The Accidental Theologist
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aka Lesley Hazleton -- an agnostic eye on religion, politics, and existence

The Accidental Theologist being stranger.
Aug 19 The Accidental Theologist commented on Why Nate Parker Should Never Have Made The Birth of a Nation.
Roxane Gay in NYT op-ed:

"I cannot separate the art and the artist, just as I cannot separate my blackness and my continuing desire for more representation of the black experience in film from my womanhood, my feminism, my own history of sexual violence, my humanity.

“'The Birth of a Nation' is being billed as an important movie — something we must see, a story that demands to be heard. I have not yet seen the movie, and now I won’t. Just as I cannot compartmentalize the various markers of my identity, I cannot value a movie, no matter how good or “important” it might be, over the dignity of a woman whose story should be seen as just as important, a woman who is no longer alive to speak for herself, or benefit from any measure of justice. No amount of empathy could make that possible."
May 6 The Accidental Theologist commented on Why Cliff Mass Is a Very Dangerous Weatherperson.
On The New Yorker site right now: Elizabeth Kolbert on Fort McMurray and climate change --
http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comm…
Apr 21 The Accidental Theologist commented on Morning News: Tests Show Tacoma's Water Has High Levels of Lead, Body Appears In Recycling Plant.
I love it when Mudede does the Morning News. Not that I wish it on him, but for me, I wish he did it every day.
Apr 15 The Accidental Theologist commented on Hey, Look, the Abyss!.
The last few verses kind of blew me away. I did NOT see them coming -- and am grateful they did.
Apr 6 The Accidental Theologist commented on Beautiful Sentences Can't Save Lesley Hazleton's Agnostic from Its Moral and Logical Flaws.
Welcome back, Rich (@26), and thanks for replying so gracefully. Sorry to have missed you last night. Am off to the airport right now, but think (insofar as I can think at all this morning) that maybe we should make a rain/sun date for a walk in the mountains, whether literal or figurative. I suspect we might arrive at much the same place -- or, per Eliot, where we began... -- L.
(Re that word "spiritual": as you know, I'm wary of it. Wary as all hell. And re the Miltonic satanic line: I really was tickled by it! Still am.)
Apr 4 The Accidental Theologist commented on Beautiful Sentences Can't Save Lesley Hazleton's Agnostic from Its Moral and Logical Flaws.
@8 Or perhaps anyone who claims that they can see the world clearly -- whether theist or atheist -- is majorly deluded...
Apr 4 The Accidental Theologist commented on Beautiful Sentences Can't Save Lesley Hazleton's Agnostic from Its Moral and Logical Flaws.
Thank you, Rich -- I confess to a certain delight in being accused of moral flaws, even if it’s unclear what they might be. The same for logical flaws, since, like @2, the last thing I want is to be a computer.

But I’m somewhat at a loss to understand why you consider Hitchens so gifted. True, he‘s become the patron saint of the so-called new atheism, but given that he happily shilled for the invasion of Iraq, and boasted of palling around with all of President Bush Jr’s men, his beatification seems -- irony intended -- as suspect as that of Mother Teresa.

To the point of your piece, it would surely make more sense to accuse me of lack of substance if you had engaged with the substance in the first place. An “agnostic version of god”? Huh? I point out early on that does-he-or-doesn’t-he (exist) is an absurd argument. And -- I totally agree with you on this -- an extremely tiresome one. I posit mathematical infinity as the secular parallel in that it’s not inconceivable, since we do conceive of it, but it remains nonetheless by definition ungraspable, since it can’t be said to “exist.” (It’s also wonderfully heady, which is why I think DFW’s book on infinity, “Everything and More,” is the best thing he ever wrote.)

What most intrigued me about your piece, however, is the last line. It’s good to see that you’ve read Milton, but really – you’re comparing me to Satan?

Isn’t that kind of... religious?
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More...
Mar 31 The Accidental Theologist commented on There Was Another Ride the Ducks Crash Today.
Ever watched one of these things lean as it corners? No way would I want to be on one.
Dec 30, 2015 The Accidental Theologist commented on I Have One Question About the Belgian Police Orgy Story.
I had the same reaction as @8. Sounds like a rape situation to me.
Nov 26, 2015 The Accidental Theologist commented on The Hidden Meaning in a 10-Year-Old Short Story in the New Yorker About Thanksgiving.
What a brilliant Thankgiving gift: a deep analysis of both writing and reading. To be treasured.