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Meditation 1264
Re-Imagining Religion:
good and bad, beautiful and ugly

by: Gordon Barthel

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I dream of a religion that has a benevolent view of humanity, a religion that does not view us as depraved sinners desperately requiring redemption, but a religion that views us as inherently good, that we want to be good, that we need to be good to function as a social species.

I dream of a religion that views every human as a unique fusion of desirable and undesirable endowments, not a religion that simply decrees we are sinners who are utterly incapable of a milligram of goodness without their supernatural elixir, but a religion that recognizes every human possesses a little good, a little bad, a little beauty and a little ugliness.

I dream of a religion that believes we need help identifying and cultivating our desirable traits and constraining our undesirable traits, not a religion that believes we need saving because we are inherently wicked creatures without their authoritarian guidance, but a religion that believes we just need a little insight into the challenges of nurturing our constructive potential and restraining our destructive potential.

I dream of a religion that understands we are neither saints nor sinners, not a religion that has a spiteful view of humankind, but a religion that can wrap its theological wit around the conundrum that we have the potential to be beautiful and to be ugly, a religion that has the cerebral sophistication to comprehend we are human, complex beings endowed with our own unique set of good and bad characteristics.


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