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.