Interfaith conference: “Interfaith is key to fighting secularism.”

Hey!  Good news for the interfaith people!  This should make Chris Stedman and his ilk happier than flies on feces.  An interfaith group just held a conference in Washington D.C., America’s political hub!

Participants at a recent interfaith conference in the nation’s capital discussed how interreligious dialogue can play an important role in establishing peace and fighting secularization in America.

Oh joy.  Interfaith people gathered to discuss how interfaith is important in fighting secularism…in a secular nation.  Oh how I hope more atheist groups get on board with interfaith, as though we should be eager to slide ourselves under the banner of “faith”.

The term “interfaith” even means “between faiths”, which is precisely how they treat it, apparently.

He explained that a shared “commitment to an authentic and robust dialogue will foster understanding and peaceful coexistence.”

Peaceful coexistence…what about with the people who like America nice and secular?  If interfaith is important for fighting that, it seems we’re going to have a hard time coexisting.  And who can participate in this “authentic and robust dialogue”?

Successful dialogue requires “a personal investment of our being,” free from both the external distractions of our busy world and the internal anger, resentment or other emotions that may prevent us from truly encountering the other people in the dialogue, he explained.

This commitment requires spiritual maturity grounded in daily prayer and relying upon God for divine guidance and help, Father Crossin noted. It also requires a willingness to be silent and truly listen to what others are saying rather than simply responding with our own views.

Ultimately, dialogue can be fruitful not only because it builds friendship and mutual understandings, Father Crossin said, but also because it “requires us to examine our own faith more intently and to understand it better.”

They’re big about talking up respecting others as a prime virtue, but seem to have no problem painting secularism as the villain and saying that atheists can’t listen.  I guess only people from incompatible faiths, most of which believe each other will be roasting in hell for all eternity, merit their respect.  Incidentally, when people who believe each other are damned for all time unite against a common enemy, in this case secularism, that should reveal just how little they think of atheists.

Some atheists will trip over each other trying to align themselves with interfaith groups like this, presumably to tell them how wrong they are from within.  Seems to me we can do that just fine without lending them the endorsement of our presence.  Personally, I can’t say “fuck these people” loud enough.  They are not allies to secularism or to atheists, though they’ll happily accept our help undermining both.

The secular response to religious diversity is to push all religious beliefs out of public life, Bishop Knestout warned. But while this approach has become prominent in the modern era, it is dangerous to all religious beliefs and fails to respect “the reality of the spiritual dimension of life.”

Interreligious dialogue that builds and maintains relationships among different faith traditions is therefore even more important in protecting the role of religion from the secularism that threatens it, he explained.

You’re god damn right I don’t respect the “reality of the spiritual dimension of life” insofar as that means communing with invisible gods.  I don’t respect it for the same reason I don’t respect adults who think prayer will stop droughts – they’re wrong, and embarrassingly so.  I don’t respect it because they can do better, and they should do better.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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