Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Politics+Religion=Reading

So, with 16 days to go until we unblock our former BFFs and relatives from Facebook elect a President here in the United States, I'm betting that political books aren't too high on many people's preferred reading list right now.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a political junkie like me and a handful of my friends. (You know who you are.) If that's the case, this is our Super Bowl.

Being a political junkie in this campaign season may make you a frontrunner candidate for the book I'm currently reading, Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans by David Niose. I'm only on page 21 of this, but it is resonating with me because I can relate to the "nonbelievers" that Niose writes about.

You see, I was raised Lutheran, attended a Catholic college where I met (in a religion class) and married a guy who was raised Jewish. Many years later we had a Dedication Ceremony for our kids in a Unitarian Universalist congregation. These days? I'm not sure what I am, although I tend to default to Lutheran or UU, despite only going to church for the occasional wedding or funeral.

(Guilty much? Absolutely. Especially lately. Been doing a lot of soul-searching and self-reflection on this issue, but that's another post.)

According to Niose, there are a lot of people like me. One in five Americans are "nonbelievers," if we're counting. So, where does that leave us secular Americans in political environments like this? Who speaks for us when we're presented with a slate of candidates consisting of ultra-conservatives like Rick Santorum, when we have the first Mormon nominee for President in Mitt Romney, when people are still debating whether or not President Barack Obama is a Muslim, when Billy Graham takes out full page ads in newspapers imploring us to vote "on Biblical principles" this Election Day?

This week, I've also been listening to the audiobook of The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan. I've had the mass market paperback on my bookshelves forever and downloaded the audio a few weeks ago for my phone from the library. Believe it or not, this is the first Amy Tan book I've read - and I'm pleasantly surprised. (I don't know what I was expecting, but I like this story of complex mother-daughter relationships much more than I thought I would.)

I should also say something about another taboo subject. As you may have noticed, I decided to be a little more proactive about monetizing the blog. Almost on a whim this week, I signed up to become an affiliate - even though I've been thinking for quite some time about ways to try and generate some income from this little hobby of mine. I know this is a hot-button issue among bloggers and I know this won't be a lucrative venture, but hopefully it won't influence your decision whether to stick around here or not.

Speaking of which, I hope you are. It's October 21 and I'm still burning this with my Feedburner feed ... which was supposed to vanish as of yesterday. We'll see how that whole thing goes now that we're a day after The End of the World.

Or maybe that's November 7, depending on what and whom you believe.

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copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles. If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I have almost quit reading FB right now bc I can't read without getting angry at all the dumbness...on both sides.
I am a believer...but I also believe separation of church and state is a must. You can imagine how popular I am in the Bible Belt :p Religion shouldn't be forced on anyone, and religion shouldn't be the impetus for law or policies of any kind...what happens when the religion in power happens to be one that you don't agree with?

I'm past ready for this election to be over.

Book Dragon said...

I don't have a problem with your amazon affiliation so I'll be sticking around.

Now, about your religion....I'm not worried about you and you should have no guilt. It is totally possible to be a good person without ever stepping foot in a church.

I too am having trouble knowing who to believe. I do know that I several vocal and opinionated friends who are unhappy with our current President.