Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Hard Week Not to Be Disgusted with Religion

As a resident of Colorado, I have watched my state struggle through one of the worst summers we’ve ever known in our lifetimes, and for most of us who live here, it can’t come to an end soon enough. From horrific natural disasters to the unspeakable shootings in Aurora that claimed twelve lives mere days ago, we have literally been walking through the fire. And because our tribulations have been national news, everyone with an opinion has felt the need to weigh in.
It’s really difficult to write about this without 1) crying in fury and disgust, 2) wanting to take a sledgehammer to my own belongings just to work out the anger, and 3) wanting to beat some of these “opinionators” senseless with a baseball bat. I know you’re not supposed to answer violence with violence, but when you have people “lending their perspective,” who are so callous, so malicious, so arrogant, and so evil in their words, it’s kind of hard not to feel that way, because they’re not here, yet they feel as if their pontificating and insulting commentary should somehow bear weight on our situation. More...


  1. Beth's anger is understandable. I wanted to thump Rick Warren too, when I heard his pig-ignorant reaction to Aurora. I guess the question for me is: what constructive use can you make of your anger? If it helps you channel the best version of yourself you can summon, steam on. For my part I've decided to spend less time arguing with fools in public, and more advancing an alternative view.

  2. You've got me thinking about "advancing an alternative view," and if the very thought of that wouldn't qualify us as proselytizers. I think what's frustrating is trying to find one solution --the theory of everything--that I can hold on to. How can one use logical arguments against the illogical?

    In reference to your "Mormon" post, I don't feel what we're doing is comparing invisible, magic super-friends. Looking at the world as it is doesn't seem like "proselytizing" That term carries a negative connotation with it and shouldn't apply to pointing out the obvious using facts and evidence.

    I think "advancing an alternate view" along with pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, together, might be something worth pursuing. But, as you said, the latter usually devolves into arguing with fools. I think it was Twain who said a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.

    Some days I feel like giving the world a big hug; others, I want to spend the night drinking with Holden Caulfield.

    I'll have an answer in a few days. I'm not feeling very constructive at the moment.

  3. To the contrary, I think you're thinking very constructively here. The trouble with proselytizing isn't the sharing, it's the failing to be circumspect and self-critical. A respectable "alternative view" will not commit those errors, but it also will not waste its time arguing with the ideologically closed-minded.

    I love the Twain imagery: philosophy must lace its shoes with care, while careless religion races ahead. But it can still enjoy a good walk, slow and steady...