Be Careful

The longer I languish in this job (see my very first post), the more jaded I’ve become.

I suppose if one drills through the layers, there is a core of decency born of religious belief, a positive influence that comes to bear in the lives of believers. Maybe this is what guides some of those who get featured in the good news segments on the nightly news.

What’s been weighing on me is the darker side that gets covered earlier in a broadcast. The Taliban bombs a school and kills scores of innocent girls who just wanted an education. Jews and Palestinians live in perpetual tension, on a tinder box that appears to have been ignited, again. And Christian politicians in this country peddle and preach a brand of conservative swill that informs platforms while often landing like fingernails on a chalkboard.

It’s a variation on “You can’t handle the truth!” No one really knowing what the truth is, yet thinking they all have a corner on it. It’s more whatever serves an agenda, born of convenience and laziness and misinterpretation. It is useful mainly as it feeds other beliefs and tendencies and presents at least the illusion of control.

When it comes to religion, we should leave things at invitation and call it a day, find peace with shaking the dust off and moving on. Because conversion is a bridge too far. You can’t tell people what to believe. You can’t blow people up and then expect true devotion and respect. You can’t legislate morality and expect people to fall in line. There must be room to take it or leave it.

Separation of church and state is one of the best ideas the founding fathers had. Religion can be a stick of dynamite in the hands of idiots who’ve had too much to drink.

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