Taking my daily dose of bile on Huffington Post the other day (I find it healthful to occasionally read the opinions of those who disagree with me. Keeps the blood flowing), I found this quotation on a comment, now lost to the seas of a changeable internet:
"Organized religion is where rational thought goes to die."
I've been trying to frame my rebuttal for a few days now, worrying this little line like a sore tooth. For there is something in there - I know people who have joined churches that tell them what to think, and are much happier for it. People who do not want or need to be engaged, but do need guidance in how to lead their lives.
I think what bothers me, then, perhaps, is the generalization. For, in my context (seminary), perhaps the exact opposite is true. We MUST learn to think rationally about our faith, and connect our faith with our reason, to survive the stormy waters in which we find ourselves.
There are plenty of other places where this dialectic applies. Someone was railing (again on HuffPost) about the fact that taxpayer money is spent on MarketPlace. I love MarketPlace, and I would see the guy's point if Marketplace consistently told people what to do with their money (a la Mad Money on CNBC, thanks Jon Stewart), but they don't. More than anything else, I think MarketPlace (and NPR in general) want people to THINK about everything.
I'll confess - sometimes I think too much. I feel like I've gotten better at balancing thinking, feeling, and being, of later years, and I am the better for that. I can't reply to my erstwhile internet opponent directly, so instead, I'll say it to all of you, dear readers. Willful ignorance is no prerequisite to faith - some of us try our best to understand, in order that we might believe.
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