To Fight or Not to Fight

For years I have stewed over what I’d really like to say in the face of religion.  I’ve wanted to show how oppressive and ludicrous it all is; yet at the same time I want to pull my punches so I won’t hurt the feelings of people I love.   Consequently, I’ve found myself drowning in polite confusion.

Maybe I’m simply done with all religious debate.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be a colossal waste of time but I have no energy for it.  Let someone else labor to articulate religious views for the sake of arguing against them.

Yet I still want to make the world better.  I want to encourage people to make clear choices so they can become who they were meant to be.

You know what I would enjoy?  Shakespeare.  I’d like to read his plays again and enjoy his wit and beauty, and then teach it to the young ones so they could enjoy it too.  And other great literature—novels, plays, mythology–I’d like to show the gold still to be mined from those works.  I’d also like to play different kinds of music and explain why it’s all wonderful, or at least interesting.  Oh, and I’d like to study paintings and understand more the artists’ feelings that led them to create their images.

I’d like to teach the young to think critically and see clearly even while they practice their art.  And then I could urge them to use their art to raise their voices above the cacophony of the selfish and the stupid.

Literature, art, music, critical thinking. Yes, these are the tools by which I can reply to religious oppression.


2 thoughts on “To Fight or Not to Fight

  1. Hi Mr. Newman,
    Congratulations on your new blog.
    I am also a fan of the bard and the genius that can be found layer upon layer in his works. I recently watched a video that had a father/son duo, expert on historical language/Shakespearean actor, in that order, applying English the way it was spoken during the period to the actual performance of the plays. To everyone’s astonishment new rhymes and nuances appeared that added beauty and wit where none thought possible.
    That is the way Christianity is to me…I think some can read the work and take it literally, or some adorn a sturdy set of blinders and then go interpreting it for everyone else. In truth, doesn’t it seem that there are layers of meaning and beauty (even wit) that are waiting to be discovered?
    And yes, for those who have spent a lifetime attempting to bring this message to the multitudes, I have tremendous sympathy. I have observed many people who treat religion as a kind of spiritual insurance, and a baptism like a policy….covered just in case. I think that cheapens and distorts the integrity of the message till it is like one of those abominable movies with Shakespeare’s works rewritten for the modern age…..devoid of any beauty or mystery.
    It sounds like you have done much more than your tour of duty, time to put down the bible and drink in the beauty.

    Doth H.


  2. Doth H, I think WH has lasted all this time because there’s always more to discover in his writing. And theological thought could be that way but it has degenerated to unnuanced, unsubtle dogma.

    Glad you found your way here.


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