Valerie Tarico nicely sums up the rot.
These twelve dubious concepts promote conflict, cruelty, suffering and death rather than love and peace.
1. Chosen People
“Gang symbols” like special haircuts, attire, hand signals and jargon differentiate insiders from outsiders and subtly (or not so subtly) convey to both that insiders are inherently superior.
Valerie Tarico continues to instruct and inspire me with her writing style and the content of her messages.
It's a powerful article!
Especially bits like these:
"Our ancestors lived in a world in which pain came unbidden... Faced with uncontrollable suffering, the best advice religion could offer was to lean in or make meaning of it. The problem, of course is that glorifying suffering... has made people more willing to inflict it on not only themselves and their enemies but also those who are helpless, including the ill or dying (as in the case of Mother Teresa and the American Bishops) and children (as in the child beating Patriarchy movement)."
"With eyes lifted heavenward, we can’t see the intricate beauty beneath our feet. Devout believers put their spiritual energy into preparing for a world to come rather than cherishing and stewarding the one wild and precious world we have been given."
"As we approach the limits of our planetary life support system and stare dystopia in the face, defining women as breeders and children as assets becomes ever more costly. We now know that resource scarcity is a conflict trigger and that demand for water and arable land is growing even as both resources decline. And yet, a pope who claims to care about the desperate poor lectures them against contraception while Muslim leaders ban vasectomies in a drive to outbreed their enemies."
"As our Iron Age ancestors recorded and compiled their ideas into sacred texts, these texts allowed their understanding of gods and goodness to become static... Imagine if a physicist said, “Because our understanding of physics is perfect, it does not allow for any innovations to the field.” Adherents who think their faith is perfect... are developmentally arrested, and in the case of the world’s major religions, they are anchored to the Iron Age, a time of violence, slavery, desperation and early death."
(There's a lot more!)
Valerie is a national treasure.
It may only be me, but I was unable to get an adult, complex, subject started on Facebook. Its name is correct, it deals with the superficial topics, eschewing the more interesting, complicated topics.
I don't even try to use Facebook.
The piece is good. It is the same old thing to me and by no means new information. It did slightly bore me. Now on to my point. It is very important that articles like this are constantly put out there so that people like Young Compelled see them and begin to question what is real and not real, what is just , and not just, would a good religion actually do this? What does my religion do? It was a great piece for this purpose...now back to what I was reading...Introducing Anthropology of Religion....
I appreciate your point of view. It's not news to us, but needs to be promoted.
Tarico's article is indeed powerful. It may be more powerful than she knows.
Her metaphor "Imagine if a physicist said Because our understanding of physics is perfect, it does not allow for any innovations to the field" describes well the position of theists.
It describes precisely the position of today's taxpayer-subsidized Standard Model (Big Bang) theoretical physicists.”
A huge and even delightful irony is that the data their space probes are sending back falsify their ex nihilo gravity-plus-magnetism model and confirm the electricity-plus-magnetism-plus-gravity model.
I have not the tools to evaluate the conflict of the gravity+magnetism model against the electricity+magnetism+gravity model. I am sorry to confess; the material didn't make it clear to me. I realize I am not stupid ... in some things, just things dealing with electricity, magnetism, and gravity. I wonder if all the nay-sayers say, "Nay" because they don't understand these principles or they understand and reject the idea.
Therefore, I can sit back, watch the dispute with an open mind, and hope that I live long enough to see the conflict resolved.