to worship in the Episcopal Church – thought provoking is often par for the course. Last year I quoted Chuck Wendig in a monthly piece I wrote for our local parish’s newsletter. I think that a lot of the existential question one bumps into in sci-fi are the same ones that religion deals with. There is a root commonality to the human experience. The sermon I heard that convinced me to start attending an Episcopal church regularly quoted both Albert Einstein and Simon & Garfunkel and was delivered by a delightfully monkish man who is now Bishop of Nevada.

  8. @David: What I think. Honestly, the Episcopal Church is where it’s at for the thinking American Christian, IMHO. The sermons are short, literate, no fire and brimstone, and are fully aware that we’re living 2000 years in Jesus’ future. The last pastor at my mom’s church was literally an ex-rocket scientist. He had no problem believing in both science and God — who gave us the brains to figure out rockets, anyway, he’d ask.

    Gays? You bet. Women? Heck yeah. (Both of these classifications of people are routinely ordained as Bishops) Divorce: We all make mistakes. Premarital sex? Don’t do it in the road and frighten the horses, that’s all. And be safe. Birth control: Duh!

    You still get all the ritual with robes and a prescribed liturgy and hymns and cookies and coffee afterward, and giving to the poor and orphans and such. But you feel BETTER afterwards. Not like a failed experiment, but like a being who can aspire to do more.

    As Robin Williams said: “It’s Catholicism Lite! All the ritual, half the guilt!”

    (And booze. They ain’t called “Whiskeypalians” for nothin’, although you can also join AA there.)

    As far as this particular sermon goes: wow, can Pastor (Miranda) write. Well-supported by both pop culture, scholarly thinkers, and the Bible. And a good message for people of any or no faith. Are we being controlled by The Narrative, and should we change that?

    “Things done which we ought not to have done, things undone which we ought to have done” has always spoken to me. That’s pretty much everyone.

    I think her closing thought is applicable to us here on Whatever:

    A plucky band of redshirts talking together about what we see, in our daily lives and the world around us, of the ways that the dominant narrative closes minds, damages lives, limits possibilities, holds us in bondage.


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