We learn as children that “one bad apple can ruin the bunch.”
This is true for faith as well.
It’s upsetting to see people who say they “Know God” making it their self-appointed mission to whine, pass legislation or even do violence to others. One spoiled “religious nut” can spoil the whole bowl. . .or so it seems.
As a secular person I’m not supportive of “angry atheists” and the anti-religious crowd that see nothing of worth in believers or the world of faith itself. Those who care nothing for relationships between believers and non-believers often give a bad name to the rest of the secular world. These unhappy “bad apples” spend their time and energy blasting away at religion, faith, the church, God and anything to do with religion. I find much of it toxic and destructive.
That’s not my sense of healthy secularism or humanism and certainly not a constructive practice of freethinking (consider Paine, Stanton, Douglass, Ingersoll and other leaders in Freethought who nurtured relationships with believers their whole lives).
So, when I see someone taking a step FOR peace and AGAINST violence, I see it as a sign of hope for all of us, not only secular folks.
Reading this piece on Muslim clerics speaking out against religious violence I was impressed, and relieved.
70 scholars and imams signed on to a declaration, saying:
“We reaffirm that violence and terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, as violent extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestation including violence against civilians and suicide attacks are against the holy principles of Islam.”
In 2014, more than 100 Muslim clerics spoke out against the so-called Islamic State.
Yet, how many Christians or Jews speak out loud and clear against hatefulness in their own communities?
Maybe, in some ways, in some places, the barrel is already too spoiled by bad apples?