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Duration:03:47
Uploaded:2019-09-03
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In which John discusses his religion, his ideal last words, his irrelevance, and dinosaur mating strategies.

This question tuesday video is the first of what will be six videos that will appear during my sabbatical. (I am currently taking a break from most work to focus on writing.) Many of these videos were pre-written or pre-shot so that I can write for most of Tuesday, but I will still be here some in comments and hopefully you will not notice much change!

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Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday-it's Question Tuesday, the day that I answer real questions about the big questions, let's get right to it.

"I know that you were once a hospital chaplain, how does religion influence your life now?"

Nobody likes my answer to this question, but here it is: religion is an important part of my life, I like going to church, but I also find the way that people often talk about religion just like completely baffling.  For example, I'm just not that interested in questions about like whether God really exists or if heaven is really real or whatever, but I do get really excited about questions like what meaning can we find in human life together while we're here and can that meaning hold up to scrutiny?  Does the meaning acknowledge and embrace the humanity of all people?  Can we use the meaning to support and lift up the most vulnerable people in our community?  Those are interesting questions to me.  As for my personal theology, Dietrich Bonhoeffer summed it up very well in a single sentence: "God is weak and powerless in the world and that is exactly the way, the only way, in which God can be with us and help us."

"When you use quotes do you have them memorized or do you need to Google them?"

Most of them I need to Google but that one I do have memorized.

"So when you go to church do you-"

Sweet holy infant baby Jesus, that is enough talk about religion, can't we talk about something less controversial like politics and money and sex?

"How did stegosaurus reproduce?"

Not the sex question I was expecting but, alright.  So the short answer is that we don't know, but you're right to be concerned.  One study using computer models found that a male stegosaurus would "risk castration" if he tried to mount a female from behind so they may not have done it that way.  There are many theories about this; the female stegosaurus may have lain on her side, they may have also like backed up into each other but we don't really know.  Alright that's enough sex, let's move on to love.

(1:35)