I wrote a knee-jerk response about the “Morality to Change the World” panel that I went to on Friday night.
I had a couple more thoughts about it as time passed this weekend.
- Call to action. There was a unanimous response from the panel that if you support a concept strongly, you should be active in the pursuit of promoting whatever it is you support. The encouragement was to learn all you can about a position and “fight” for it. By fight I mean non-violent pursuit of disseminating information.
- There is intelligent belief. Should I have had mentors who promoted the forms of belief like Bob Bossie’s, perhaps I would have been less likely to head toward atheism. One questioner asked Bossie why would he associate himself with the Catholic church when there is so much negative associated with it (e.g. pedophilia, corruption, greed, etc.). Bossie’s response was that he directs his attention to the people and their collective pursuit of truth. I may have thought Bossie dodged the question that night. But the more I think about it, I believe he was giving his most honest answer to the question, and I like his answer now. I said it before, but the sheer fact that Bossie accepts science and doesn’t create superfluous rift between perspectives that do not agree with his, I find this to be an important position to take should religionistas care to be taken seriously. It didn’t mean he rolled over and didn’t criticize communism. It just meant he approached the perspective from an intelligent point of view.
- It’s important to have strong leadership. I was critical of Sunsara Taylor in my previous post. I said her verbosity worked against her. I have to say, though, she is a strong speaker. She speaks with clarity and vision. Should I be communistically inclined, I would find her charisma and knowledge base admirable. I could find myself following her lead should I hold communistic ideals sacred. That’s not to say she’s not verbose. It’s that there is something great about her, and her cause is better because she’s a part of it. If you’re not helping lead your movement with this kind of oomph, get behind those who are doing it and support them as well as you can.
- Dialogue. Between Friday night’s panel and Saturday night’s discussion at Moody Church with Hemant Mehta and Ronald Danatus, dialogue is key. And I’m not talking dialogue with argument or debate. I’m talking dialogue. There seems to be a lot of ignorance regarding atheism from the Christian perspective. In fact, it looks like Christians have lots to learn about other perspectives, and the Moodies have figured that out and are finally pursuing avenues of education. The best way to empathize with another perspective is NOT to take what you hear in the media or from the pulpit as truth. The best method is sitting down with someone. I firmly believe, you can’t hate someone you sat down with. And you certainly can’t hate someone you share a meal with. Gastronomy is the ultimate ground leveler.
It’s most important to sit down and talk tête a tête with oppositional points of view. On facebook, there was a response to Mehta’s blog response about Moody Church that said something about atheists are poked and prodded like aliens. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I find this is a major factor of atheism. It’s a show of ignorance on our part. From the inside, we’re all saying, “D’uh, we’re able to love and be moral.” But from the outside, our marketing and brand color us as baby-eating, Christian-hating, immoral fiends.
We have an ugly stereotype that only we can change. And change comes from dialogue and passing along information. It’s hard work. Why do large corporations spend so much to present their brands? Because it’s really fucking hard to get people’s attention let alone change perspectives.
Read all the blogs you want. There is a call to action, and if you’re a believer or not, it is your duty to pursue the truth you seek, and that includes constant pursuit of education and passing around accurate and effective information.