Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama's Utopian Religious Thinking

CBS News Political Hotsheet has an article up entitled, "Obama Says Faith Shouldn't Divide People." Why do otherwise intelligent people even bother serving up this kind of ridiculous platitude? Of course faith divides people. Obama also says,
perhaps we can begin to crowd out the destructive forces of zealotry and make room for the healing power of understanding
Keep dreaming. Without zealotry, religions fade into the background and become social clubs, largely indistinguishable from the non-religious. Zealots are the ones who proselytize, keep religions growing and make them distinct from the competition. 

People who hold deep, particular religious beliefs are automatically divided from those who disbelieve, or who believe something else. Strong religious belief systems are almost all inherently divisive, because they make specific claims to know the truth. They are by definition non-inclusive of competing belief systems, or of unbelievers. Mediating between different religious groups and promoting tolerance is one thing. But pretending that religious faiths aren't incredibly divisive, or that competing faiths are going to come together in some sort of unity is just a pipe dream. If you want unity everyone needs to convert to the same faith, or even better, get rid of their religions entirely.

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