Thursday, October 25, 2012
need to support
There are certain things within a community that will be present one way or another: how we educate, how we heal, how we govern, and how we worship. Wanting politicians who are not good politicians is like wanting doctors who are not good doctors, or teachers who are not good teachers. Saying, “I do not agree with the way things are, so I will not participate”, only allows others to control the direction of various aspects of our common life. If we do not support good religious leaders, others will emerge. Maine has been listed as the least religious state in the country. With the abandonment of moderate people and their support from our places of worship, these will close or other groups will take them over. This is happening, and has been for some time. In driving through small communities I have found places where the old Methodist Churches are now home to a group of independent worshipers. Often these people are not a true reflection of the larger community but rather a fringe group that is drawing like-minded people together. When more individualistic religious groups emerge, they have less accountability to others; tending to adhere strictly to the belief of their own thoughts and biases. We are quick to attack and denounce the extreme beliefs found in Islam, but, by avoiding religion here at home we only fertilize the field for our own version of the same extremist views and actions. One way or another religion will be expressed and interjected into our common life. It is important that we do not simply sit back and complain, but support the positive and creative life giving efforts that are in our midst.