Liberal Religion: Principles and Practice: A Popular Theology

Liberal Religion: Principles and Practice: A Popular Theology

Liberal Religion: Principles and Practice: A Popular Theology

Liberal Religion: Principles and Practice: A Popular Theology

Excerpt

A full page in The New York Times solicited potential advertisers for Playboy magazine. The advertisement depicted an attractive young man at the wheel of a car, and the headline read: "When I read Time, I am thinking of the world. When I read Playboy, I am thinking about me." The message is clear: if you want to influence me, make me think of myself, not of the world around me. While some idealists care about the environment, the Playboy man or Playgirl woman does not. The individual is only interested in self, absorbed in self.

Playboy and Playgirl have grown up in a culture which was, for several thousand years, permeated by pious preachments that preferred one way of life and tolerated another. Liberal Religion is different because it closely interrelates one's spirituality and intelligence with the environment and with the realities of life. Life around us is part of Liberal Religion; the two are inseparable. Liberal Religion requires everybody to think of himself or herself as part of the whole. It does not tolerate a way of life which differs from what it postulates.

Society today seems to be bogged down in a morass of inflation, unemployment, declining productivity, and crime waves. But this is not the root of the social disarray. The root of the evil is apathy and indifference. Philosophers and theologians tell us that this is so because people are estranged from society and from God. This is what existentialism teaches. One derives little comfort (and no hope) from such philosophical and theological explanations.

Ours has been called the age of anxiety. Anxiety means irresolution. Irresolution is related to apathy, and one wonders which is cause and which is effect, or whether both are two sides of the same coin. It matters little.

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