stuff about religion. Of course, thats ironic because to only know the bad stuff is to not actually be educated."
"Half the time when Im giving a public presentation, the first question about religion is a negative question. What do you think about Islam and violence? What do you think about the Catholic Church and the pedophilia crisis? Why do so many people of faith hate gay people? Particularly in the areas of America where people have higher levels of education, those are their first questions."
Our society relies on religious communities to take care of people, to do addiction counseling, to do job training, to do hunger and homelessness work, to do refugee resettlement. We just dont often tell the story of them doing that work. And I think that thats a big problem.
"In America, people build institutions hospitals, social service agencies, colleges, whatever out of the inspiration of their own faith identity, but the institution serves people of all identities. That is not a common ethos in human history.
But thats the story of America. That is American pluralism at its best. That is civic cooperation."
Eboo Patel is an American Muslim who is the founder and president of Interfaith America. He was interviewed by Tish Harrison Warren, an Anglican priest who has a religion column in the NYT as well as Christianity Today.
Behind a paywall unfortunately: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/09/opinion/patel-eboo-organized-religion.html
I once mainly knew the negative things about religion, especially Christianity. At least, if I knew some of the many contributions made by religious people and groups, the negative far outweighed the good in my mind. I was anti- both religion in general and Christianity in particular. This interview does a great job of reminding me of the positive role many faith communities have and still provide us.
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