After almost two years and twentynine columns, Dave Belden is still exploring what it means for an agnostic to write about religion. But if the answers remain elusive, the need for dialogue across faith, unbelief and dogma has never been clearer.
The American left fears that government is in the hands of the religious right. The right fear that despite the best efforts of the conservative administration, they cannot reverse the tide of liberal social change. If they ever talked they would find that, unbeknownst to both sides, they are moving together not apart, says Dave Belden.
Religion doesnt have to mean repressive institutionalised mystification, its not even about God. Its a way to organise a community around our core human values, and anyone interested in social change needs it.
Across America, gay couples are declaring their vows in civil unions and marriage ceremonies. Dave Belden witnesses his friends marriage in his hometown and admires his nations never-ending adaptability.
Arabs and people of the American South share a painful heritage that includes humiliation, religious fundamentalism and violence, says Dave Belden. Can they rewrite the historical narrative they inhabit - and become actors rather than victims?
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