“In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.” [Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address] Recently this quote was circulated around facebook as a meme.
Carl Sagan lived in a world principally inhabited by scientists, and sometimes challenged by defensive and aggressive religious people and political ideologues.
Religion has a vast multitude of people who have had not only their opinions, but their way of life changed and transformed and opened to different ways of thinking by others who have offered alternative perspectives. Politics also has a wide array of people who have come to realize that what they once thought is now not applicable.
We live in an ideological world where the extremes get all the press. They are not the majority, nor the model for what we all experience.
Repentance has been preached for many thousands of years, and heard, and effected to lives and well beings of millions of people. Repentance is a changing of perspective because of information, experience, or a presentation of love and ideas from a different perspective.
Criticism is cheap, and demeaning religion because of those portrayed in the press or most vocal is not taking the time to listen, as is the case with any group of people. In the same way many religious people have not listened closely to people in the scientific community, who are not bought out by special interests nor biased against people of faith.
We can always be surprised. How wonderful it is when we find ourselves surrounded by the open minds and hearts of people who want to learn, discover and be in awe.