January 17, 2012
Another version of this quote here:
Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all. Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what’s possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It’s the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.
Amazing how I can totally see this pissing off people I know who don’t like Barack Obama, but this is why I like him.
April 28, 2011
This morning, I was going to post the above screen capture and say something snarky about it. But then I thought, what good would that do? If you think about it from an outsider’s modern perspective, there’s really nothing to say about it. It stands alone.
And then I thought, I’ll post this hilarious headline from The Onion, and write about how it sure is hypocritical that birthers don’t put enough pressure on Jesus’ records. But then there would be a words war ended by the four words, “The bible said it.” Because thems the ultimate trump card.
And finally, I thought about posting something regarding the destruction by the “Act of God” that just pummeled the southern US. And I wanted to say something snarky about god being the ultimate bad guy. But that wouldn’t do any good either, right? Because there’s a reason for all of that, right? Maybe there was too much homosexual behavior there or something?
Then I thought, you know what, I’ll take another route. I’ll just post these things and say I was going to write about them, and not write about them whilst writing about them. I decided to be hypocritical and self deprecating to appear clever. Just because. Because shoving these words down your throats doesn’t always work.
I hope you give some of these things some thought today. Because when I’m overwhelmed by it, I could either attack it or throw up my hands in defeat. Today it’s defeat.