Monday, October 03, 2005

Why are fundamentalists so frightened by liberal family values?

Who's afraid of freedom and tolerance? is a very interesting article about the differences between the religious liberals and conservatives.

If there is one basic thing conservatives do not understand about religious liberals, it is this sense of commitment. They see us champion choice over obligation, but misunderstand our reasons. They understand us to be advocating a superficial and nihilistic way of life. They think we want to choose our own moral codes so that we can pick easy ones that rationalize our every whim. They believe that we want the freedom to define our relationships so that we can walk away from anything that looks difficult.

In fact, religious conservatives and liberals share more concerns and beliefs than either commonly admits. Both have loyalties that go beyond self and the convenience of the moment. Both reject the materialism of popular culture. Both seek something more substantial than the momentary satisfaction of desire or the endless striving after status. The committed life is a different way to pursue these goals, not a denial of them.
But the committed life requires freedom, because only voluntary commitment has meaning. We give our members the freedom to doubt and encourage them to question their beliefs not so they will see all beliefs as whimsical and contingent, but quite the opposite: We find that hard-tested and hard-won beliefs are more likely to withstand the challenges of modern life. A marriage whose every assumption and duty has been freely negotiated is not a house of straw, but rather a house whose every brick has been carefully laid. The freedom of liberal religion is an invitation to engage with the most significant issues of human life and society, not an excuse to fall into a shiftless and vacant hedonism.


Might have to look into the Unitarian Universalist church. This might be a good way to expose our children to religion without forcing us to believe something we don't.

Props again to Mister Crunchy for the link.

1 comment:

Darkle said...

Good! I can post again! What did you do with Machael?