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In reading some of the posts involving crimes [sexual assault], allegations, [Kavanaugh, President Russel Topic], or even controversial subjects such as Climate Change, Book of Mormon Geography, etc.. I have thought to myself there are a lot of faith based concepts juxtaposed up to scientific method and actual evidence. I'd like to discuss both and how it might affect our concept of that topic and what we take away.
Personal belief systems can take root at a very early age, sometimes as a part of our cultural or ethnic identity. As a result, they are almost impossible to remove without eroding the soil of substance that gives one both a sense of identity and purpose. However, also true, as a consequence, most will not surrender a deeply held personal belief for fear it could lead to their spiritual loss or death. There is nothing wrong with personal beliefs. I, for one, am deeply faithful and active in church. Each person finds meaning and purpose in their own way and that is how it should be. There is a difference between faith and scientific method and reason. Personal faith is not a problem unless it gets in the way of objective forensic investigation and examination.
For example; using faith based reasoning (let's say using the Bible to prove a point), the premise of an argument and the conclusion are a matter of personal belief and subsequently often considered above criticism. Those who question the premises of such beliefs, religious and otherwise dogmatic, are labeled heretics or worse. I have been called an apostate for not subscribing to a heartland theory, a racist for objecting to a safe-place policy, a climate denier for even questioning global warming (which I know there is climate change, my interests is, is it really all just man made?), a racist and a bigot for disagreeing about kneeling as a protest, a chauvinist pig for thinking men and woman are different and we should use the appropriate public bathrooms.
In faith and personal belief, there is little room for critical thinking and no place for doubt. As a consequence, the nature of faith runs contrary to knowledge building. My faith tells me men and women are both children of God and are different from each other, science also tells me there is a biological difference too. We still have debates to how we should act and even appropriate ways to speak. For example is refusing to bake a cake with a message one does not believe in compelling speech?
Questions, questions, questions... When is testify via faith and testify via science appropriate and acceptable and when is it not?
Yesterday my husband and I attended church services at the First Church Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Salt Lake City.
The minister, Reverend Harold Straughn, related an account of Bishop Krister Stendahl’s "Three Rules for Religious Understanding," which the bishop shared in a 1985 press conference in Sweden, by way of suggestion to non-LDS religious clergy members who originally opposed to the building of an LDS temple there.
Keeping these three rules in mind ultimately resulted in the diverse, non-religious clergy members to arrive at a shared mutual respect large enough to authorize the necessary permits for the construction of the LDS Stockholm temple.
When you are trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion, and not its enemies. Don't compare your best to their worst. Leave room for "holy envy." (By this Stendahl meant that you should be willing to recognize elements in the other religious tradition or faith that you admire and wish could, in some way, be reflected in your own religious tradition or faith.) Our UU Minister Rev. Straugh applauded the actions of the Swedish Lutheran clergy who, by keeping the above in mind, arrived at enough shared understanding to overcome their strict objection to the construction of the LDS temple.
He then drew a correlation to the church’s recent policy change by saying, “I couldn’t help but wonder: if the LDS church would have chosen to apply those same three rules for religious understanding to how it dialogues with gay and lesbian parents, would we all be dealing with the same aftermath we’ve been facing now, in the wake of the policy and it’s affect on Utah’s religious landscape?”
That got me thinking about how both religion and LGBT issues are often approached here on the board. I think those rules are definitely a helpful starting point (although not the ending point, either) when beginning to understanding a religion.
I can’t help but think that some haven’t been giving gays and lesbians the same benefit of the doubt, when it comes to how those three rules could be applied:
When you are trying to understand what it means to be gay or lesbian, you should ask gays or lesbians—not our enemies. Don’t compare “the best” heterosexuals with “the worst” homosexuals. Leave room for “holy envy”—be willing to recognize elements in gays and lesbians, and their relationships, that you admire and wish you could, in some way, reflect in your own self or relationships.
This evening, the returns are in. The "Sweden Democrats", Sweden's neo-nazi party, have won 13% of the federal election vote. Roughly 85% of the population have voted. The nine major parties have collected only enough votes to, almost exactly down the middle, split power between the right coalition and the left coalition.. And guess who gets to sit in the middle of the balance, the neo-nazis.
All of you who said that socialism would lead to ruin, were right.
Both left and right coalitions have said they'll have nothing to do with the SD's but time will tell. Me, I'm a pessimist. It can only get worse. The end of times is upon us.
I believe this David French is the same LDS-friend David French of evangelicalsformitt.org fame and columnist for Patheos.
By Stone holm
What is the consensus on where Pres. Uchtdorf meant to lead the Church on the subject of diversity. What did his remarks about non-homogenizing mean? Are we going to loosen up about beards? Be more European in our outlook? What was he getting at?