Blog

I started a blog in May 2013 for my “occasional observations, rants, and reviews.” After deliberating for a few minutes about what to call it and discarding various possibilities that seemed too pretentious, I decided on Ed Suominen’s Shitty Little Blog.

You can visit it at blog.edsuom.com. About a thousand people do each month, give or take.

Here are some of my favorite posts, in a few main categories: Life and Living, Beauty, Religion, and my old fundamentalist Protestant sect of Laestadianism.

Life and Living

  • Midway

    Musings at the midway point up a mountain, and life, while two of my kids continue on their way.

  • The Word of Life

    “I am a hidden and ancient thing conveyed by multitudes. Tiny copies of my elegantly mutated essence are coiled up everywhere inside you. I formed them for you, I suppose, but really you for them.” Thus begins a narrative from life itself, written in the first person to the most intelligent beings who serve as carriers for encoded messengers of its being.

  • A Life Celebration: Mary Suominen

    A celebration of my mother’s long and interesting life, written in time for her to see and appreciate it.

  • A Life Celebration: Frank Zindler

    A celebration of the long and accomplished life of a brilliant individual, with tributes from some of his friends.

  • Apocalypse Now

    We only get one planet to live on, and we are rapidly making large parts of it uninhabitable. Things are only going to get worse as we continue dumping millions of tons of ancient carbon into the atmosphere and turning our lush beautiful earth into a hot, dry, storm-scarred wasteland. At least this blog gives me an opportunity to vent, even if nothing will change until it’s far too late: The essay has been seen over 5000 times.

  • Paradise

    We yearn for an eternal playground of beauty and ease, where we can be forever free of the drudgery and pain that makes up so much of everyday life. As a mere mortal who has probably lived about half his life already, I do understand the appeal. Yet someday, as it did for King Tut and Homer and Paul and Luther, life will end for me. My paradise will only remain in the pictures accompanying this post, and the others I take in my remaining days filled with blue and green.

Beauty

  • Eventide

    Meditations on a beautiful moment spent on a summer evening in one of my favorite places.

  • Invocation to Venus

    A beautiful passage from a priceless treasure left to us from antiquity–the poem On the Nature of Things, written by Lucretius around 50 BC–interspersed with some of my nature photography. Together, the text and images form a celebration of the majesty and beauty of nature on this fragile, abused planet of ours.

  • Haleakala

    Written from the passenger’s seat during a silent awestruck drive down from sunset on Haleakala.

  • Coral

    Memories of a peak experience in the pristine waters off a certain Hawaiian island, when the coral was still vibrant and healthy.

  • A Day of Beautiful Things

    A few paragraphs of prose poetry reflecting on a particularly beautiful day. Bald eagles, skiing above clouds, and a drive home through the gathering dark.”And just before reaching home, two speckled white horses loped alongside us, riderless. Movement for the sheer animal joy of it, as we had done all day.”

  • Live, and Be Alive

    It really is a wonderful world, in spite of all the things that justifiably get us down. Consider what an amazing thing life is.

Religion

  • The New Testament Disproving Itself

    This is one of my most popular posts and also one of the shortest. It might also be the most devastating for belief in the Bible as a divinely inspired, inerrant work. It offers “three concepts from the New Testament that cannot be assembled into a coherent whole.” Try if you like–it’s related to a very old philosophical problem about God’s nature that continues to be overlooked by believers.

  • Why I am an Islamophobe

    A candid discussion of a harsh and domineering religion that began with atrocities and whose most fervent followers continue to carry them out around the world, besides repressing intellectual development and the rights of women. Yes, I fear and loathe this ancient and insidious Arabian export. Yes, indeed, I am an Islamophobe. I embrace the slur that was intended to shame people into not questioning this totalitarian belief system, just as some gays have decided to embrace the term “queer.” My single most popular post, with over 5000 views three months after it was written.

  • Getting Out

    Leaving a high-control religious group is one of the hardest things a person can do. It’s difficult for people like me who left one of the branches of Laestadianism. But it can be much worse for those born into other religions. Two harrowing examples of that are discussed, the Exclusive Brethren and Islam.

  • Healing from Hell Horror

    A take-down of the most insidious concept in all Christianity. One reader who has stared the threats of hell in the face and defied them told me it’s the most important thing I’ve written, even more so than my books.

  • A Fading Fascination with Faith

    Why I write less and less about religion nowadays: Freedom! It really does get better.

  • Community

    A return visit to the old church caused me to reflect on a big reason why religion still has such a strong pull: community. With some thoughts from people who have left other religious communities about their new lives and whether they spend any time looking back.

Laestadianism

  • Maternal Martyrdom

    A deadly serious essay about a life-or-death topic. I spent the better part of a week writing this, originally for the Learning to Live Free blog and then copied to my own, because women have died and come close to dying as martyrs to a doctrinal demand that isn’t even biblical, much less sensible.

  • A Mother of Many Children

    An April 1 parody with a serious and compassionate message for my old church: Get over yourselves. There are lots of other sincere believers out there, and plenty of grounds for accepting them. This one actually had a few people fooled (and very happy with the news that their beloved church wasn’t so intolerant after all!) until they read my disclaimer at the end.

  • The Truth Shall Make You Free

    A rebuttal to the church’s ridiculous and cynical assertion that you should avoid thinking too hard about what it says is the most important matter of your life.

  • Doing Unto Others

    Read thousands of times, this essay has served to remind members of my old church that they can and should behave better towards others. I like to think it’s helped a little.

  • Open Dialogue over the Faith Boundary

    Credit where credit is due: A positive review of a compassionate and well-considered presentation by a prominent preacher in my old church about believers being good neighbors to outsiders.