Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Plunking down another $20

Researching an author name Ross Douthat for a project discussed elsewhere on this blog, I came upon one of his posts and spent more time than I probably should have reading responses.

Here is the thing: Liberal religions are being sucked into a discussion that is not much more than a downward spiral of definition.  I know who I am whether or not I can define myself accurately to appease others who demand such definition (even if they are other liberals).  Collectively, we know who we are, again, whether or not our self-definition meets the standards set by others.

Belief is boring.  Nobody cares what I believe but me.  Humanist, Christian, Pentecostal fire-breathing or worshipping at the altar of NPR are all boring.  Institutions, including "liberal religion" are meaningless but for the people who constitute them.  Making my beliefs come to life in a community of other living believers is something we (or at least I) can wrap my arms around and hug dramatically.  Is "liberal religion" that community, or is it one that prefers to sit around chatting about self-definition?

Engaging boring discussions like this one will be our downfall.  Like shell-game street vendors, the game is rigged prior to its start.  They set the rules, they operate the game and they determine the winners.  Our hubris compels us to plunk down another $20 to prove our value (to whom, to ourselves, to them?)  

Jesus had two commandments:  Love God (respect the mystery) and Love Each other (be nice to each other).  Does it really matter the path we take to arrive there?  No.  Humans added that last part and established themselves as its judge and jury.  Plunk down another $20 for a nominally1-3 shot at being “right”.  Boring.

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