Friday, September 17, 2010

What I am learning

Seems that I am being challenged on my dogmatism. Don't get me wrong, my dogmatism isn't the typical believe as I do or you are damned to hell type, but that has only helped me to stay proud of my own dogmatism.

It seems to me that the faith the Hebrews were challenged with, was one of paradox, and wrestling with God, and space for the working out of ideas. Somewhere along the line, the Christian church, (atleast in the West) has adopted a more "logical" way of doing faith. In other words, knowing rather than working it out. Some brilliant guy said, "the church is a place full of people and empty of questions". I think that is a stunning indictment. I have reacted quite strongly against the standard dogmas. But in doing so, I think I often have gravitated to my own dogmatism. Dogmatism about non violence, church structure, the methods of our compassion.

Now don't get me wrong, I believe these things are true. I believe I am right. What becomes the issue is the way in which I present my ideas. Do I encourage people to journey and question? Or do I pontificate?

The problem is that I have been trying to embrace this new learning and wind up really messing with others. You see the world, or at least America is so polarized right now that when I try and argue against dogma... I wind up being accused of being part of the enemies camp.

What am I talking about? I can give an example from the other day:

An atheist posted a common line on twitter that essentially comes down to, Religion has killed more people than any other thing in human history. When I pointed out that just in this last century more people were murdered in the name of communism, by Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao, than in all of the religious wars in recorded history, I was told I was spinning things. That it was standard operating procedure for right wing nut jobs to do this. Me? A right wing nut job? Oh my! I understand being called a bleeding heart liberal, though I am not. And a communist, though I probably am in a way. But a right wing nut job? All I was trying to do was throw some mystery, some question, something besides dogmatism into the twitterverse.

I guess its comforting to know that my ailment is not an uncommon one. But I hope to embrace a more thoughtful way of living.


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