3
Mar 15

That's me in the Corner

Loosing my Religion

A hotline,set up and run by atheists, to council people on how to leave their faith.

Huh.

I am of two minds about this one.

First, this seems to be a continuation of the extreme atheism movement that is growing in our culture. One that sees all religion as bad. Where atheism is not simply a matter of intellectual choice and freedom but carries with it a responsibility to not simply debate but at times attack religion. It is one that has embraced post-modern rationalism as fundamental in the same way ISIS has embraced the teachings of certain imams and certain elements of Evangelical Christianity has taken to misinterpreting Revelation. It is just as decisive and dangerous as all fundamentalism can be.

On the other hand, this is a great idea. People need to be free to choose their faith, beliefs, philosophy, or even just questions about the world in their own terms. Yes, a community is a vitally necessary part of that, put that does not mean that the community should be the sole interpreter of the world. I believe now things that, had I spoken of them in the community of my youth, would have gotten me in a great deal of trouble. Easily ostracized at the least. I have been through many of my own struggles with faith and identity, and maybe still am, and see my self as on a journey. However, that is the prophetic role of faith. One that challenges beliefs and the status quo and assumptions about society and how it works. There is a priestly function of faith as well, one that exists to reinforce identity and culture and to insure orthodoxy. Both of them have their place. But when they diverge violence can occur.

We need to get over that. No matter what our faith. We need to have room for questions. We need to have a safe place to talk about them. Sometimes we need help extracting ourselves from communities that might threaten us when we exercise our minds and spirits in the quest for truth. So maybe a hotline is a great idea.

However, even if we come to the conclusion that the traditions we were raised in our wrong, or even just inadequate, that does not mean that all or any faith is bad. You can doubt an interpretation of God without doubting God. You can reject a version of Christianity without rejecting Christianity. You can disagree with those who calim to speak for your faith without abandoning your faith.

It is OK to doubt what you know. It is OK to ask.

And you do not have to loose your religion over it.

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