Today is William Butler Yeats birthday. Reading his obituary, I paused on his words about Ireland: “We are a nation of believers. We produce anti-clerics, but atheists, never.” I wanted to know what the great poet meant by that so I started digging for the source of his quote.

After falling short on a number of searches, I stumbled upon this panel discussion of leading journalists around the country discussing the historical relationship of religion and secularism. Scanning the transcript, I thought, “Boy, Krista really should have participated in this… maybe she did?” Lo and behold, a find within the transcript revealed that she was there. The date of the conference: December 2007.

Not exactly breaking news but well worth watching if you’re interested in listening to leading journalists discuss religion in public life. And, please drop me a line if you have any idea about the Yeats quote.

To end, a couple of lines from “In the Seven Woods”:

I am contented, for I know that Quiet
Wanders laughing and eating her wild heart

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Yeats, of course, had a lifelong interest in the occult, and was a member of the original Golden Dawn (and a Golden Dawn off-shoot until 1921).

music rises out of the landscape in Ireland. so, I think, does faith/belief/acceptance of the unseen world. Krista talks about thin places in her book -- like that. that's the context in which I understand that comment.