Thursday, June 26, 2008


First, a disclaimer.

Stuff like this makes me sad. Maybe, then, I oughtn't to link it, but still. Fundamentally, of course, I disagree with his "Anousia" neologism (the Greeks sure as heck didn't think of religion as mindless - cf. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Homer, and pretty much all of Greek culture, with the notable exceptions of Eurpides(?) and Epicurus), and his statement that while we can't outlaw religion (with a tinge of regret), we should argue vigorously against it.

Man, what did religion ever do to you? Or, more to the point, religious people? There are a bunch of us hanging out who give to good political causes, who love our neighbours, who do good works, who spend time thinking about people other than ourselves. The best of us, on our best days, give until it hurts, and then give some more, not even in terms of money, but of ourselves.

Now, sure, there are bad apples (as there are in any group of people, I would hasten to add), and all of us have bad days. This is, in large part, I think, the purpose of grace - to help us when we stumble. And the purpose of faith, by counter, is to inspire us to new heights of kindness and graciousness. But there are an awful lot of babies in the societal bathwater of religion, and if you throw them out, I think you'll find your society a poorer place than before.

Finally, I am moved to include the alt-text on this comic, as it expresses something I've been trying to nail down for a while. It is ALWAYS worth our time to try and understand why someone believes something that they believe. Whether it's global warming, religion, abortion, gay rights, or what have you, it is much easier, in my experience, to understand someone's motivations than it is their positions. Abortion is especially guilty of this, where the rhetoric has gotten so loud and persistent that it takes WORK to convince either side to understand the fears and desires of their opponents. Believe me, friends, when you grok the why of anyone's stand on an issue, their logic becomes either unfailingly impeccable, or non-existent. And the non-existent people you can freely ignore.

Even me.

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