Ed Cone today raises a question about religiosity that will be with us for a good long while. It is grounded in the tempest in a teapot caused when a hate-mongering Catholic took issue with the fact that an Edwards blogger wasn't sufficiently reverential of his particular brand of mythology around the virgin birth.
The tempest has, of course, made its way into the mainstream media, where even old newspaper guys are weighing in with shrill opinions.
. . . dismissing the virgin birth as "ancient mythology" aims at the heart of Christianity. It's basic, mainstream belief. Millions of Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Baptists recite a creed in church every Sunday that includes the phrase "conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary." Attacking that fundamental belief indicates extreme intolerance -- and it's reassuring to me that Edwards himself said as much and was personally offended.
My dead daddy used to say that opinions are like assholes - everybody has one. So here's mine: Even though lots of people happen to believe some particular version of the god-inspired doctrine, that agreement has no relationship to its validity or truth.
As a back-sliding Baptist who was born again and again as a young church-goer, I feel fully qualified to comment on this and call bullshit on Theocrats no matter what sanctimonious ground they're standing on.
Beliefs are beliefs, pure and simple, not grounded in anything more than pure faith. That is the essence of religion - and any faith not strong enough to withstand questioning and skepticism is pretty shaky indeed.
More to the point, why do Theocrats care whether you or I or anyone else shares their particular beliefs? Why do Catholics care whether I think their religion is bat-shit looney or solid as a rock? Why do Mormons get all defensive when I raise my eyebrows at Joe Smith's golden plates or their revisionist history around polygamy?
The practice of zealots damning their critics has been with us for thousands of years. They themselves are the root cause of the intolerance they're so worried about. A belief system so fragile that it cannot withstand the rantings of a twenty-something blogger is pretty damn sad. And a religion that seeks to squelch criticism from heretics and non-believers is flat-out pathetic.
So I disagree with your passion for the Holy Grail or Reincarnation or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Coat of Many Colors? Why do you care?
Get over it.