Monday, March 16, 2009

Arguments XXII -- Religion

I normally don't address religious arguments and try and stay on the science side of things, but an editorial/commentary by Leonard Pitts caught my eye this weekend. "Leonard Pitts: I believe that religion is driving people away from God"

While his commentary wasn't directed towards Evolution, it certainly relates to the subject. The point, as I see it, is that religious organizations, particularly the more fundamentalist ones, tend to drive people away, not just form their religion, but from any religion! Just look at this paragraph:

" . . .What is the cumulative effect upon outside observers of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker living like lords on the largesse of the poor, multiplied by Jimmy Swaggart's pornography addiction, plus Eric Rudolph bombing Olympians and gays in the name of God, plus Muslims hijacking airplanes in the name of God, multiplied by the church that kicked out some members because they voted Democrat, divided by people caterwauling on courthouse steps as a rock bearing the Ten Commandments was removed, multiplied by the square root of Catholic priests preying on little boys while the church looked on and did nothing, multiplied by Muslims rioting over cartoons, plus the ongoing demonization of gay men and lesbians, divided by all those "traditional values" coalitions and "family values" councils that try to bully public schools into becoming worship houses, with morning prayers and science lessons from the book of Genesis? . . ."
Of course you know I had to highlight the part about the science lessons, but look at the rest of it. The extremism, the fundamentalist thinking, the belief that no matter what I do, God is on my side is doing more damage than good, and not just to the organized religion!

He also made a telling point with
"God is, for the faithful at least, the sovereign creator of all creation. Religion is what men and women put in place, ostensibly to worship and serve Him. Too often, though, religion worships and serves that which has nothing to do with Him, worships money and serves politics, worships charisma and serves ego, worships intolerance and serves self. "
I think Dr. James McGrath made that same point several times on his blog "Exploring Our Matrix" and discussed, among other things what happens when the 'symbol becomes more important than what it symbolizes, and 'inerrancy'. I know I have talked about it several times under "Biblical Literalism", "Biblical Literalism Continued" and "More on Biblical Literalism"

No, I am not plugging for Religion, but hoping that people of Faith can take a brief step backwards and view their actions in light of the intentions of their faith. I'm not saying toss the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran aside, but I am asking that you take the intentions of those documents to heart when dealing with issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment