Author: Matthew Kaemingk

Pubs And Coffeehouses: A Drinker’s Defense Of Democracy

“Our democracy had its origins in the local taverns of the revolutionary era.”  –  Ray Oldenburg Politicos on both the right and the left quarrel stridently over the true birthplace and soul of American democracy. The right typically lifts up either the family or the church. The left commonly points to movements for social justice and equality waged throughout American history. Both sides insist, with great vigor, that if American democracy is going to endure, these particular wellsprings of democratic life need to be remembered and revived. While I certainly agree with both sides on the considerable civic importance...

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Why the Cascadian Church Can No Longer Ignore the Arts

  Churches in the cities of Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver some times refer to their cities as “godless.” But are they? While these cities show little interest in “religious” institutions, they continue to demonstrate an intense and growing passion for “spiritual experiences.” Whether their spiritual experiences occur in musical concerts, yoga studios, art galleries, meditation centers, aromatic coffee shops, sporting events, or wilderness retreats, the spiritual (but not religious) lives of Cascadia are clearly vibrant and active. If there is such a thing as “Cascadian spirituality,” one of its central characteristics is that it is experiential and sense-based. If there...

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Fan Worship: The Seahawks and Northwest Spirituality

The following is part two in a series of reflections on faith and Seahawk football. Please see part one for an introduction to the purpose for the series Proposition #4: Fan Worship in the Clink Cathedral “[Quarterback] RUSSELL WILSON was found wrapped in swaddling clothes in the third round… It is said that when John Schneider reached out to select RUSSELL WILSON, a flock of doves landed on the fifty-yard line of CenturyLink field and a double rainbow stretched from the VMAC all the way to downtown Seattle. In the summer of 2012, RUSSELL WILSON blessed the Seattle Seahawks, The NFL,...

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God and the Seattle Seahawks

“If we would know ourselves, [as] the ancient Temple at Delphi advises, the study of sports in all its connections to the rest of art and life would seem to be an ideal quest for understanding of self and the world.” Simon Kuper, athletic anthropologist   I am a rabid fan of the Seattle Seahawks. I am also a Christian theologian. It appears that Christ & Cascadia might just be the only “place” where I can bring these two disparate aspects of my life together. When I claim to be a “rabid fan,” I mean what I say. Consider the following evidence of my semi-neurotic devotion. While studying theology in Amsterdam I would regularly wake up in the middle of the night to watch Seahawk games (pre and post-game shows as well). I regularly frequent no less than four Seahawk blogs (Hawkblogger, Field Gulls, Seahawks Draft Blog, and Seahawks Addicts). I have engaged in more than one extended debate with friends and family over who should start at the left offensive guard position. Being active in the worlds of Christian theology and American football I have always felt a subtle pressure to keep these interests separate. My fellow theologians do not usually welcome extended discussions of football. Many find the game violent, stupid, frivolous, un-cultured, un-Christian, and/or corrupt. Likewise Seahawk bloggers typically maintain strict “no religion” restrictions on their...

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Cascadian Culture: Grasping a Slippery Salmon

  What does it mean to be from the Pacific Northwest? Is there such a thing as Cascadian culture? Christ & Cascadia was founded a couple of months ago on a rather simple conviction. If Christians truly wish to connect with this little corner of the world, they will need to take some time to listen, explore, and understand it. So, what is Cascadia? Technically speaking, “Cascadia” is something called a “bioregion” which includes Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and pieces of Alaska, California, Idaho, and Montana. Its boundaries are not political—they are natural. By definition, bioregions like Cascadia share a common...

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