Live from Birmingham

Props to Stephen Lingwood (Reignite) for standing out in the cold in Birmingham (not the one in Alabama) opposing the blasphemy laws and promoting Unitarianism. That’s a kind of “awareness” service — something for which I normally have little patience — that proves its worth in chapped lips and personal contact. The fact that the one person he welcomed to a Unitarian church didn’t know it was in Birmingham (but had been since the Great Ejection) says a lot about the presumption that old institutions have about their meaningfulness in the communities that surround them.

But better still, we now know this bloggers full name, which city he lives, and what he looks like with a wooly cap on. (Kinda got a Henry Rollins thing going.) This adds a great measure of credibility over being a disembodied voice in a disembodied medium. Of course, I can be a little dense about such things. I had been reading the name of his blog Reign-ite — thinking there might have been some Fifth Monarchy/Diggers/Levellers connotation — until I realized it should be Re-ignite.

I do still wonder what he sounds like, as my inner monolog chatters on. So until you challenge me Stephen, I’ve assigned a young Ozzy Osbourne as your voiceover.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Yes, CC. You had my friend Katharine’s voice for a while. She’s a South Carolinian with a bit higher voice than you.

    I understand Stephen’s lament about one’s voice being thinned out. I’m from the South, and after two and a half generations of striving to hit the middle class — well, the first thing to go is the accent, carefully bled out of you. (The last thing to go are the okra and black-eyed peas. Yum.) The the untrained non-US ear, I’m sure I sound as US standard as any native of Omaha. But every once in a while my vowels and vocabulary tell my Upper South/Lower Appalachian roots. I say y’all and yonder without irony. I’ve been known to say t’aint. I tote my groceries in a buggy. Hell: I’ve stopped trying to sound like Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite. Why should I?

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