For those who haven’t already had the misfortune of reading On Faith, let me explain what this piece of internet blog vomit is. On Faith is the religion blog of the Washington Post. It’s panel is composed of a dozens of scholars and clergypersons from every spectrum of every religion that the media likes to pay attention to. Among them are some real gems (Rabbi Andy Bachman and Eboo Patel chief amongst them) and a bunch of predictable loons (an LDS Church official and Deepak fucking Chopra chief amongst them). Eboo and Rabbi Bachman chime in entirely too infrequently and the peanut gallery entirely too often, Deepak fucking Chopra in particular.
Lately, they’ve all been trying their darnedest to answer the question, how can one believe in God and still be prejudiced? Their inspired answer: “Well, um, faithful bigots must just be hypocrites.” Great. Thanks, guys. This answer being too easy for them to spend too much time on, they’ve moved on to normal people who still have a little bit of prejudice in them. “Also hypocrites,” they’ve decided.
What a bunch of shit. Take me, for example. Do I believe in God? Probably. Will I cross the street to avoid a really creepy looking black guy? Probably. Does this mean my involvement with religious life is all a sham? Probably not.
It’s legitimate for our beliefs to be guides for our own desired futures, rather than reflections of our current state of mind. For instance, I find it really difficult to get worked up about poor people or starving Africans or whatever. I hope to God that my involvement with the Jewish community will fix that someday. I donate a set percentage of my income to Partners in Health as an exercise in trying to make myself give two shits.
Maybe some of us also believe in God in hopes that someday we’ll behave in a way commensurate with that belief. Of course if you ask the walnuts over at On Faith, we’re all just hypocrites.