Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Feisty troublemakers for positive change 

On the day that Parliament solemnly debates the notion of christianophobia, a question : why are some people of faith so fragile in beliefs that any slight, however small, is devastating?

A question asked in this Liberal meditation by an US Catholic who is taking in her stride the release of the first film of Philip Pullmans ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. Some see this film (and even more so the books) as a deliberate desecration of Catholicism and demand that all Catholic parents make sure their children do not see it. But Mary Elisabeth Williams says:

My daughters go to school with kids who are Jewish and Muslim and Hindu and atheist. They know that people believe and don't believe in different things, and I'm raising them to respect that. If faith is so fragile that it can be shaken by the introduction of challenging ideas, what good is it?....

I want my children to understand that human beings and institutions are fallible. That sometimes those who claim moral authority can traffic in corruption and abuse.

I want them to be angry at every wrong perpetuated in the name of God. To question authority. To be feisty troublemakers for positive change….

… I hope that my daughters will find contentment and community in their religion. But I would
rather they grow up to be kind, generous unbelievers than sanctimonious, blindly dogmatic Christians.

Actually ‘Feisty troublemakers for positive change’ is quite a good head-up for a political programme…

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