Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[religion] Back to pink unicorns, part 2 of 2

More on religion, politics and me, following this recent post and its rather robust comment thread, as well as part 1 of this post. This is where I want to discuss some of my own errors of thought, and try to establish how I want to redirect both my thinking and my rhetoric accordingly. Absolutely a work-in-progress, not a manifesto or a position statement, and as such subject to all the usual scrutiny, challenge and cross-questioning that goes on around here when I raise these subjects.

It's been difficult for me to approach this, because in a very real sense, I have too much to say. Even trying to focus it down to a re-analysis of my views has been pretty challenging. I've had continued discussions online or in real life with some of the usual suspects, with daveraines and gvdub being especially wise and tolerant of me. scarlettina and I have touched on this several times this week, with her Jewish perspective leaning in yet a different direction.

For reference, though I am a very strong atheist today, I was both heavily churched and Christian-educated (missionary schools in Asia and Africa) in my youth. My own church background is Disciples of Christ, with a strong leavening of Southern Baptist, and some small amount of later Episcopalianism sprinkled on for variety. This means my understanding of religion from the inside, such as it is, stems from a rather specific Evangelical Protestant perspective. Combine that with almost two decades of living in Texas as a nonreligious adult. The state is in some senses is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Southern Baptist Convention (at least so far as Blue Laws, alcoholic beverage rules, political expressions of faith and media coverage go). You can readily perceive my exposures, and my flinch points from that history.

Now, on to a rather lengthy exegesis of my reflections.

My first error of thought: Pink Unicornism, and arguing with the wrong peopleCollapse )

My second error of thought: Stepping inside the black boxCollapse )

My third error of thought: Confusing the unified Brand Christian as a political and social entity with the wide diversity of Christian thought, faith and actionCollapse )

My fourth error of thought: Not believing faith is realCollapse )

That's as far as I've come on the errors of thought. Surely there's more to say, but I've already burned far too much wordage on this.

I'd also like to spend a little time on (hopefully) positive statements about faith, religion and public life, stemming from these same recent assessments of my beliefs and writings.

My first assertion: That faith is real, valuable and importantCollapse )

My second assertion: The critical importance of balancing logos and mythosCollapse )

Fitting it all togetherCollapse )

Tags: politics, religion

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