why you need not fear public debate on faith and spirituality

Brit Hume stirred the souls of many when he suggested on a public broadcast that Tiger Woods should consider Christianity.  Some people were outraged, some agreed, and some wondered if we should even be talking about this idea in public.

Ross Douthat, writing for the New York Times suggests that public discourse about matters of faith need not be feared but pursued.

When liberal democracy was forged, in the wake of Western Europe’s religious wars, this sort of peaceful theological debate is exactly what it promised to deliver. And the differences between religions are worth debating. Theology has consequences: It shapes lives, families, nations, cultures, wars; it can change people, save them from themselves, and sometimes warp or even destroy them.

If we tiptoe politely around this reality, then we betray every teacher, guru and philosopher — including Jesus of Nazareth and the Buddha both — who ever sought to resolve the most human of all problems: How then should we live?

It’s reasonable to doubt that a cable news analyst has the right answer to this question. But the debate that Brit Hume kicked off a week ago is still worth having. Indeed, it’s the most important one there is.

Read the whole article here.

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