Religion And The Dish

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 16 2012 @ 2:16pm

A reader writes:

I like your blog, but enough.  Organized religion = institutionalized superstition, IMHO. My enjoyment of your blog is declining as the god stuff seems to be taking over.

Another writes:

I am a lapsed Catholic, who believes pretty firmly in not attending church these days but who misses the opportunity for transcendence that an hour in a beautiful church, with incense and music and ritual and silence, can sometimes provide.  I have sought other avenues to experience spirituality on Sundays: creative writing, painting, making time to play piano, taking a long walk outside, etc.  But I have come to rely on the insights and thought-provoking content that the Dish provides on Sunday evenings.

This week, I had my annual check-up and my doctor found a small lump in my breast. 

I am scheduled for an ultrasound this week and I am of course hoping for a benign diagnosis. Nonetheless, my mind has been wandering to the more dire things.  Tonight, I read through the Dish's postings of the day, and found myself moved to tears when I read the commentary about the "two words" of Native Americans to describe the dead; I pondered the points made about "Living Without God;" and I was struck deeply by the commentary on the "Meaning of a Malady" from Mark Dery.

On a lighter note, I read the commentary from David Gessner about watching wrens nest and give birth to babies as he watched through the window with a great deal of joy. While in graduate school, I had the pleasure of watching two mourning doves nest, lay eggs, and nurture their chicks through the window, as I sat at the desk in my room.  The chicks learned to fly one day and I remember feeling such fear and awe as I watched them nearly fall from the height of the nest and the take flight.

So, on the eve of what is sure to be a scary week for me, health-wise, I wanted to thank you for providing a spiritual outlet each Sunday, for offering the opportunity to consider the big questions rather than certainty in the answers, and for consistent recognition through your content that joy demands a place in all of these debates.