Commonplace

“I learn a lot about how people conceive of reality by listening to the way they talk. I’ve talked Christian for a really long time, and I think Christians are so used to dividing reality into opposed pairs that a lot of us don’t even hear the opposition anymore. The divisions are there in our scripture, in our prayers, in our worship services, in our hymns.

“I don’t know that we’ve gotten it wrong exactly. These may be useful ways to focus on the virtues we want more of and the vices we want to avoid. But I’m struck by the ways in which this kind of language can lead to ‘enemy thinking.’ If you use it long enough without thinking about what you’re saying, you can regard the body, the world, the darkness as spiritual enemies. And I think that goes against some of the central affirmations of Christianity. That God made human beings in God’s own image. That God so loved the world. That God is the God of darkness and of light.”

—Barbara Brown Taylor, in interview

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
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