Question of the Day--Part One

This one’s for the religious liberals.

I think part of the reason that there are many liberals who feel intolerant toward religious people is that when the fundamentalist adherents of any of the major religions are questioned about positions that seem anti-women’s equality, anti-gay, anti-choice, and even, in some cases, racist, they can cite places in their religious texts that do indeed inform those positions, if not overtly advocate them.

A source of pride among liberals is, of course, a respect for logic and reason, and many secular liberals, myself included I must admit, struggle to reconcile a respect for religious liberals when it seems as if calling oneself a Christian (for example) and also denouncing the idea that homosexuals are hellbound sinners (for example) requires a certain amount of intellectual dishonesty.

I have a minor degree in theology, and I’ve studied with some brilliant Jesuits who were, frankly, unable to ever give me a satisfactory answer to that question. I’ve heard everything from the Bible has gone through many translations to hate the sin; love the sinner, but none of them really convinces a secular (and rational) liberal that either you’re not relying on some kind of convoluted mental gymnastics to justify or erase the parts of your religion you don’t like, or that you’re not quite as dependable a political ally as you assert.

So I’m opening it up for discussion. It’s part and parcel of the discussion started below, which I found quite fascinating, and now I want to see if we can talk about the real problem, which is, to put it succinctly, a mistrust of religious liberals.

Religious libs, how do you square your own tolerance and egalitarianism with some of the more intolerant and decidedly illiberal teachings of the religion to which you subscribe?

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