Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Questions For Dr. Laura Schlessinger – 6

Read the introduction to this series here.

16) When someone calls and says they no longer share the religious beliefs or devotion of their spouse, which may include no longer believing what  the religious organization to which they belong claims about itself (for example, being the one and only true church), you give priority to family harmony in a unified family religion over the caller’s conviction of conscience. On what criteria have you adopted these priorities?

ask because I’m convinced that there are organizations with doctrines and practices that are ultimately harmful, and that I am first and foremost accountable to God, and that God has called me to avoid supporting religious organizations that promote serious error with my time, money, effort, or presence. For example, by implying with my silence and continued attendance that I support such an organization (and, almost invariably, being expected to perform duties on behalf of  that organization), I would be contributing to leading my own children and other people astray.

You may see all religious organizations that don’t promote terrorist bombings as more or less the same, but even from a secular perspective, they are not. Some, for example, avoid certain medical treatments. Some strongly discourage contact with family or friends who are no longer with the organization. Some make it nearly impossible to leave the organization without ongoing harassment.

Of course I have my own biases. For example, I’d want a newly atheist spouse to keep quiet and still take the family to a good Christian church. However, if someone has figured out that their “name it and claim it” televangelist church is not a healthy place to be, I would want them to try to get the rest of the family to switch to a better church. My bias comes from being convinced that there is a God who cares about our relationship to Him and has communicated to us how to worship Him and think about Him. Your priority seems to place more importance on making things comfortable and stable for children in the immediate here and now, but where does that priority come from?

17) Why is it so hard to believe that a “bush” could “burn” and not be destroyed if there is an omnipotent God involved? Either you believe in an omnipotent God who has intervened in in the world or you don’t. If there is no God to whom we are accountable and no afterlife, why is it wrong for someone to be entirely selfish and disregard your moral claims? What is the downside to them?

18) You illustrate well your point that children aren’t to give to/take care of parents by telling the story of the bird who starts to rescue each of his three chicks but only saves the last one, because the last one promises to pay it forward instead of repaying the parent directly. However, that story doesn’t explain HOW you arrived at your position or why someone else should adopt it. Why should someone make the next generation a priority and not give to the previous generation? If your answer is "survival of the species", why should anyone care if the species survives or not?

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