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Yule Blog
Sitting in Darkness, Blogging the Light

As the Christmas season draws to a close and the return of regular blogging looms, I’m looking back over this short period of intense religion writing and thinking about how writing on religion is and is not like writing on other controversial topics.

Published on: January 5, 2014
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  • Bruce

    Well done. It is inarguable that a government like ours needs a moral populace to function. As we gravitate away from that morality, our society deteriorates. Once societal deterioration starts, it is hard to reverse it. As WRM stated, all institutions fall prey to it. The most sickening part of the whole deterioration is that some people benefit from a societal breakdown and are intentionally encouraging dysfunction in order to grow their wealth and power. Politicians are high on this list. Others just can’t control their testosterone. Religion does help hold testosterone in check. Not everyone needs religion to keep themselves under control. Many do and society is better off with religion (excluding radical Islam) than without it.

  • Anthony

    “…One is that religious writing stirs up powerful and sometimes angry feelings.” In line with that thought is as with morality the writing is not something to be taken lightly. It is a form of thought and action. And WRM your Yule Blogs bring to light for AI reader the concept of God in Christianity – and by implication certain emotional investments are attached. Nevertheless, religion can serve as staging ground for both reflection and moral action, allowing for divine provenance, as beliefs and practices are endogenous to human affairs as implied by today’s essay.

  • Fred

    One thing that has impressed me about these Yule Blogs is that they haven’t drawn any gnu atheist trolls out of the woodwork. Some of the commenters on them may be atheists, but if so, their comments have been civil, on-topic, and pertinent. That alone is worth the price of admission.

  • qet

    The hypocrisy objection has always interested me. You mention Chesterton. He relates somewhere a statement either of John Wesley or of someone to Wesley: Preach the Gospel until you believe it, then preach the Gospel because you believe it. SImilarly, Pascal’s Wager urged people not to believe in God but to act as though the Catholic God exists (i.e., to follow the forms of action, ritual and otherwise, of Christian virtue). Yet today I think most people would denounce such behavior as hypocrisy: belief must come first, somehow; only after that is profession of belief or behavior conforming to such belief legitimate. I cannot bring myself to so behave, but I see tremendous benefits to a society most of whose members do.

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