This article started as a comment I made on another thread. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that what I had said there wasn’t enough. It seems clear that this is the most important topic of our times. This is what is making me grind my teeth at night; this is what is making me worry that no matter how hard we fight for valid elections, Constitutional laws, government accountability, and so on we are still going to lose the things most precious to us if the fear behind them isn’t addressed.
In the United States, we are intimately familiar with the “melting pot” philosophy. Being mostly a country of immigrants, we began with a blending of cultures. Over the years, we just kept adding to it. Everyone who comes here adds something and we are all better for it. Though there has been tussling along the way, and a lot of angling for control of the melody, overall we do all right…until religion enters the picture.
It doesn’t matter what religion, really. America is certainly primarily a Christian country, but we’ve got some of everything. We even have the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The problem is that no one seems to take a “melting pot” philosophy to religion. The Presbyterians stay in their churches, completely sure that their version of Christianity is the right one, the Jews go to the synagogue and hold tightly to their version of the Truth. The Muslims visit their mosques and hope they aren’t viewed as fanatics by their neighbors, while the Wiccans find secluded fields for their rituals under the moon. I get solicitations in my mail for the “right” church for me, and radio stations point me in the way of the True Church of Jesus on a regular basis. All we are doing with this “One True God” nonsense is holding ourselves, as individuals and a culture, back. You can’t make stone soup with just rocks.