Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The (Sort of) Skeptic's Book Club - Good!

The Oprah.com column currently up on the CNN website is about a small group of people who read books and socialize around the theme of exploring faith.

I'll grant you that I had to grit my teeth at the undergirding message of "everyone needs some kind of spirituality" that pervades the piece - can she really be called a skeptic who asks "why quibble about how [the Rocky Mountains] got there"?

But overall I find it incredibly positive that the Oprah brand, which reaches deep into the heart of Middle America, is promoting open inquiry into religion: "We shared a compulsion to question the religious beliefs (or lack thereof) we each grew up with, while looking for personal ways to lead reflective lives." I can sign on to that. I ask people to question their faith all the time, arguing that if it's real, it'll come out stronger, and if not, they'll be closer to the truth.

But most importantly, atheism is a political problem, and this kind of open inquiry is deadly to organized religion - which is the kind that effects elections and develops political ambitions. Even five years ago, can you imagine mainstream news outlets running pieces openly questioning faith? We're making progress.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Book clubs are a construct of the white wine industrial complex.