Thursday, February 24, 2005

A good friend of mine just interviewed Reverend Cecil Murray, who was a pastor in LA for 27 years and is now a visiting professor at USC.

The whole transcript is great, but I found this particularly relevant and articulate:

I think the beauty of America has always been its debate forum where people are free to set options on the table. The ugliness is when one side takes the stick and becomes a bully force rather than a moral force, or an intellectual force. And it's even worse when the side that takes the stick, takes the religious stick. So here you have the bible in one hand and a stick in the other hand and you are certain that your way is the only way. That your way is "God's way." And that you can bully or condemn anyone with any other way. That's when debate becomes disaster. We're flirting with that right now with what has come to be known as "right wing conservative religion." The separation of church and state are not an option with our democracy, it is a necessity.
Why aren't more clergy and church leaders echoing this?

Or is it that they are -- Jim Wallis comes to mind -- but that the media are weary of moving away from the "religious = conservative" mentality?


Blogger Kato said...


I find it interesting that you picked this one paragraph, because it was also the one that most resonated with me during the interview.

I'm glad that you found it pertinent enough to include here -- though sometimes I wonder that if in my sending it, and in your posting it, we are just patting ourselves on the backs... ;-)

Nevertheless, it takes a true (wo)man to truly believe the values laid out in the above quoted paragraph. Reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh's quote "a true Buddhist is a true Christian -- and vice versa." I believe we used to argue over that one some 7 years ago...??

Take care you,

5:12 PM  

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