Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On Owning One's Religious Beliefs

"What history can do is show that people have to take responsibility for what they activate out of their [religious] tradition. It's not just a given thing one slavlishly follows. You have to be accountable."
-Karen King, Professor of Divinity at Harvard, quoted in "The Gospel According to King, The Smithsonian

One of my biggest frustrations over the years in interacting with some religious folks has been their complete unwillingess to own their religious beliefs and consequent rhetoric.

If you tell them they're anti-gay or anti-woman, for instance, because they think homosexualiy is immoral or that the ordination of women shouldn't be allowed, a response I sometimes get is, "It's not me who thinks that, it's God. It's just the Truth."

Well, okay.

But if a person's going to make these moral conclusions with such utter conviction, conclusions that at once hurt actual people and are completely unprovable, yeah, I think religious people who activate these particular beliefs from their religion, out of all the beliefs that could be activated and amplified in the world, need to step up and own it.

If the god your promote and revere is anti-gay and anti-woman, maybe you are too.

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