Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Church of Tolerance

Though I support athiest, secular humanist, and separation of church and state groups, because I consider their cause is actually one of liberation, I also support the idea of a singular state-supported church, though I'm not sure that would work in USA.

The thing is, the national state churches of Europe seem to have led to majority athiesm--which I think is great, and also more decent traditional religion, the separation of church and state in USA seems to have led to mass religion to the point that, say, open atheism is forbidden in the highest offices, and we have lots of churches that preach crazy and crazier.

Given the institutions we have inheirited from history, people need something like churches.  Since this need for things like sense-of-community, mates and marriages, and so on, isn't fully served by other institutions.

For a country like USA, a very polycultural country, a singular church might not do.  If USA were to have a singular church, it could only be the Church of Tolerance because of all the variations in what people believe.

The Church of Tolerance admits all ideas except for intolerant ones.  Thus you may say that straight people are most wonderful, in your opinion, but not that gays are damned.  Not to say that everyone believes everything, but that everything is tolerated.

From a broad social perspective, there's no actual point in making sure people believe exactly the same things or be excluded--except that this makes additional kinds of intolerance possible, and therefore multiple conflicting groups.  With more and more conflicting groups, there is less social cohesion possible, and thus easier dominance by patriarchy and plutocracy.

Tolerance is the only kind of singular church that would work in USA.  But since so much religion in USA is essentially based on intolerance (others of any difference are always inferior or even damned) it's not clear we will ever get to that.  A further complication is how the lack of social cohesion created by intolerance may seem to be beneficial to some powerful people.  As a society, we must rise beyond such parochialism.

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