I’ve seen the beneficial side of pacifistic religious gathering upon a community as I grew up with it. Very mild stuff. Be nice. Don’t hurt others. Listen. That’s the messages I received.

I’ll provide an analogy too, just because it’s in my mind Layne Hartsell :

I find most reasonable religious participation as _generally_ a good thing for communities.

A small church or synagogue, a mosque or a temple that provides a meeting place for the community of all ages, where they can gather together, learn how to become better people and treat each other well, is a good thing.

Now, I’m not speaking of extremes here. I tend to see religious extremism as NOT religious at all, but political in nature. Power struggles and such.

And of course there are absurdities within some religious groups that are really impractical. But I’m not speaking about those things.

Rather, it’s the community support it provides. There are few alternatives to its multigenerational structure.

But this applies only to pacifist, non-political religious groups. As soon as you enter politics, my respect goes out the window. That ruins it entirely.

Now, I want to see something else replace it that’s different. I’d love to see other groups step in to replace waning religious attendance within the moderate religious groups.

But now we have the ‘net. We have extremism of all kinds on tap. Fundamentalist-STYLE behavior (whether it is among hordes of New Atheist, or hoards of ISIS or meangirls in schools encouraging others to go kill themselves online because it’s funny to them… THIS kind of extreme behavior is a bad thing.

Yet a call to moderation is old fashioned now. It’s becoming more of an us and them world. I don’t like that direction.

In any case, my point is this: I’m not a believer. I don’t think I ever was. But I’ve seen the beneficial side of pacifistic religious gathering upon a community as I grew up with it. Very mild stuff. Be nice. Don’t hurt others. Listen. That’s the messages I received.

Such is the same with how I see the global warming / green house gases, / hole in ozone layer.

I don’t have to be a believer. But I know it’s wise just the same when it’s done right.

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