Thursday, March 27, 2008


My friend, Bishop Leland Somers, sent me an excellent article, some excerpts of which I wanted to share with you.

The following excerpts are from a new book by Christ Hedges, author of the excellent book, "War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning".

Hedges has just come out with a new book that I have yet to read entitled, "I Don't Believe In Atheists" from which the following are some of the excerpts.

"There is nothing in human nature or human history to support the idea that we are morally advancing as a species or that we will overcome the flaws of human nature. We progress technologically and scientifically, but not morally. We use the newest instruments of technological and scientific progress to create more efficient forms of killing, repression and economic exploitation, and to accelerate environmental degradation. There is a good and a bad side to human progress. We are not moving towards a glorious utopia. We are not moving anywhere.

"Religious institutions, however, should be separated from the religious values imparted to me by religious figures, including my father. Most of these men and women frequently ran afoul of their own religious authorities. Religion, real religion, was about fighting for justice, standing up for the voiceless and the weak, reaching out in acts of kindness and compassion to the stranger and the outcast, living a life of simplicity, finding empathy and defying the powerful. It was about caring for the other. Spirituality was not defined by 'how it is with me,' but the tougher spirituality of resistance, the spirituality born of struggle, of the fight with the world's evils. This spirituality, vastly different from the narcissism of modern spirituality movements, was eloquently articulated by Dr. King and the Lutheran minister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was imprisoned and put to death by the Nazis....

"This belief in inevitable moral progress, whether it comes in secular or religious form, is magical thinking. The secular version of this myth peddles fables no less fantastic, and no less delusional, than those preached from church pulpits. The battle under way in America is not a battle between religion and science. It is a battle between religious and secular fundamentalists. It is a battle between two groups intoxicated with the utopian and magical belief that humankind can protect itself and master its destiny."

[For the full article, see here.]

Although these excerpts don't specifically deal with LGBT issues, I wanted to encourage you to read the full article, and perhaps even buy his book, as Hedges calls attention to the many myths shared by both the "New Atheists," such as Christopher Hitchens, and the "Religious Right," as represented by such people as the late Jerry Falwell and a whole host of people we can name, as to the perfectibility of human nature and the price we have paid, and are likely to continually pay, for the myths that both share.
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