Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Purple State of John
Thoughts of a wordslinger…
A quick note to say thanks to the students of New York University, who gave us a memorable evening in Gotham. Last night, at about 11 a.m., I found myself standing in the midst of a dozen or so Christian students, fielding questions about faith, history, evil, friendship and divinity. They had watched Purple State of Mind and wanted to know more about my take on things. I was humbled by their interest and pleased that they cared to ask. I just wish I’d had some real answers for them.
A few members of the Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkerrs Society showed up, and we were grateful, but it became immediately clear that it’s a much harder thing to define the non-Christian experience in America than the Christian. There is no “secular” America, as such, no lobbying organization to defend that idea, no school that teaches that philosophy, no real group that could possibly cover that ground. It’s a word used on one side of the divide, the religious one, with no traction at all on the other, the non-religious side.
To “not believe” is only the beginning of the experience, and the least important aspect of it, I’m afraid. Self definition may start there, but it moves quickly into a host of different identities.
Our next stop is Philly, tonight, where we’ll show the film at the Broad Street Ministry.
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