At some point today, my three week old blog hit 100,000 page views. Chances are, at least one of those page views is because of you, so thanks for reading! And if you left a comment or sent an email, thanks for that as well. I haven’t responded to all of them, but I have read every one of them.
I didn’t visit a church this past Sunday nor am I likely to next Sunday because of things. Although next Sunday night’s 7pm service might work for my promised return to Mars Hill Church, depending on how tired those things make me.
Saturday, I’d like to visit a Seventh Day Adventist church, and it’s penciled in as a definite maybe.
Sometime during the week I’m going to visit a Baha’i place. Possibly tomorrow night.
I’m thinking about putting up a poll, and letting you guys vote on where I go. Would you be interested in that? Post a comment to this post, or send me an email with your suggestion, and if there’s sufficient response, I’ll filter through the suggestions for places that are available near me, and make a poll out of it.
Today I visited a Sunni Mosque in the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle. Idris, so named for the Saudi Sheikh who financed its construction, was built back in the 1980’s.
The part of the building that I visited was showing its age a little, and was a little small and cramped for its task. I arrived a little bit before the service, not nearly as early as I usually do, so I really didn’t have time to wander around looking lost and talking to folks in the way I like to.
I had been playing phone tag with a person from the mosque to arrange a visit, because their website indicated that visitors needed to make an appointment. By the way guys, your website is quite possibly the worst website for a religious institution I’ve ever seen. Take a cue from the Mars Hill website, it’s just about the best.
Anyway, through phone messages I was able to determine that it would be okay for me to just show up at a prayer service, and I’d be welcome, and I was able to figure out the best time to go from the awful website. I attended the mid-day service.
This is my third post on the subject of Scientology, and after today’s “audit” visit, I think I have enough information to make a review and a formal score.
I’m not going to go over ground already covered in the other visit post, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you might give it a read first.
I’m going to be on the radio, tomorrow morning, the Marcus Smith morning show on BYU Radio. The show airs on Sirius XM chanel 143, and streaming online, from 6:00 – 8:00 am pacific time, and repeats from 8:00 to 10:00 am pacific. The part with me should come in at around 6:30 / 8:30 (but you should listen to the whole show). A few hours after it airs, there will be an on demand version available in cloudcast, which I will link in this post.
Update: The BYU Radio guys are juggling their pre-recorded segments around, and now my segment might not fit into the Thursday morning show, but might be on the air at a later time.
When folks link to my blog, sometimes I follow the link referrers back whence it’s linked and see what’s up. A few days ago, I came across a forum of ex-Mormons, some of whom suspect that I’m a plant or in the pay of the Mormon church. I wish! If anybody wants to pay me to blog for them, hit me up! Talk about a dream job.
If you want the TL;DR version of my reviews, I’ve created a new Scorecard page. I’ll update it with each place I review.
This morning I went to the University Unitarian church, near the U-District in Seattle.
My girlfriend, who has been wonderful and supportive and patient for putting up with this project I’m doing, came with me.
The Unitarian church is arranged like a large community center, and from the outside, doesn’t really look very church-like. Inside is a lobby area with a greeter, who was handing out name-badge stickers. We filled ours out and since we were early, stood around and talked with her for a few minutes, and I explained what I was doing. She seemed to think it was an interesting idea.
We went into the adjoining area, outside the chapel room, where some tables had been set up and some coffee had been put out. There we struck up a conversation with a man who was helpful and directed us to some literature on the nature of Unitarian Universalism. After a few minutes, we went in to the chapel.
I guess the blog’s gotten popular enough that employers are starting to prevent their employees from reading it at work.
I look through the “link referrers” on WordPress to tell me where folks have heard about the blog. At the moment, most of the traffic is coming from Facebook. But there are also lots of hits from other sites as well.
On the admin page, I came across a number of entries that look like this:
The part that says “blockOptions” shows that a program is running that blocks access to this site. In other words, someone saw a link to my site, possibly from Facebook, clicked on it, and got blocked.
I don’t have enough material to do the kind of review I’ve done for other churches, and I may never be able to, because in order to get the full message, I’ll have to pay for seminars. I’m not willing to pay for seminars. I do have some observations about my visit, however.
So, here goes:
The Seattle branch of the Church of Scientology is in the steeply-hilled neighborhood of Queen Anne. It’s an impressive building, taking up much of its block. It’s modern, square, and five stories tall. It looks like an office building.
Even though it’s new, and modern, it fits in quite nicely in gentrified Queen Anne due to its “brick” facade, making it look like a slightly bigger, cleaner version of all of the other old brick buildings around it.
My father was a Scientologist in the 1970’s. I vaguely remember my dad showing me some paper-back books, with some cartoon characters in them, talking about communication with an emphasis on walls.
I don’t remember much about the books, because I was so young at the time. I could read them, and I’ve been reading since age four or so, so the timeframe must have been in the mid-1970’s. Also, the cartoon characters in them where somewhat stick-figure-y. These books were specifically designed for young readers. I liked them.
I also have a vague memory of two women coming over to do something with an e-meter, at just the wrong time, because we were getting ready to go out somewhere. My mom being rather annoyed at the timing, and at dad giving them a couple hundred bucks.
Last night, between midnight and 8 am this morning, an online magazine called LDS Living drove several thousand visitors to my blog. And they’re still coming!
I have so many emails from you guys I can’t respond to them all. So far, they’ve all been very positive. I want to say something.
So, thanks guys! Thanks for the words of encouragement and the nice comments.
Edit: Multiple edits for spelling, formatting, and posting before I am properly caffeinated.
This Thursday morning (June 13), I’ll be going to an Eastern Orthodox church.
It’s a Serbian church, and I think the service is in English.
Saturday, I’m going to help build a roof. So, no mosque or synagogue this week. Possibly next weekend.
Update: Saturday morning is open, I might sleep in or visit a different synagogue.
Sunday (June 16) I’m going to visit the Unitarians in the morning, and if I can make the distance in a short time, I’m going to a Disciples of Christ church in the late morning.
I have a weekly game day with a friend after that, but I’m interested in re-visiting Mars Hill’s evening service if I’m not too tired and if there’s time.
Update Again: I went to the Orthodox Church this morning (Thursday June 13), but the Reverend didn’t show up. I’ve sent an email asking if maybe I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.