Sunday, May 18, 2014

why socialist atheists in the US should be more tolerant of religion

At How Do You Know You Know? | The Dream Café, I left this comment:
I'm going to say a little about religion and then I'm going to drop it because Steve's an atheist and I don't like disagreeing with people's beliefs on their blogs without a better reason than "I disagree".

There are at least two approaches to religion, one that focuses on certainty and one that accepts mystery. These are not tidy divisions, but organized religions tend to be of the first sort—regardless of the goals of the individuals, most religious organizations end up serving the rich, which is why reds often rail against priests of all faiths.

But the second sort is a metaphorical approach to justice. Throw that out, and you throw out Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. Throw it out, and there's no League of the Just to become the Communist League. Throw it out, and you lose most of humanity's history of fighting to end inequality.

There is a pragmatic reason for reds to be more tolerant of religion. In the US today, 77% of the population identifies as Christian; 36% view socialism favorably. Tactically, it makes more sense to work with religious people than fight them.