Jogging Around the Neighborhood and Thinking of God

I really enjoy jogging around the neighborhood. it’s a quirky area and I always discover odd but fun new things every time I run. Santa Clara is actually a pretty cool area.

Today I began my jog at 5 p.m. and ran about 2 miles out, until I hit the Rose Garden. It’s a beautiful place.

Whenever I encounter a pedestrian, either I run to the street to give a wide berth or the pedestrian keeps their distance. Most of them wave hello and give a smile.

As I was jogging I noticed a lot of cool churches from a diversity of denominations.

As I’m getting older I’m becoming much more of a Universalist. I am the opposite of an atheist. Atheists see no value in religion. I see value in almost all religions and Christian denominations.

I’ve seen too many church conflicts and harassment of individuals due to rigid adherence to dogma. And I’ve had too many personal conflicts with conservative Christians that have really shaken me. I don’t have a strong opinion if a person should be baptized as a baby or whether they should be baptized as an adult, as Catholics and Protestants have argued over the centuries.I believe the Bible is inspired by God but I don’t think it’s the literal word of God. I don’t think homosexuality is a sin. I don’t think women have to conform to traditional female roles. I don’t think atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or most other belief systems are any better or any worse than I am. I’m too aware of my own flaws to think that I am superior to anyone else.

I have strong beliefs that I am willing to defend but I don’t think I have all the answers. No person has all the answers. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong. The only belief systems that I am unalterably opposed to are racism, white nationalism, authoritarianism, fascism, and religious extremism.

I have conservative friends, moderate friends, democratic socialist friends, libertarian friends, Marxist friends. So long as they respect my right to have my own independent thoughts and point of view, I’m willing to be someone’s friend. Learning from several bad experiences, I try to avoid individuals who have a hard time dealing with differences of opinion.

As you can tell, I’ve thought a lot about God and religion lately. I don’t have the answers. When I pass by a church, I have a lot of mixed feelings. I’ve had wonderful experiences in church and painful experiences in church. My feelings for God are very similar to the feelings I would have for an ex-girlfriend. There is a lot of fondness and grateful memories with God. But there is also a lot of pain and sadness and wariness mixed in too.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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